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Global HSE Group outlines approach to ‘golden thread’ for fire doors

06 December 2022

AS OF Monday 23 January 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations will come into force. It will then be a legal requirement for all ‘Responsible Persons’ presiding over multi-occupied residential high-rise buildings (ie those structures upwards of 11 metres tall) in England to undertake quarterly checks on fire doors (including self-closing devices) in common parts. In direct response, the Global HSE Group has devised a detailed approach to ensure that the ‘golden thread’ of information for fire doors is maintained through its Ceasefire composite FD30 fire door range.

The Phase 1 report from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry duly noted: “Fire doors play an essential role in preventing or inhibiting the spread of smoke and toxic gases and in preserving the effective compartmentation of buildings.” The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report also stated that, through damage and/or disrepair, those fire doors present in the North Kensington structure didn’t act in the way that they should have done to prevent smoke and gases from spreading.

Recommendations 33.29 (a) and (b) issued by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry panel outline that the owner and manager of every residential building containing separate dwellings should carry out an urgent inspection of all fire doors to ensure compliance with current legislative standards and that regular (ie no less than every three months) checks be conducted to ensure all fire doors are fitted with an effective self-closing device (which is in working order).

‘Responsible Persons’ should take into consideration if there have been any alterations or damage to a fire door’s glazing apertures or air transfer grille, if there are any gaps around the door frame (are seals and hinges fitted correctly?) and whether fire door closers shut the doors. Fire doors must close correctly around the entire frame. Further, there should be no visible damage (either deliberate or the result of wear and tear) to the door (or door closer).

If any issues are identified during checking procedures, it’s then appropriate to undertake more detailed checks of fire doors (and/or the self-closing devices). It’s at this point when thorough consideration should be given to engaging the services of a specialist such as the Global HSE Group, bearing in mind that any proven failure to comply with the Fire Safety (England) Regulations will result in legal and/or financial penalties being issued.

‘Golden thread’ approach

One of the most important elements of the Government’s legislation is the introduction of the ‘golden thread’ approach espoused by Dame Judith Hackitt in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. This is being introduced to link up and detail every stage of, for example, a fire door’s journey within a given building’s lifecycle.

In essence, the roadmap asserts that all components of fire doors must be rigorously tested, manufactured, surveyed, installed and maintained, with all of these procedures documented in detail. The process itself works to ensure compliance and traceability in a given building and, importantly, assists in the avoidance of bad practice.

The approach is made up of seven individual stages: design and testing, specification, surveys, manufacture, installation, audited inspection and, last but by no means least, maintenance.

Ceasefire is the Global HSE Group’s composite FD30 fire door range, which is certified to PAS 24 and also has Secured by Design approval. The company can conduct site surveys and then supply and install these fire doors to meet bespoke end user requirements in an “industry best” lead time.

All of the company’s fire doors are manufactured from sustainably sourced materials and agrifiber cores and boast a lifespan of up to 25 years. As a business, the Global HSE Group is ecologically conscious and always endeavours to recycle all fire doors that are removed in the process of new ones being installed. Further, over 90% of the Global HSE Group’s fire doors are either recoverable or recyclable.

‘Responsible Persons’ must be aware that, if any fire door has been installed by a non-approved installer, the warranty and quality of the product may well be negatively affected. The Global HSE Group’s fire door installers are trained to the highest standards in the entire ‘fire door system’.

In point of fact, they are Q-Mark certified ‘Composite and Timber Fire Door Installers’. All of the Global HSE Group’s fire door installers are audited and third party approved by BM TRADA, which works to replicate their competency.

NFC tracking

In order to ensure that all relevant data regarding a given fire door’s lifecycle is accurately documented, the Global HSE Group has teamed up with application software developer PlanRadar to implement NFC tracking for all Ceasefire-branded fire doors.

This software involved enables all documents relevant to the lifecycle of a fire door to be uploaded and securely stored. This renders the checking process far easier if specific individuals require access to the data at any point.

The documents cannot be manually deleted – and, therefore, will never be lost – while all of the necessary documentation is always readily available. Easy and quick access to manufacture and installation data helps to identify any major and/or minor alterations required subsequent to the most recent fire door inspection procedure having been conducted. This is absolutely crucial as it’s sometimes all-too-easy to overlook small alterations that can actually render a fire door non-compliant.

The Global HSE Group promotes full traceability from project conception to completion using digital data capture at the four key phases for complete asset management under the BM TRADA Q-Mark 170 scheme.

In fact, the continual provision of fire safety through the delivery of passive fire protection solutions from project conception through to the construction process and on again to remedial works is a specialty of the business.

*Further information is available online at www.globalhsegroup.com