Articles by David Hindle
Last year saw a 14 per cent increase in fires in England, according to UK Home Office statistics. And while around three million fire doors are installed in the UK every year, a lack of understanding during operation, maintenance and management of fire doors is still apparent. In this article, David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, will address this issue. Importance of fire doors Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire, yet even after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire door hardware remains a significant area of concern. In May 2018, an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by dame Judith Hackitt, have been published. The review highlighted a range of issues, but the message stood clear, the UK’s current approach to fire safety in buildings is not functioning as intended and a new, holistic approach to fire safety is required. Review of fire inspections In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors. However, there is no legal requirement for them to complete any recommended upgrades or repairs, or to prove that they have done so. This represents a major problem, as doors that do not perform to the required standard could compromise a building’s safety and put occupants at risk. Ultimately, this could lead to liability being assigned back to the building owner or facilities manager. Need to maintain fire safety standards Fire safety is only properly maintained if standards and checks are carried out throughout the lifecycle of the product and building. This is best addressed through regular inspection, maintenance and the replacement of products when required. A review by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme revealed the most common fire door faults, ranging from missing fire or smoke seals, to unsuitable hinges and damage to the door leaf itself. Any one of these issues can render a fire door useless and can seriously impede a door’s capability to protect people from harm. Door leaf and frame maintenance Fire door hardware is often not afforded the attention it requires and is left mismanaged throughout its service life. So what needs to be done to ensure fire door hardware is working as expected? Naturally, the door leaf should not be damaged, warped or twisted, and it is vital to ensure the fire door closes correctly around all parts of the frame, with no distortion between the stiles, top and frame. Gaps between the door and leaf must not be greater than those specified in the manufacturer’s installation instructions or fire certificate data sheet, typically around 3 to 4mm all the way round. Importance of door closers A door closer ensures a fire door returns to its fully closed position and the door seals correctly in the door frame A door closer ensures a fire door always returns to its fully closed position and makes sure that the door seals correctly in the door frame, when not in use. There are three steps to ensuring these components are working correctly. First, open the door fully and check that it closes without dragging across the floor. Next, open it to approximately 5-10 degrees and again check that it fully closes, engaging any latch or seal. Finally, check the door closing speed is approximately five seconds from a 90 degree angle, ensuring the door does not slam shut. Intumescent fire and smoke seals Fire and smoke seals should be in good condition, fit the full length of the door and be secure in the groove. If seals are badly fitted, damaged or painted, then they must be replaced with exactly the same size and intumescent material that was originally specified. If the smoke seals have to be replaced, then they should be fitted in one continuous length, if possible. To ensure hinges are in good condition, check for visible wear, dark marks or stains around the hinge knuckle that could indicate wear and impending failure. Hinges must be strong enough to carry the door mass, plus robust enough to work efficiently no matter the level of usage. The hinges should be firmly screwed into the door and frame, ensuring that the seals at the top and sides of the door are not damaged or missing at any time. Intumescent pads should also be used with hinges, as these are required for the door to get its appropriate fire rating. Locks and lever handles To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use Wiping any metal dust deposits off the handles will help ensure that the latch-bolt is engaging smoothly and completely into the keep during use. To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use. If it does not, the lever may, at best, need adjusting or lubricating. At worst, it may need replacing, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, ensure the lock case is protected by intumescent material. Maintaining record of fire door inspection No matter the component, a record of inspection and maintenance should be kept for all door hardware. Furthermore, those responsible for ensuring the fire safety of a site should encourage others to report any issues with any of the door components. Faults should be fixed as soon as possible, using the correct and fire-rated components. To check the compatibility of components, always consult the fire certificate data sheet or contact the manufacturer.
ASSA ABLOY UK is holding a dedicated event at West Midlands Fire Service’s headquarters in Birmingham to help raise the bar on standards of quality for fire door safety Over three million fire doors are installed every year in the UK, yet incorrect specification, poor installation and a lack of maintenance is still a common occurrence. In light of this, and to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week, ASSA ABLOY UK is holding a dedicated event at West Midlands Fire Service’s headquarters in Birmingham to help raise the bar on standards of quality for fire door safety. The event will take place on Thursday 27th September and is aimed towards building owners, facility managers and persons responsible for fire door safety. Key topics on the day will cover the importance and future of fire door certification, common issues of fire door installation, inspection and maintenance, and the importance of compartmentalisation within high rise residential buildings. Door closers are important part of fire safety On the day, attendees can expect a discussion panel, speaker presentations and a series of case studies from representatives from British Woodworking Federation (BWF), BRE Global, Exova Warringtonfire, West Midlands Fire Service, the NHS, and ASSA ABLOY UK. David Hindle, Head of Door Controls for ASSA ABLOY UK, said: “The draft report produced by BRE Global on behalf of the Metropolitan Police, highlighted that only 17% of door closers at Grenfell were present and working. “Door closers and other door hardware that impacts on the performance of a fire door or doorset are a critical part of fire safety and should be subject to performance standards and regular maintenance and testing. Educating professionals about fire door safety “After the success of our Fire Door Safety Week 2017 event, we wanted to continue to help educate professionals on raising the standards of fire door safety. We urge building owners, facility managers and persons responsible for fire door safety to attend this year’s event to learn more as we all have to start treating and recognising ‘passive fire protection’ as critical, at all times.” ASSA ABLOY UK is leading the way when it comes to campaigning for increased fire safety awareness. An insightful and educational whitepaper was recently issued in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The whitepaper will also be showcased and discussed in-depth at the event during Fire Door Safety Week.
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?
ASSA ABLOY’s range of door closers is one of the few available on the market to satisfy the certification demands of uninsulated metal fire doors, the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware & Access Control Group has announced. At the end of 2017, a number of UKAS accredited authorities withdrew certification for almost all door closers used on uninsulated metal fire doors. While a number of these certifications have since been reinstated, they typically only cover the use of door closers on the side of the fire door that is deemed most at risk. In many instances, it can be difficult to determine which side of the fire door this is. Meeting certification requirement But with ASSA ABLOY’s DC200, DC300, DC500 and DC700 door closers, this is no longer an issue for installers or building owners. Following stringent testing, all these door closer ranges meet the certification requirements for uninsulated metal fire doors, whether fitted on the exposed (fire) or unexposed (fire safe) side of the door. The ASSA ABLOY DC200, DC300, DC500 and DC700 units are not only all accredited, but also use the same mounting position" ASSA ABLOY’s door closer range is suitable for up to four hour ratings, eliminating any concerns around whether the door closers meet fire safety regulations for uninsulated metal fire doors. Same mounting position David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, said, “Once again ASSA ABLOY is leading the way, ensuring that its range of door closers do not compromise fire safety regulations. The ASSA ABLOY DC200, DC300, DC500 and DC700 units are not only all accredited, but also use the same mounting position, so manufacturers, installers and building owners can be confident that there are no caveats or risks when it comes to using these solutions with uninsulated metal fire doors. This is a claim that not many other manufacturers can make.” “As a result, this range of ASSA ABLOY door closers can be specified with confidence, with installers and building owners safe in the knowledge that the products will perform to the standards expected, while also being appropriately certified, for uninsulated metal fire doors.” “We believe it should be clear and easy to understand whether a door closer compromises fire safety regulation or not. With ASSA ABLOY’s door closer range, there is no confusion.”
Established by the German Design Council, the 2018 Iconic Awards: Innovative Architecture, honors visionary architecture, innovative products and sustainable design. The respected design award recognizes the importance ASSA ABLOY, the manufacturer of door opening solutions, places on the design of its products. An influential factor when buying a new door closer, the appearance of ASSA ABLOY’s door closer portfolio now features a distinctive and contemporary design, with unobtrusive lines, chamfered edges and lightly contrasting colors. The design is finished with the classic ASSA ABLOY horizontal groove. Cam-Motion technology The award-winning door controls provide innovative solutions for all door opening applications. Featuring Cam-Motion technology to help ensure doors open smoothly and securely, the range delivers a quiet and safe door opening experience. Flexible height adjustment and non-handed features enable quick and easy installation For installers, the redesigned products remain as versatile as ever, with well-designed installation features and fitting options. Flexible height adjustment and non-handed features enable quick and easy installation, while reducing stock requirements. The new designs have minimal impact on the overall footprint and there are no changes to the fixing positions. Certifire approved Products from the ASSA ABLOY door closer range meet the requirements of the recently updated BS 8300 standard for low opening forces, CE Marked and comply with relevant fire regulations. Popular models used in trade and commercial environments are also Certifire approved, for further reassurance of performance. David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY, said, “Winning this award is recognition of our industrial design vision. We wanted to create a door closer range that is not only functional, but also sleek, stylish and modern. The range will complement or enhance almost any environment, while maintaining the outstanding performance capabilities that ASSA ABLOY products are known for.”
Launched over 15 years ago as the first and still the only totally universal and unhanded Cam door closer solution, ASSA ABLOY’s CAM-Motion door closers offer pure simplicity for installers and end users alike. Its innovative Cam profile provides a unique unhanded and universal installation, and allows pull and push mounting from the same unit. This profile also produces class-leading efficiencies and user-friendly opening forces to create a market-leading door closer solution. Furthermore, ASSA ABLOY’s Cam-Motion door closers can be specified for, or installed in any of four fixing applications, on door or head mount for both push and pull applications. This Universal Cam system was invented by ASSA ABLOY, and further highlights the company’s reputation as a provider of innovative, comprehensive, and adaptable door control solutions that are easy to install. Height-adjustable spindle The design also reduces the need for secondary installation work Thanks to the removable and height-adjustable spindle, offered as standard on all ASSA ABLOY door closers, initial installation is quicker and less expensive, making it easier to achieve optimum results. This is because the innovative spindle design offers more room to manoeuvre, and can be easily re-positioned to provide the correct spring pre-load. The design also reduces the need for secondary installation work, such as cutting out architraves to allow guide rail installation. Such versatility can be further amplified with a range of supporting accessories such as mounting plates, hold-open devices and dampers to create bespoke door control solutions. Easy to upgrade power sizes Another factor which sets ASSA ABLOY door control devices apart, is the ease in which they can be adapted to suit changes in building function and design. It is very easy to upgrade power sizes, functionality and technologies across the whole range. This is because all core models in the Rack and Pinion and Cam-Motion portfolio, including the DC200, DC300, DC500 and DC700, share identical mounting positions, fixing centres and positioning from the hinge. All Cam-Motion models include adjustable backcheck as standard All Cam-Motion models include adjustable backcheck as standard, helping doors avoid damage from colliding with walls or fixed items when opened fully. They also require only three valves to achieve perfect performance, with a two-stage latching action as standard via the singular latch valve. Ease of use David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY, explains, “As the inventors of the first Universal Cam door closer solution, we’re proud of our extensive product portfolio. Our Cam-Motion range stands out against competitor models as it has always been both unhanded and universal, offering four different fitting applications in a single unit.” “Additionally, Cam-Motion devices balance excellent performance and quality with outstanding ease-of-use. Because installation is simpler and easier, users can quickly enjoy the benefits of an attractive, discrete product that is fully compliant with fire regulations and durable to over half a million cycles.”
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is advising fire safety professionals on the importance of properly certified hardware and training, following warnings from experts in fire safety law that they may now be deemed responsible for any breaches. Liability for fire safety breaches is being increasingly pushed down from building owners and occupiers to those that have been consulted, assessed and advised on the appropriate fire safety solutions for a site. Should these products fail to perform as expected, then those professionals will be held accountable, and could potentially even be prosecuted. Need for suitable fire risk assessments ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland believes that this issue will be a real game changer for the industry, with architectural ironmongers, merchants, and safety and security consultants all set to be deemed responsible. Only recently, a representative from the internationally renowned law firm, Russell Cooke LLP cited a growing trend for building owners to hold suppliers responsible for a lack of suitable fire risk assessments and the use of inappropriate materials and products. In 2014 – for the first time ever – a risk assessor went to prison for nine months for a breach of health and safety rules. It is clear that accountability surrounding fire safety will fall to the supply chain more and more in the future. Compliance to fire safety regulations At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards" David Hindle, Head of Door Control Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, explains “We believe this issue will increasingly affect the entire industry. From architectural ironmongers that might be selling product with little or questionable certification, to merchants providing hardware that might not be fit for purpose, and consultants that are potentially not carrying out the right risk assessments for clients, the liability for fire safety in buildings will fall to professionals in the industry. After all, they should be the experts on this matter.” He adds, “It is therefore vital that all of these groups have the right accreditation in place to meet these demands. Relevant schemes include Warrington Certification’s FIRAS Installer Certification, BM TRADA’s Q-Mark Fire Door Installation and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery’s diploma.” Understanding fire safety legislation David further stated, “It is also vital that architectural ironmongers, merchants and consultants have a comprehensive understanding of the legislation covering fire safety matters in and around buildings, such as Approved Document B, BS EN 1634 and BS 476. Only by combining this specialist industry knowledge with recognized accreditation can professionals advise on and specify the best fire safety products. “At ASSA ABLOY, all our products are tested and certified to the appropriate fire safety standards, and we are taking increasing steps to ensure that those throughout the supply chain can feel confident that they have put forward a compliant solution.” Training and qualification on fire safety solutions David concludes, “We predict that we will be seeing many more instances where professionals will be held accountable for any breaches around fire safety. As a result, it is critical that those throughout the supply chain ensure products are certified, and they have the correct training and qualifications to be able to advise customers on the most appropriate fire safety solutions.”
The ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware & Access Control Group has launched an innovative door closer that offers unrivalled performance for user flexibility and fire safety for buildings in the healthcare, education and hospitality sectors. Unlike any other door closer in its class, the new DC300G-HF is a responsive solution, satisfying multiple door control issues for healthcare professionals, students, customers and staff. This includes flexible operation and use, while also maintaining full certification in all three modes and fitting configurations. The DC300G-HF is fully certified in all three modes: standard, free-swing and hold-open and all three fitting configurations– offering peace of mind and convenience for building owners, managers and installers, that they are legally covered. Meets fire safety requirements DC300G-HF helps meet and surpass both fire safety and accessibility requirements There are hundreds of door-closing devices available but, when analyzing their capabilities, it becomes apparent that not all are created equal. This not only applies to their adherence to fire safety laws, but also accessibility regulations. Simply put, in light of the Equality Act (2010) and Approved Document M, a building should be accessible to all – without restriction or the need for assistance. The DC300G-HF helps meet and surpass both fire safety and accessibility requirements. In the event of a fire, it reverts to a mechanical mode, either free-swing or hold-open mode. Uniquely, and for the very first time, the DC300G-HF has all the features and certification required to meet these demands, across all three modes and configurations. The new door closer is CE Marked (a legal requirement under the Construction Products Regulation) to EN 1154 and EN 1155 in all three configurations. Furthermore, soft-motion release (from 130-75 degrees) means the door is progressively shut, preventing damage to the door set and injury to users. BS 8300-2:2018 compliant door closer The DC300G-HF is also BS 8300-2:2018 compliant. Its safety credentials and performance (free-swing or hold-open mode with variable power EN 3-6) retains low opening forces, making it the ideal product for environments with high volumes of traffic, such as schools or hotels, and where users experience movement difficulty or strength issues, like care homes. The DC300G-HF is also incredibly flexible and cost-effective. Switching between modes on other electro-mechanical door closers can be difficult and time consuming. Often, two separate products or additional parts are required. The DC300G-HF offers a step-change in functionality, with all three modes in one product. Users can switch within seconds by simply adjusting three small bolts. Non-Polarity sensitive connection Each unit is individually tested and inspected and bears the high quality, award-winning design" Developed, designed and tested in the UK for the UK market, the closer is also easy to retrofit and upgrade with no re-drilling required, so fire certification is not compromised. Wiring on the hinge side and a non-polarity sensitive connection also makes wiring easy. David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, said: “A unique combination of flexibility and full certification makes the DC300G-HF the best-in-class, electro-mechanical rack and pinion door closer, for changing door use in busy environments. Each unit is individually tested and inspected and bears the high quality, award-winning design and guaranteed durability you come to expect from an ASSA ABLOY door closer.” “Our new DC300G-HF door closer is also part of a full suite of products, ensuring we can satisfy any requirements for high-performing and reliable door controls.”
Over three million fire doors are installed every year in the UK, yet incorrect specification, poor installation and a lack of maintenance is still a common occurrence. In light of this, and to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week, ASSA ABLOY UK is holding a dedicated event at West Midlands Fire Service’s headquarters in Birmingham to help raise the bar on standards of quality for fire door safety. The event will take place on Thursday 27th September and is aimed towards building owners, facility managers and persons responsible for fire door safety. Key topics on the day will cover the importance and future of fire door certification, common issues of fire door installation, inspection and maintenance, and the importance of compartmentalisation within high rise residential buildings. Fire safety case studies On the day, attendees can expect a discussion panel, speaker presentations and a series of case studies from representatives from British Woodworking Federation (BWF), West Midlands Fire Service, the NHS, and ASSA ABLOY UK. The draft by BRE Global highlighted that only 17% of door closers at Grenfell were present and working" David Hindle, Head of Door Controls for ASSA ABLOY UK, said, “The draft report produced by BRE Global on behalf of the Metropolitan Police, highlighted that only 17% of door closers at Grenfell were present and working. Door closers and other door hardware that impacts on the performance of a fire door or doorset are a critical part of fire safety and should be subject to performance standards and regular maintenance and testing.” Passive fire protection “After the success of our Fire Door Safety Week 2017 event, we wanted to continue to help educate professionals on raising the standards of fire door safety. We urge building owners, facility managers and persons responsible for fire door safety to attend this year’s event to learn more as we all have to start treating and recognizing ‘passive fire protection’ as critical, at all times.” ASSA ABLOY UK is paving the way when it comes to campaigning for increased fire safety awareness. An insightful and educational whitepaper was recently issued in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The whitepaper will also be showcased and discussed in-depth at the event during Fire Door Safety Week.