Fire Doors BIM4housing roundtables 20-06-2023

RICHARD The main purpose of this meeting is to update and make current the guidance in 12 fire critical assets that we put together over 2 years ago in much the same format as this, along with email conversations, side meetings, telephone conversations, zoom meetings. We got it all together and obviously with the Fire Safety Act and Building Safety Act it changes the perspective somewhat. We had a good meeting yesterday where a lot of new things were raised which will be going into the new guidance. I’ll hand over to George to put things into perspective a bit.

GEORGE Essentially, BIM4housing isn’t really just about BIM and what people perceive to be BIM, which is 3D modelling, it’s really about better information management. When we started this about 3 years ago we wanted to look at what information could make the job of people who are involved in development, design, construction, manufacturing, advisory and operations easier. So we set up working groups and these working groups are now very active, we have 6 meetings a year for each of them and in those we determine what information could make the jobs easier to flow information between the different processes. They then determine what activities need to take place, for example we’ve got a data workstream that’s produced standardised information requirements which we can share with you. Classification and reusable libraries, the fire safety teams have been the most active and the result of that is the 12 fire safety assets that we’ll be going through over the next couple of weeks. Sustainability is a big on, and also digital records.

So, there’s a lot activity going on, everybody volunteering their knowledge. To put it in context, one of the challenges is that we’ve got lots of people that need information for different purposes and the result of that is that often you’ve got different information, different levels of detail that needs to be presented in different ways. One of the ways which we’re trying to look at that so that e can eat this elephant is to look at what information is likely to change, to need to be updated. Therefore it’s variable or, indeed, active information, whereas fixed information or passive information is something that may be in a PDF you can read. The other thing is things like fire risk assessments and safety case reports, they’re obviously very valuable but they’re only correct at a moment in time and are somebody’s opinion. Whereas what we need as well at the same time is something that’s onward and live, so the safety management system is the important thing for housing associations. And obviously when things change risk assessments need to be rerun and it’s a matter of breaking out the things that might change like fire stopping inspections, and importantly being able to tie that back to an individual asset.

So, for example, we’ve got lots of golden threads happening now, which is fantastic, but it needs to be tied back to an asset so that we’ve got some sort of history of that asset so that when an inspection is done in Plan Radar or Riskbase or Hilti or CX, that information is always being recorded against an individual asset. The other thing is data sheets, we’re getting information in O&Ms which is great if you get the information, but the difficulty is the data itself isn’t auditable. So, here for example, this manufacturer’s got fire rating, here we’ve got fire rating described differently, and here it’s described differently again. So, that’s why we’re trying to move towards a situation where we’ve got standardised information requirements, and this is an exercise that we started 2 years ago with HACT to create standardised data templates. The different social landlords came together to agree a set of information that is common across all of the different systems they use. What we were doing as part of this exercise was to come up with a standard set of information which we could then map to Uniclass, IFC, and therefore also be able to have standardised naming for things. So, for example, an Automatic Opening Vent, it may be called an AOV or a smoke vent by different people, but they’re all the same thing really.

Overall we identified 245 asset types of which 71 were fire related and overall 152 are safety related. So it’s giving us the opportunity to focus in on the information that’s really important. The other thing is what data do we need about each of those items. COBie comes in two elements: there’s information that’s common to any product type, whether it’s a smoke vent, a fire door or a damper. The thing that makes it different is what attributes it carries as well, and that’s not so simple either because the BIM attributes are being largely compiled for design purposes. But then there is information that’s needed for cost management, for example, and Etim is one that merchants use. So, it’s a matter of really determining what information is needed. In this case from yesterday the AOVs, you’ve got a series of attributes there and most of those really aren’t important for asset management. So part of the purpose of this exercise is to really identify what information really is important in terms of the asset owners, and if we can do that it means that that information can be collected easily from supply chains.

This is building on work we’ve been doing for the last couple of years under the Golden Thread Initiative where we were asked to lead the asset and survey information group. There was 10 working groups in the Golden Thread Initiative and we’ve been doing the asset and survey information. The question we were asking of subject matter experts was what data do we need, and invariably the answer that we got was ‘it depends’. It depends on where that door is going to be, what’s it doing, how is ti expected to perform, and it’s not simple to find out what’s required because building regs themselves refer to 800 standards, so that’s why we try to focus on 250 asset types and then we’re drilling that down here to 12. These are the 12 that we’re working on for the next couple of weeks. We did AOVs yesterday, Fire Doors today, we’ve got Fire Dampers on Thursday and a couple of others on Friday. And this is the guidance, so this is what the team came up with 18 months ago.

A description of what a fire door is and then putting it in the context of a particular risk. So, in this case we’ve got a fire breaking out in a kitchen and then it’s a matter of looking at what measures are in place to prevent smoke spreading in particular. To achieve that, this is what the regulator or the HSE briefed us, was to say it’s all very well having the fire door working perfectly, but unless the rest of the compartment is going to perform then essentially the risk or the hazard hasn’t been mitigated. And if the smoke does come out then we need to look at things like smoke control and detection. So, it’s system-led thinking that we’re trying to encourage. I’m pleased to see that there is people in this group that aren’t just focused at fire doors, they’re looking at things from a wider perspective, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve. The guidance itself is initially what risk does that particular asset type mitigate. This is coming at it from the point of view of putting it into the safety case view. Also, what do people do to a fire door to stop it from working.

The next question we asked, which is the one we really want to concentrate on today, is what information is actually needed to ensure that it performs as required, that’s from a construction point of view as well. What tasks are needed to do installation, inspection and maintenance and what levels of competence are needed to ensure that the right people are doing the work and also, finally, how should any changes in the product actually be recorded. As part of this exercise we’ve also had a workstream looking at the inspection procedures so that e can actually standardise the way these inspections are being done, and there is a call out here to people on here who are involved in fire doors to provide some input to that. Overall what this means is if we can get this information right we can hold information about a fire door as machine-readable information that any software application can use and therefore it also means that the new things like BS8644 can then be applied in terms of information to that object throughout the whole scheme.

RICHARD Right, we’ll skim through all the early stuff on the document and get to the meat and nitty gritty with the questions. This is what risks does a fire door mitigate.

BRETT HIBBITT A quick question on the first few points on there. Risk of smoke buildup, risk of heat buildup, risk of spread of smoke - how can it mitigate the risk of smoke buildup and spread of smoke at the same time? A fire door definitely stops the spread of smoke, but by doing that it contains the smoke in one area, so it’s not mitigating the buildup of smoke, it’s actually creating that buildup of smoke in one area. So, I’d question the first bullet point there by sating actually it’s mitigating the risk of the spread of smoke, not the buildup.

RICHARD OK, take that out. This meeting will be recorded, there will be a video available. Also, we have highpoint notes done and we look through the chat and we use the chat. So, if you’ve got anything to say put it in the chat, the document is dynamic and Jiss will add that in as we go along.

SIMON WEST Just to counter that, could you not say that your first original point, you’re mitigating the risk of smoke buildup because the fire doors stopping the smoke building up on the other side of the door.

ALAN OLIVER I’m very much aware that this is the first meeting I’ve attended of this group and so I could be asking a really stupid question that’s already been covered, but just picking up the point risk of inhibiting safe exit from the building. I did look through the current words last night and it seems that nearly all the words relate to internal fire resisting doors, but there doesn’t appear to be anything at the moment on final exit doors or fire exit doors, some of which would be internal to evacuate some people from one building to another building internally, and that door would probably have fire resisting qualities. I’m opening up a big can of worms here, but I think there needs to be a section on final exit doors and fire exit doors because clearly they need to have a different specification, they need to be treated in a different way to internal fire resisting doors. But if we don’t deal with them under fire doors where do we deal with them?

RICHARD That’s a very good point, we’ll perhaps discuss that afterwards.

LAURA SMITH My point is in regards to bullet point 5. i think there needs to be a bit of clarity in how the fire door is preventing the spread of and products of combustion via cavities. To me, that’s describing more of a cavity barrier rather than a fire door if we’re talking about the concealed cavities you’d be putting a cavity barrier in, you wouldn’t necessarily see fire doors within your cavities.

BRETT HIBBITT I completely agree with that.

GEORGE Laura, would you like to take that away and give us an edited sentence. But we’re not going to get though all of this today, by the way. Yesterday we had a dozen or so people who volunteered to continue the work because they saw value in what we’re trying to achieve. So, if you’re interested in contributing to this, if you could put your name in the chat then we can follow up.

IAN CAVANAGH We need to be careful about going too far into this whole thing about what risk does it mitigate. In reality, everyone knows what a fire door does and we don’t need to have every single thing that’s included. The other thing, we shouldn’t just consider fire doors here, we should consider fire strategy, and in fire strategy the escape route is important, so it’s the escape route, the doors leading onto the escape route, and yes, of course, the final exit. We inspect doors, that’s the mainstay of what I do, but so few people inspect the doors leading onto the escape route. And of course clients are not aware of the requirements and, to put it bluntly, it’s no good having 500 perfectly compliant fire doors if when you get to your final exit door it’s chained up or you can’t open it because it hasn’t been opened for 20 years and it’s seized up. So we need to make sure that we try and move the overall focus on the fire strategy.

GEORGE I agree. I think part of the issue is that people will look at things from a point of view of the individual asset, whereas I agree that we need to be looking at things at a system level and the building as a system and that would be the fire strategy as well. But what I think we’ve got to do is provide some building blocks that people can work from, so it’s a matter of coming from the ground up and also the top down.

RICHARD We’ll move down to 1b. This is what risks is a fire door itself susceptible to.

GEORGE We added this in because, it’s a 1b because on the previous sessions we got some really rich information back. This is really sharing experience of doors being painted over, for example, and the impact of that.

IAN CAVANAGH The first and most obvious thing is the door not being installed correctly, that’s the biggest risk with a fire door. The second one is lack of maintenance.

LAURA SMITH I think apart from the material aspect of the fire door, the physical construction, the certification and stuff like that, during day to day use an aspect that’s probably forgotten a little bit is the connection of the fire door to cause and effect. So say it might be connected to a mag lock or they might put a security device on a final exit fire door, it might be in a mental health institute where you have high security but you have 60 minute fire doors as well. And in instances where they cause and effect isn’t programmed properly, or it isn’t maintained properly, the electric locks might fix into position where the door should be opened on activation of the fire alarms, sometimes it’s fixed into position and causing an entrapment situation. So in terms of the fire door being connected to other electrical and mechanical devices, there’s something there I think we need to be aware of.

SIMON WEST That’s a great point. I think a lot of awareness is required where fire doors are installed, you walk away and then the buildings responsible person suddenly decides to add access control. I think there’s a lot of information there that needs to be, from an education perspective on what is that cost control, how that effects test evidence of doors and regulations. You can’t just install a fire door and walk away, if the client then suddenly takes on the responsibility to add access control retrospectively. We’re having some CPDs with Assa Abloy, Roy Buckingham is doing, because something we’re acutely aware of, whilst e don’t install access control we’ve got to make sure the clients are aware of what it is and when we hand a compliantly installed fire door over, they can’t just suddenly then 8turn it into a door that’s not as per test evidence, specifically related to the access control. A lot more awareness needs to be made on that, that’s where a lot of buildings go wrong.

SIMON COLLERY In addition to listing risks, would it be possible to list the interactions between mitigations? Because as the first commenter pointed out, if you stopped smoke from moving around then you actually increase the tendency for the smoke to build up in one place, so mitigation can actually have some unintended consequences.

RICHARD Let’s move on to question 2. We’re going to go into a little bit more detail on this. Question is what information is required about a fire door. Anything glaringly missing?

LAURA SMITH I think considering all of the updates from the Hackitt review and all of the emphasis on the golden thread, digitalisation of the information and looking at the life cycle of the fire door, one thing we really need to focus on is the new technology where these NFC chips are being inserted into the door. I know that most of the major manufacturers, in the timber doors they do it, it contains an ISP link, so it contains all of the information from the manufacturing plant, the distribution on all of the doors. And also what you can do is you can interface that chip with your own repairs and M&Es databases so that you can look at the whole lifecycle of the door, every repair that’s been done on that door. I think that’s technology we really need to make more use of in the future to manage doors more responsibly.

RICHARD Absolutely. The purpose of this exercise is to determine what information should actually be there, what do we actually need.

LAURA SMITH So that chip is in the door so I think as specifiers and if we’re looking at fire doors, if you’re asking for the door certificate, the door number, the door schedule, you should ask for that chip information as well. It’s available on the internet or it can be scanned on the door. Most of these doors come with a very small chip, you don’t even know it’s there, so I think it’s responsible to ask for that information and looking at storing that information through the golden thread.

GEORGE I absolutely agree that we should be including that. One of the challenges, though, is that we’ve got that great information that’s coming through from the manufacturer, but then when the door is inspected by somebody they’ll probably use a different software application to do the inspection. And the same with maintenance. So therefore what we need to do is make sure…as you’ve said, the information that is available from the manufacturers, they ned to share it as an open protocol.

LAURA SMITH Yeah, most door manufacturers will just store this on the internet, they give you a link as a client and specifier and then you can download that information. It’s open, it’s up there for a year in most cases.

GEORGE Jeremy Malet from Shellen, do you have that technology in your doors?

JEREMY MALET We’ve just started it, we don’t use an NFC chip, we use a QR code at the moment. Obviously in time we might use an NFC chip, we need to get that tested as well with a full door set.

GEORGE And will you be making the information available to others?

JEREMY MALET We will, yes. On the QR code it will refer back to our main system and have that golden thread information about the door, components, specification etc.

GEORGE Just to clarify that, what I’m saying is I appreciate that the landlord or maintenance people will be able to access your website to see the information. I’m asking whether that is going to be in a machine-readable format that, for example, could be used in Civica Cx, or something like that.

JEREMY MALET I think that’s absolutely why I’m on this call, really, is to understand that we actually develop it in the right way so it does become open protocol.

ELLIOTT DAWSON Just to say that our NFC chip has been developed in that way, so whilst it’s an independent platform that other applications and other maintenance companies can access if ti did need to be data readable it’s stored in almost an Excel format. The one thing you can’t do obviously to make data readable is have your field of application on there which needs to be specific to the door itself or the range of doors that are in the building. Because from a manufacturing perspective, just because the door has one set restrictor on it or handle on it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been tested with something else, so you can replace with like tested product. So, it’s really important that the field of application is on there.

That’s never going to made public on a website, but it will be made available to the company that purchase the door, the local authority, the responsible person as they now call them. And the generic information that links back to substrates and the major components of the door will be machine-readable, but the field of application can’t be due to the nature of the document. Just to clarify, individual components will be on a data spreadsheet, so size, colour, will be machine-readable. But because of the nuances of a Word document which is the field of application we have a hundred different tests within one field of application, so you will not be able to have all the variants as machine-readable because there’s a hundred different permutations.

GEORGE If we look through this, let’s go to the top of the list of the information. I think the point that Elliott has made is a good one, and in fact we identified this yesterday. The information that’s coming through from the manufacturer is largely about the product and in many cases its about its dimensions and things like that, which is obviously important information. The door closer type and…some of this information would be provided on a PDF data sheet, but other information is likely to be specific to that particular install. Acoustic properties, for example, or U value properties, I’d imagine that’s pretty static, that would relate to the fabricated product. The gap tolerances and things like that, those would be useful to be machine-readable because that’s something than can then be used in an inspection.

RICHARD Does anybody else want to add anything into that? Any glaring omissions or something you don’t agree with?

ELLIOTT DAWSON Have we got the substrate or wall construction that it’s going into in there? Because that’s really important. It’s just to ensure that the door has been tested in that substrate.

IAIN McILWEE One of the common issues that we see is that if a door weighs more than 60 kilos, how do you fit it into the wall, because quite often you need an additional seal to support the structural weight of the door which means you’ve got to change the construction fo your wall to accommodate it.

SIMON WEST If any of the manufacturers can educate me, what I don’t understand is, we supply and install fire doors. We either get those primary asset fire door sets on a global assessment or fire door assemblies. What I don’t understand is how can builders merchants sell a fire door where it’s not lipped, it doesn’t have any seals in it. We supply and install fire doors to exacting sizes depending on the structural opening it’s going into to defined specification, so should there be some sort of guidance…how can you buy, for less than £100, a fire door off the shelf and then suddenly turn that into a designed engineered tested fire door assembly you’re going to install. It doesn’t make any sense.

ELLIOTT DAWSON You can’t.

SIMON WEST So why is this still allowed? Surely this should be outlawed? You need to get a designed engineered fire door set made to specification at the right size, either under primary test evidence, which is a fire door set, or a fire door assembly which is under global assessment which is the door core is lipped, it’s got seals on it and then you use the relevant mortice ironmongery as per the global assessment.

ELLIOTT DAWSON Are they selling internal doors?

SIMON WEST You can go to a builders merchant and pickup a fire door for less than £100, how is that possible?

LAURA SMITH A fantastic point, Simon, I totally agree and I think we need to be responsible, ethical and obviously we need to follow regulations which states that doors should be primary tested in the first instance, if not then you accept the field of application for global assessments. But I think if you look at hundreds of social housing blocks out there where there is antisocial behaviours, the fire brigade will knock a door down. What we do allow is to have what you’d class as a door blank, a door core it could be a sandwich door, a timber door, hopefully not composite doors, but a door that is designed to withstand, that’s just the core of the door itself, no ironmongery, nothing at all attached to it, that’s probably got the 30 minute fire resistance. And then we’d use that door as a temporary door to just block of the front entrance of the flat in the interim in lieu of having a completely certified fire door set being installed.

SIMON WEST The word is temporary, that’s the thing. But people don’t use it as a temporary, it’s used as a permanent solution.

LAURA SMITH Yeah, fortunately that sort of thing is being stopped in the industry right now because if there were to be a fatality or injury and the regulator were to ask you provide for us a door certification and evidence that this door was tested, resistance integrity and smoke, I don’t think you’d be in a position to provide that.

ROY BUCKINGHAM In response to the comments made by Simon, the UK market allows either fire door assemblies or it allows fire door sets. The fire door set comes from a single invoiceable supplier as a complete door set, door leaf, frame, ironmongery. Whereas a door assembly is a door leaf procured from one source, a frame possibly procured from somewhere else and hardware from somewhere else, and then assembled on site to create a fire door. There is a distinct difference between those, but not should achieve a fire compartmentation rating, provided they are installed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions that define the size parameters, the hardware parameters and everything else. The problem we have in the UK is that we don’t insist on competence to install those solutions to be proven. Hopefully with the introduction of BSI Flex and the competence standards coming through that will change and drive that to change to more competent people installing these solutions, but really what it needs is regulation.

RICHARD It’s funny you should say that. When we get to question 4, that is all about competence.

LAURA SMITH Something that we’re missing from this list is who actually installed that door, we’d need a named individual so that you could say who’d installed it, and which company they’re from. Because you’ve got the details from the manufacturer…

RICHARD Lets move on the second stage of question 2, because it’s an important one, it’s about the information.

GEORGE (shares screen). This is the methodology that we started to move towards that we’d like to build on, if you agree. This is something that’s an international standard, RACI. It’s looking at each bit of information and seeing who’s responsible for it, who’s accountable, who needs to be consulted, and who just needs to be kept informed. We’ve tried to look at the various different stakeholders, whether it’s the client or manufacturer or installer or commissioner, and look to see where this fits. Now, we’re not going to do this today, but if you agree with this approach then if you put your name in the chat and you’re willing to put 1 1/2 hours aside, we’ve going to set up some sessions on fire doors to go through this. This is an exercise that we did do, so we’ve actually gone through quite a lot of work already which you can then contribute to.

The thing I was going to say today though is that the other thing we’re introducing now is whether something is active or passive. So, what information could be delivered, probably is already being delivered maybe in product data sheets, that we can use, and which of this information is something that we would like to have as machine-readable information so software can interrogate it, people that are doing inspections can check the values e.g. gap tolerances, and in terms of the weight of the product as well because having the weight as a machine-readable value means that would be much easier to check.

RICHARD I think we’re finished with question 2 until we can do these additional meetings, so let’s move on to question 3. What tasks or procedures are required to ensure a fire door is installed, commissioned and inspected and maintained properly? Let’s start with specification and installation.

GEORGE Those things like the gap tolerances, if that information can be made available as machine-readable information then that would be useful. I asked Jeremy Malet to provide a couple of his data sheets just so that we could illustrate…I’ll start with the product specification. And if there are any other manufacturers on the call then I’d be very keen to have your contribution to this. This is what Jeremy’s company issues. You’ve got there some fairly detailed specification information there, the certification and those standards, and here we’ve got how the product performs. Ideally, this information should be in a machine-readable format, but I think we’re on a journey and therefore as long as we can at least get this information for each door that’s been installed, I think the asset teams would find that useful. Is there anybody on the call from asset management?

This is the certificate of conformity. So, I think these are called essential characteristics, so these are the things that really should be in a machine-readable form. So, of all the hundreds of properties that you’d want…Jeremy, do you know if these are common to all door types, all doors?

JEREMY MALET They’re pretty common, there might be certain differentiations depending on the range of the doors that we provide and install.

RICHARD And is the terminology the same, does everybody call it the same thing?

ELLIOTT DAWSON I’d say it’s certainly not standardised and if you wanted to put this in you’d have to list every single product that your door had been tested with because we offer 4 or 5 different closers, different hardware, different lock types, so to standardise it would be quite hard.

RICHARD In fact we could only do that in a machine-readable format, you couldn’t do it on paper.

GEORGE I thought this is part of what are called harmonised standards.

IAIN McILWEE That’s the declaration of performance, but the declaration of performance doesn’t cover fire, it only covers other elements of the performance, so for those elements it is covered, it is standardised, for fire it isn’t yet. If you took an external fire door, for example, it could be CE marked for its thermal properties, not for its fire properties.

GEORGE So, Iain, would you say that for a door…this is really for any door, that’s what we’re saying, is it? Whether it’s acting as a fire door or not.

IAIN McILWEE Yeah, the mechanism by which those need to be described is enshrined in the European standard.

GEORGE But it would vary according to how it’s being tested.

IAIN McILWEE That would then depend on how you would bring that product to market, whether you have a universal declaration of performance or whether you have an individual one for every product.

GEORGE OK. So, broadly would it be useful for this information to be machine-readable, or does that not rally help?

IAIN McILWEE The GIN, CWS and a few others have used the PDT now, haven’t they? i just put a link to it in the chat. I found out about it last week, so I haven’t had time to cross reference it, but my assumption is a lot of this stuff will be enshrined in there.

IAN CAVANAGH If we can go back to the heading of question 3. We need to be careful about where it says probable third-party accredited, this is one of my bugbears. I’m yet to see a compliant third-party certified installation, ever, so we need to be very careful about giving it automatic approval. It’s not the be all and end all.

GEORGE If you want to make an edit to that, Ian.

RANIE GOOLCHARAN I think it’s really important to establish and demarcate the procurement of the door, and then you have the commissioning installation of the door, but then also when the door has already been installed the third phase now is really important (and `I thought that’s what we were talking about), it’s the inspection and the maintenance of that asset.

RICHARD We started on the classification of the door, we go to the installation of the door, inspection and maintenance.

RANIE GOOLCHARAN You’ve got the same headings for every single topic, but for me, maintenance. So when the door has already been installed, you have the specification, you have the certificate of conformity, you have the primary test data, you have the field of application, you have the third-party accredited information, you have the blue mark whether it’s BM Trada or whether it’s Firas. You have all of these documents, you store that in your database because your door is already installed. I think what’s important now for us to look at the second phase is how do you inspect that door because that’s the point at which the door fails. A fantastic 60 minute fire door with all the ironmongery that’s listed on the field of application, perfectly installed by responsible installers, but then it’s not inspected and it’s not maintained. So, what is the information that you need for that stage.

RICHARD Can I make 2 points on that. The first point is, you’ve got all that information and it’s all perfect if it’s a new installation. If it’s existing, you haven’t, and most of the properties is existing. The second point is what you’re saying about the inspections, we’ve actually been running a number of workshops with Alan Oliver who wrote a standardised inspection regime for the NHS. And he’s currently putting one together, in conjunction with a number of our experts, for housing/residential. So, believe me, we’re on that.

RANIE GOOLCHARAN My closing point is I think in that form that you had, George, the information that would be important to have is from door manufacturers what do you need. If that door breaks, what are the allowed, what are the authorised ironmongery that you’re allowed based on the manufacturers instructions and the filed of application report. That is the list that you need from manufacturers. If the door is damaged, how many microns of paint, is it lead-based, what are you allowed to do to maintain that door. If the door is exposed to a weather, say it’s on an open deck balcony, it’s a fire door, what is the maintenance regime. That sort of information is really important during the inspection and maintenance phase and it’s really lacking. Landlords are just left in the lurch because they don’t have access to that sort of information and in a lot of situations the warranty is breached because of that.

GEORGE I fully agree. The question is how do we get that information. The view is it will all be in the O&M, but we know that it won’t. Unless we specify it, unless we say what we need, then we won’t and then it’s also a matter of making it attractive and simple for the door manufacturers to provide that information. Elliott, how would you be able to satisfy what Ranie has just asked?

RANIE GOOLCHARAN About the maintenance regime. When a door has been installed, normally the manufacturer will just say we advise that you maintain and you’ll keep you door, but it doesn’t actually give you a list of authorised products that you are allowed to change, certain types of ironmongery, door closers, letter boxes, if the paint was destroyed. They’re not going to send it back to your manufacturing plant so therefore if you provide a maintenance regime, something the compliance department can then take into account and say, for instance, you’re allowed 1.5 microns of this type of paint. It allows the door to be maintained and the life cycle do the door to be kept, and the integrity of the door to perform in case there was a fire.

ELLIOTT DAWSON That would all be held within the field of application. So, with your NFC chip that’s in your door you’d have a link to that and it would literally show you all the components parts that are allowed to be put onto that door. And that goes back to the point I made earlier about making it really hard for it all to be data readable because you’ve got so many variables that you could put on a tested door set. With regards to paint, we’re composite so you’d tend to find that you wouldn’t respray, if the door fades it would be within warranty, it’s almost a lifetime guarantee. Water-based paint doesn’t make a difference, it’s not an accelerant so it won’t be fire rated as such. But yeah, everything is in the field of application, there’s no desktop studies anymore, it is this door has been tested with this product, so that’s what it can be replaced with. So, for Roy’s example, we’ve got different closers that can be put on our door so you can go on there and look at the closers. If the closer has been damaged, as long as there is no external damage to the door as a result of it being taken off then it can be replaced with a product that is tested.

GEORGE How widely is what you’re doing being done by other people, Elliott?

ELLIOTT DAWSON I can’t speak for everybody, but we use a generic system provider which is an independent team and the more people that sign up with them, this data is available. So anybody that uses at NFC chip or QR code I would think would have that data accessible to the responsible person in some way, shape or form to allow maintenance of that product.

GEORGE Can I just clarify, this is really important: would that external provider, are they making that information machine-readable available to somebody that is maybe using Alex Oldham’s Civica system?

ELLIOTT DAWSON The only way we’d be able to do that is to deconstruct a Word document and put it into machine-readable format. At the moment it’s a Word document, so it’s not machine-readable really. But it could be made machine-readable.

GEORGE I’ve gone to far there by asking for it be machine-readable. Are you saying that’s available to be downloaded by the end client?

RANIE GOOLCHARAN A CD5 format, batch files, anything, it’s quite easy.

ELLIOTT DAWSON Well, it’s a Word document and it’s a controlled document, therefore you’re not able to touch or open or do anything with it, so from a machine-readable format, it’s not because it’s a PDF or Word document and you have to go to the pertinent place.

GEORGE As a landlord, would they be able to download it?

ELLIOTT DAWSON No. They could view it, but they couldn’t download it, it’s a controlled document. Fabricators can have it, I’d have to speak to our technical team to look at exactly how they could, but it’s a controlled document, they’re not allowed to edit it or touch it in any way, shape or form.

GEORGE So actually, for Ranie’s purposes it probably isn’t useable then?

ELLIOTT DAWSON well, it is, because if you’ve got damage to product number 1, Ranie Towers, they go in and look at that door and they can go, right, our door closer is damaged, what door closer? You go to the door closer section and it will give you products that you can replace it with. But it’s just not machine-readable, you couldn’t type in door closers and it go to it, you’d have to manually search the document to find it.

PENCHO STUDENKOV If you could just go back to the specifications, I think the specifications are a very important part of it. In terms of the gaps, this is just specific requirements for the gap tolerances, but in terms of specifications I think we should be more comprehensive. It should set out to what standard the fire door should comply in regards to fire, security, these kind of aspects, even the installation. Instead of referring to the door gaps which is a specific item, you can just refer back to manufacturing instructions in terms of door gaps etc. Also, to be in line with BS8240 in the specific standards. At this part, it’s important to set out exactly what you previously taught about the door assembly. So doors to be installed either as a door set or door assembly, up to this stage. You can actually decide, you can specify whether or not you want the primary test data no matter whether installing the primary test doors or door assembly, we can get that information from the door manufacturer in most cases.

IAN CAVANAGH Ranie’s discussion earlier about components in the door, again, we shouldn’t lose sight of this information should automatically be provided to comply with regulation 38, and we can’t escape that, that shouldn’t already be there. And clients need to be aware of the main contractors responsibilities to comply with regulation 38, all the information should be automatically provided, it’s nothing new.

SIMON WEST I think the whole world of the maintenance of existing fire doors is very murky and needs a whole separate conversation. Specifically when a fire door is client declared fire door, it doesn’t have an stamps on it, there’s no manufacturer’s evidence…maintenance works great on a fire door is there’s test evidence because it stands as an O&M manual and you can see what component parts you need to use to change and replace. Speaking as someone who surveys, installs, maintains fire doors, I’d say 70-80% of the doors we survey and maintain don’t have stamps on them, they are client declared to us. We’re seeing bastardised things done, upgraded random timber door into a fire door. I’s a very grey, murky world out there and it needs a whole separate conversation on a standardised set of rules, crib sheets, on what to do and what you can’t do to maintain an existing fire door that is not a stamped, labelled fire door, but the client has declared it as such.

RICHARD Question 4: What level of competency and training needs to be in place? So, we’ve got installation. Obviously the competency of installers, third-party accreditations. Have a look through that, who wants to add into there?

IAN CAVANAGH We’ve ignored City & Guilds qualified joiners in the various statements there. That’s a start. I don’t see that supervisors need to have a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in wood occupations at all, supervisors just need to be good at their job, and I think it’s somewhat restrictive to suggest that a supervisor themselves should be qualified.

RICHARD Has anybody else got any thoughts on whether supervisors need an NVQ Diploma?

RANIE GOOLCHARAN I think they absolutely do. The door is only as strong as how well it’s installed. In te BM Trada scheme, for instance, you have a supervisor being trained up to deliver that training onto a garage full of 20 chippies, for example, so really you have to have that level of accountability and I think it’s absolutely a step backward if we remove that competency, that training qualification and that accountability for that one main person that’s delivering the work of that team. Don’t forget they’re the ones doing the QAs and responsible for sign offs and stuff like that, so I disagree with that.

IAN CAVANAGH Ranie, I’m yet to see a third-arty certified compliant installation, ever, and I look at a lot of installations. Third-party certification is projected as being the be all and end all, and it really isn’t. One person cannot supervise 20 installers, they cannot physically do it, and if there’s any installers (I’m sure Simon will agree), one person cannot oversee 20 people. What we need is qualified installers at a personal level.

ALAN OLIVER I don’t disagree with everything that Ian’s saying, but the idea that he’s never seen a complaint third-party accredited installation is really concerning for me because by implication what you’re saying is that there is no such thing, and that’s certainly not the case. I’m not aware if you’ve ever seen any of our installations, I’m very proud of the fact that my company delivers fire compliant installations and we work in very tough regimes, we work in hospital trusts where we’re under a great deal of scrutiny. We do get adequately and robustly inspected by BRELPCB. I do agree with Ian that third-party certification and accreditation clearly isn’t the full story, and I’m aware there are some third-party accreditation schemes that are not fit for purpose.

RICHARD It seems to be more about the competency of the accreditation.

LAURA SMITH We’re using the word supervisors here, would it not be better to break it down and say if you’re actually physically installing a fire door we’d expect you to meet these competencies. If you’re overseeing or signing off the work of an installer we’d expect you to be able to demonstrate these competencies. I appreciate there are people who supervise others, but then there’ll be people that are signing the work off and I think we need to be clear who we’re intending needs to meet which competencies.

SIMON WEST I agree with most points here. We’re a third-party accredited surveyor/installer/maintainer, all of our surveyors do have NVQ and we’ve most of them from apprenticeships all the way up to where they are now, most of them are senior guys. I would like to think that they have a very decent level of knowledge in terms of how to install a fire door, but I would also argue that perhaps their role as a supervisor is to make sure that things are done compliantly rather than having actually to have physically installed a door in the past. We just happen to have installers that are previous installers as well and are now supervisors. I do agree that some third-party schemes are particularly flawed.

RICHARD Right, let’s continue, scroll down through installation. So, that’s the maintenance which we’ve touched on, anybody think that anything needs to be added into there?

PENCHO STUDENKOV The maintenance work should be also in part with…BS8214, in regards to installation, if you can add that because it’s a good kind of standard.

RANIE GOOLCHARAN One like for regulations because before I think maintenance was an objective thing, I’ll do it as reasonably practical, but now I think the law is quite clear, how often you have to inspect communal doors, front entrance doors, every 6 months, 1 year. So I think it’s quite important to specify in the maintenance adherence to regulation, not only British standard but also statue which now requires us to maintain within certain time frames.

IAIN McILWEE One of the things that’s quite important is to ensure whoever installs it does have some kind of interaction with whoever is preparing the door opening because the door installer…preparing the opening and the opening needs to be complaint for the door to be complaint and that’s something we’ve got to factor in.

RICHARD Question 5: How should product changes be recorded?

GEORGE The context of this is quite interesting because it’s really coming in from the fact that now the gateways are requiring design to be complete before construction starts, it seems to be starting to gain traction. So the change management process of going from a specification to the actual product is something that there’s a lot more interest in. We’ve started having conversations with MBS who produce the specification applications to see how we can glue together a specification with the product data.

The important thing here in general is if you think what we’ve got in this information is useful, what we need to do is figure out a way that we can turn this into something that people can consume, because otherwise it’s an overwhelming amount of information. So, if you’re interested in putting a couple of hours in to work on this, if you could put your names in the chat. Broadly, there’s 3 areas: there’s people that are interested in the data, so how can we take this and make it in a form that we can then interpret, so machine-readable information, for example. Others, you might be interested in process, and also there’s application. If you’re interested in particular in any of those three and you’re willing to make some time contribution then we’d be keen to get your input.

Also, if you know of main contractors, because obviously to some extent this is going to be driven through procurement, we want to engage with design managers and people that are responsible for maybe appointing works. So, if you’ve got people that you could introduce us to that we can bring into this conversation, that would be very useful. Most of the Tier 1 contractors are part of BIM4housing, but at the end of the day it comes down to who the individuals are. So, if Harry Jones is somebody that actually is appointing you on projects, either for doing refurbishment work or whatever, and you want to influence how they're thinking then let us know.

RICHARD Anybody got any thoughts on this change management question? Some of the asset types last time, we actually had two roundtables on, plus a lot more was done outside of those. And we thought we’d got everything nailed. Yesterday and today it’s quite astonishing how much extra input we’ve had that we can action on.

GEORGE Thank you very much for investing your time here today. Do you feel that what we’re doing here is useful?

ALAN OLIVER I think what we're doing here is essential, George, because I think we've already discussed today the fact that it's a real jungle out there. There's people who are doing training schemes, claiming that within 8 hours they can make people competent to install a door, inspect the door and sign off, maintain the door and sign off a door, which is absolutely ludicrous. We can't control or educate the whole jungle, but if we just focus on getting the right information and getting it out to the key people within the housing sector, we'll be doing the industry a massive favour.

GEORGE Laura, as a landlord, is this sort of information useful for you?

LAURA SMITH Yeah, I think aside from just myself there is a lot of housing associations who are a lot smaller than we are and I think it would be very beneficial to them as well as you’ve got housing associations that manage properties on a day-to-day basis for other companies, it would be helpful for them. I think we’ve just got to get it into a format that people would understand as well, outside of our industry, because at the moment I think they’d get quite confused.

ADDENDUM

CHAT

Buckingham, Roy

Fire compartmentation and escape go hand in hand in any properly created fire strategy for a building. The compartmentation protects the escape routes but fire doors within this compartmentation may also be escape doors and have to be easily opened to allow safe egress.

Laura Smith

I would be very interested in volunteering to assist with this

Jeremy Malet

Could it read 'The risk of spread of heat and smoke to other compartments internally'

Buckingham, Roy

Risk of modification

Iain Mcilwee

A few I noted were: Removal of closure
Re-sizing outside of scope
Glazing

Buckingham, Roy

I would also say lack of awareness by building ocupants of the purpose of the door

Iain Mcilwee

Also drawing on the concept of Execution Details in NBS - installation and ensuring consideration of compatibility in the partition has been allowed for.

Glazing should be "Glazed outside of scope and/or controlled environment"

Ranie Goolcharan

Fire Doors being connected to electrical or mechanical connections such as access control mechanisms (mag locks, hold open device, security panels, fobs) that has a risk of failure and thereby causing entrapment risks

Buckingham, Roy

if the hardware used to electrically lock an access control door is escape compliant and correctly installed entrapment cannot happen

Peter Wheeler

I think that user information is key, I've got a sheltered scheme that every time I visit I find that doors are wedged open. I'm drawing up a glossy leaflet for 'aftercare of your new fire door'

Ian Cavanagh

Q2. Who installed it and when.

Simon Collery

In addition to listing risks can we consider the effect a mitigation can have on other risks. For example, if you take steps to stop smoke moving around you can increase the risk of smoke building up, or make it more difficult to remove smoke from an area. Possible 'unintended consequences' of certain mitigations?

Simon West

More training and education required across the board for all stakeholders with regards to a fire doors access control, what is permitted, what is not permitted, particularly if access control is to be retrospectively fitted.

Iain Mcilwee

Just again to harping back to last one, "painted over" is an odd one, is this labels painted over??

In installation: Components missing (e.g. screws and hinge pads).

Great stuff from FDIS to help here
https://fdis.co.uk/2022/07/04/warning-as-three-quarters-of-fire-doors-fail-inspections/

Top three common reasons for failure: are excessive gaps, issues around smoke sealing, and care and maintenance issues.

Alex Oldman

Section 4: I'd like to see a section added to the competency/accreditation requirements for Inspections

Iain Mcilwee

Linking back to additional security being added outside of scope. Key here is to understand other performance requirements (e.g. thermal and acoustic).

Ian Cavanagh

We need to be cautious of ignoring the existing Regulation 38 requirements regarding fire safety date for fire doors etc.

Clients are generally ignorant of Regulation 38 and M/C's are obviously reluctant to provide / comply.

Ian Cavanagh

Primary test evidence on it's own is very limiting. A GA / FoA is required in reality.

Richard Michael

There doesn't seem to be a mention of Primary Test Evidence as an alternative to Global Assessments.

Iain Mcilwee

I was alerted to a new Doorset PDT that GAI have led the development of Doorsets (gai.org.uk), not managed to cross reference as only just alerted to it.

Michael O'Flaherty

Just a thought on gaps around timber doors. Do we know if these are prone to swell and shrink? A big challenge when carrying out quarterly and annual inspections. Also a risk that multiple rounds of adjusting will make the door gaps change more frequently as the screw holes become looser.

Brett Hibbitt

Type of door should include rating such as FD30s

Patrick Achief

How do we incorporate a door that are being upgraded to a fire door?

Iain Mcilwee

Weight of doorset is critical - if wall needs to carry more than 60Kg this will need to be factored in to the construction of the wall and how the opening is made and the boards can abbut. Also you may need to consider how the frame is fitted to the wall (often door manuf test demands fixing to timber, but the wall manufacturer may not support the timbe added to constructed - also need to consider fixings that would need to clear the timber and embed into the metal to cover the structural element needed).

QMark isn't the only certification scheme, IFC and Certifire use labels. think BSI also have a certification scheme (although not sure I have ever seen a door covered by it).

Woollard, Ian

Ranie is absolutley right. TEMPORARY DOOR. awaiting final primary tested door set

Jeremy Malet

Should there by a classification of fire door assemblies or doorsets under type or similar

Iain Mcilwee

Few other bits to consider e.g. if timber chain of custody information

EPDs

/LCAs

George with respect, could we consider language on this, dynamic and static may be better (passive is heavily associated with fire protection).

Buckingham, Roy

The key requirement for Q3 is Competence

Alex Oldman

Q3 - specification - all this data does need a timestamp when it's being taken Because gaps can vary been specification, installation and inspection.

Iain Mcilwee

This is perhaps where we could embed full performance requirements (e.g. fire, thermal, acoustic, environmental, wind load, finish) again the doorset PDT is a good starter.

Certification is also key as is perhaps any limitations (see the CCPI requirements).
PDT here agan in case lost - Doorsets (gai.org.uk)

Michael O'Flaherty

It says gaps between door and frame should be less than 4mm which is incorrect. 2-4mm. Less than 4mm suggests 4 in non-compliant.
Also need to take a view on what gap tolerance is reasonable and proportionate. It's very difficult to maintain the 2-4mm tolerance.

Ian Cavanagh

Not if installed correctly. That's the big issue.

This current subject is Regulation 38 in essence.

Iain Mcilwee

Is warranty the key word. It should detail how certification is maintained.

Need to be careful of how much detail - if we press that maintenance and inspection should be done by people who are competent to maintain and inspect. That way the asset owner is pushed towards people who will understand and are capable of ensuring that they know what to look for. Everybody doesn't have to know everything as George said at the outset.

Need to be cognisant of IP here and respect commerciality whilst providing the right amount of transparency. The vital thing throughout is we are always looping back to competence of installation, maintenance and inspection. That way "reasonable" assessments will be made and "informed decisions".

Ian Cavanagh

City ^ Guilds quals ignored
Supervisors don't need to be qualified.

Buckingham, Roy

There needs to be a competency standard defined for fire door installers a bit like the BSI 8671/BS8672 etc.

Jeremy Malet

should a supervisor have a level 2 or 3 in passive fire i.e. ASFP

Allan Harrison (Guest)

Insurance companies should be approached to confirm they accept upgrades of existing fire doors.

Iain Mcilwee

Occupational Works Supervisor Qualifications are an important safety net, but Ian make a point that is important to capture. The theory is right, but there needs to be a balance between organisational capability and occupational competence.

Pencho Studenkov

1 supervisor responsible for a maximum of 10 installers?

Jeremy Malet

competency matrix?

Laura Smith

Where we are stating the competency that people need to meet it needs to be very clear who needs to meet what competency. E.g. if you are installing a fire door you need to meet this list of competency. If you overseeing others work you need to meet this competency list

Ian Cavanagh

Maintainers should ideally be capable of installing.

My thoughts on TPC v Personal Quals.
https://www.firedooracademy.co.uk/tpc-installation-schemes-v-personal-qualifications/

Iain Mcilwee

Critical liasons: The contractor who is responsible for preparing the door opening, less prevalent, but possibly also the flooring as again issues can occur.

Richard Michael

Perhaps split maintenance into two parts, inspection and repairs. Inspection could be done on one property visit to include other items that require annual servicing (MVHR/TMV/HIU etc). Any repairs identified could then be carried out by someone with additional qualifications. This would assist on social housing where access can be an issue.

Pencho Studenkov

re Specifications: Suggestion- To be more comprehensive and specific to the fire door design and installation - i..e Timber Door sets to meet ADB, and relevant British Standards in regards to Fire and Security (BS 9999; BS9991; BS 8214; BS 465-22; BS 476-31; ES EN 1634 part 1 and 3, Approved Document Q/ PAS24, etc.). Doors to be tested as a complete installed assembly with all primary tests reports provided. All door must have undergone testing at a UKAS accredited test laboratory.

Ranie Goolcharan

Maintenance of Fire Doors is now a regulatory responsibility, i.e. BSA & FSA and Fire doors should now be checked at least once every six months. If the door is in a high traffic area or used frequently then they should be checked more regularly e.g. once a week/month as signs of wear will appear more quickly with increased use. Reference to statute requirements are essential to mention in maintenance regimes;

Jeremy Malet

quarterly for communal doors in buildings above 11 metres

Ian Cavanagh

It has been for at least 17 years. Sadly very few clients have adhered.

It is a step in the right direction.

Iain Mcilwee

great to get that wider context played in. I think as a final comment, it is useful, next step to consider how it will be used and embed in e.g. NBS and referred to in specification. Think needs to link to the work GAI have done with others.