Many people may not be aware that my background is as a site and factory carpenter, before spending a year training installers at a previous company.
I would like to think that one of my main areas of expertise is the installation of fire doors and there are few things that I have not seen – but I am still shocked by the poor level of installation that can be found at times
Technically, nothing has changed over the years in relation to how a doorset should be fitted, what gaps we should have, and so on. However, due to tragic events in recent years, more and more installations are being inspected in greater detail and major quality issues are being picked up which, in the past, may well have been either ignored or signed off as being acceptable.
This is worrying, as what used to be acceptable now, quite rightly, isn’t, so how many doors out there have been installed when there was less scrutiny and is this a safety concern?
This change is long overdue. We cannot accept poor installation, and everyone is responsible for helping raise and maintain standards, from the site management to the installer.
Something I don’t think many installers realise is that if they fit a door incorrectly, someone could die. Could you live with this? I know I couldn’t.
So how do we increase the quality of the installation? The key things here are time and attention to detail. You cannot rush the installation of a fire door. Care and attention need to be taken to ensure the product is fitted correctly, with the correct gaps etc. Don’t be fooled into thinking that using a door set will absolve you of this, No, you still need to ensure the product is fitted correctly.
This is the first step to improving the installation. The second is ensuring the installer is professionally competent.
There are high level talks within the industry about competency and how this is measured, Technically there are only a few ways to demonstrate competency. These are:
Stairways Midlands recognises that some of these options may not be cost effective due to the size of the installation business. Therefore, we recommend that the minimum should be:
Don’t forget, if you are an installer, the better the install, the better your credibility grows which can lead to more work in the future.
We have all seen images on LinkedIn of poor installation. Do you want your install to be one of those?
Technical Manager (Doors Division)
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