Richard Kowalski, our Technical Manager for Doors and in-house door set guru, shares his thoughts on why door sets should be used in more builds.
Over Christmas, as the end of 2022 approached, I had some time to sit and ponder a big career milestone which passed earlier that year.
I’ve now hit the 25-year mark within the door industry having started out at the young age of 18. As I thought back to all those years ago, I can recall that the industry was pushing the use of door sets, trying to persuade developers and builders away from the traditional style of hanging doors on site.
Incredibly, a quarter of a century on and we are still beating that same drum – and unfortunately, it still feels as though we’ve made little progress within the industry. We are still pushing the use of door sets, and despite all the inherent benefits with regards to speed and ease of installation and stronger fire safety credentials, we find many customers still reluctant to use them. We are still talking about the ‘traditional’ way of installing doors. Why is this? How can we do a better job of communicating to our customers the benefits they’re missing when they don’t choose door sets for their development?
With fire doors at the top of the fire safety agenda within the construction industry, door sets are, quite simply, the easiest solution to ensure that a door is compliant with statutory requirements.
Stairways ensures that every door set supplied is compliant, and crucially that all the components are tested together, so that the only thing needed on site is to ensure the door set is fitted correctly.
What many developers and site managers fail to appreciate is that if you don’t purchase a door set, it will be the responsibility of the installer and site team to ensure that the door set finally built onsite is compliant. That means they need to check and ensure that the frame is suitable for the door, the correct intumescent is used, the correct ironmongery used and so on. That is a lot of additional responsibility to fall on the shoulders of people not necessarily experienced in reading a fire certificate and who may lack the understanding of what is required for a door to be compliant.
So many people make the mistake of thinking that just because something says it is fire rated that it will be suitable to be used. In fact, the certification for a door has very specific rules which must be followed to ensure the door, once created in its entirety, is compliant. Failure to follow this could cause it to fail – which is not only a failure of compliance, but much more importantly could have serious, even deadly consequences for anyone using that building down the line.
I’ve said it before – and no doubt I’ll say it again; remember, the next time you need a fire door, buy a door set. It’s easier, safer and will save you time and effort.
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