Fire Protection Article – Q1 2019 | Change is in the air
Government departments are pouring over technical data and preparing new directives, trade bodies are examining every aspect of potential market implications. No, this is not another missive on BREXIT, but the reality of the changing world concerning Fire Doors and related risk critical products. Change is in the air and everyone should be aware of the urgent need to specify truly compliant products that play a significant role in the process of safety.
Following the tragic events of the Grenfell disaster in 2017, a greater understanding began to emerge regarding the lack of a holistic approach to fire safety and the evident shortcomings of custom and practice, where the cheapest solution took precedence over properly certified and tested fire safe product solutions, such as fire doors and fire door assemblies.
The recently published document Building a Safer Future, commits the government to a programme of reform which includes:
- The implementation of the Hackitt recommendations
- Create a more effective regulatory and accountability framework
- The introduction of clearer standards and guidance
- A vision to create a culture change
The result of these actions will mean tougher sanctions for those who disregard residents’ safety, and more rigorous standards. In fact the Government has committed to carrying out a full technical review of Approved Document B. This will propose potential changes to a range of technical issues within the current Approved Document.
While we all await the inevitable changes to legislation and good practice, it is encouraging to learn that Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent recommendations will form a cornerstone of the changes to come. Shaping future product specification, installation and ongoing use throughout the life cycle of buildings.
For specifiers struggling to evaluate fire door solutions in this changing world, especially in respect to residential high-rise and complex buildings. It is comforting to know that Vicaima fire performance products offer a benchmark to the industry, with exceptional test evidence and incorporating key elements of Hackitt’s recommendations that less enlightened manufacturers have yet to adopt. Third party accreditation is assured, as Vicaima adhere to not one but two nationally recognised and highly reputable bodies to verify the performance of our products, namely BWF-Certifire and BM TRADA Q-Mark. In each case traceability is always visible with the use of tamper evident labels and plastic plugs to provide clear understanding of fire rating and of course origin of manufacture. This simple but effective marking, alongside a detailed inkjet stamp system to identify exact date of manufacture, enables Vicaima to establish complete control of our products throughout their lifecycle.
Of course the fire door in itself does not provide the complete solution, this can only be achieved with compatible and rigorously tested components, including the correct frame and ironmongery. This is why alongside fire doors, Vicaima also manufacture an extensive range of doorset and kit solutions to create a complete, fully tested assembly via our Easi-Fit and Portaro brands. Doorsets represent a growing trend, advocated by government and industry as the way to ensure the whole system is safe and compliant. Vicaima peace of mind encompasses a full scope of performance characteristics for current and future housing specifications, namely:
- Fire Tested to BS 476 Part 22 and BS EN 1634-1:2014
- Secured by Design (SBD) approved products
- Acoustic performance, both inherent and additional as required
- FD30 and FD60 rated, plus smoke seals to FD30s and FD60s
- Durability with DD171 and EN 1192 severe duty rating, class 4
- Mobility provision via glazing and dimensional flexibility
- Environmentally robust (all products are FSC Certified)
- Longevity with a 10 Year Guarantee
As specialist fire performance door manufacturers Vicaima have long understood the need to go above and beyond industry norms and simple compliance to provide cutting edge and safe solutions that are fit for today’s market. Vicaima has always prided itself on the construction of its fire doors, never cutting corners or compromising, regardless of whether it’s a humble painted door or a fashion conscious designer product. Performance and design go hand in hand at Vicaima with innovative designs options encompassing finish foil, veneer, laminates and paint lacquered surfaces; including cost effective products for demanding projects.
Whatever future regulatory changes lie in store for our industry you can be assured that Vicaima fire performance offers appropriate solutions and the first choice for a safer tomorrow.