We asked our owner Jamie Lovatt about why Fire Door Safety Week is so important, and how it ties into our WJL Needle that provides our ‘golden thread’ of certification throughout a fire door’s journey from manufacture through to installation and maintenance.
Why is Fire Door Safety Week important?
FDSW is crucial in highlighting the importance of proper installation and thorough maintenance of a fire doorset not just during but following the construction phase of the building.
For us as a joinery contractor, it provides another opportunity to remind our clients how important it is to select an installer who can provide 3rd party accredited reassurance on a construction project and help them to provide their customers, the building owners, confidence in the knowledge that they are receiving a product properly installed, inspected and documented.
Only this way, can the owner properly fulfill their obligations to maintain their doors with confidence.
Why are WJL committed to Fire Door Safety?
There are two answers to this. Firstly, almost all of us live and work in an environment which is protected by a fire strategy, in which the doors will perform a fundamentally important life saving role in the event of a fire. We all have the right to assume those products have been selected, manufactured and installed safely, that is, within the parameters set out in the fire test conditions.
The business case is no more complicated. To perform as a joinery contractor supplying and installing fire doorsets, it is absolutely crucial that our products meet this straightforward standard and that we are able to demonstrate this is the case. Fire Door Safety is therefore not just the safe and proper selection of products and methods, it is the ability to demonstrate it.
What is WJL Needle? Why did you decide to start it?
WJL Needle is simply the external communication of our internal procedures to ensure every doorset we provide is supplied and installed in accordance with its fire test evidence. In properly understanding the risks, we developed our processes to mitigate them. It seemed obvious that we should communicate those processes to our customers.
What would be one piece of expert advice you would give in relation to the WJL Needle process/fire doors?
It would be to main contractors and it would be: understand that the doorset interfaces with other component parts of the structure which will impact the performance of the doorset under fire conditions. The two we would particularly highlight are the doorset’s threshold and the structural opening.
At the threshold, because floor and subfloor tolerances do not match those required by the test certificate, gaps under doors can be excessive or out of level. Similarly, structural openings are often not precise enough to ensure the fitting in gaps around the door frame are narrow enough to receive good quality fire stopping. In addition, the timber within the studwork is not substantial enough to provide the frame fixing with the 50mm of penetration required to ensure its integrity in a fire.
These are two simple fixes which just require some deeper understanding through training, from design managers, site managers and project managers alike.
If you have any questions about the WJL Needle, or any of our specialist doorset installations, please get in touch.