Features and Opinion

Achieving complete compliance for fire doors

A year on from the Building Safety Act 2022 becoming law, Jason Tonks, technical product manager at Zoo Hardware and member of the GAI’s Technical and Education Committee, explores how architectural ironmongers can achieve the highest standards of compliance by specifying architectural ironmongery that has been independently tested and certified.

When the Building Safety Act came into effect, it set the foundation for a new building safety regime. It supports the delivery of buildings that are safe and in line with the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s report from 2018, following her independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety in response to the Grenfell Tower fire disaster of 2017. 

Having been launched to parliament in July 2021, the Building Safety Act 2022 introduces new duties for the management of fire and building safety in high-rise residential buildings. It is one of several key pieces of legislation and guidance implemented by the Government to enhance building safety.

One of the most crucial aspects of the Building Safety Act 2022 is that it is designed to help people to both feel safe and be safe in their homes, alongside changing the way buildings are designed, constructed, and managed.

Alongside the launch of the Act, we have also seen the establishment of the Building Advisory Committee and Industry Competence Committee as part of the Building Safety Regulator, where they will be given powers to enforce the rules and act against those that break them. 

And for high-risk properties, the committees will be able to implement more stringent rules, including how they are designed, constructed, and occupied, while owners/managers will be required to collect, monitor, and manage data on their buildings.

Critical role of fire doors

Fire doors play an essential role in mitigating the spread of smoke and fire throughout a building, and also offering a safe means of escape. It is therefore vital that the door successfully performs to its stated standard in the event of a fire and the hardware plays a key role in helping to achieve this. 

Some items of ironmongery such as hinges, door closing devices and locks/latches are classed as essential components of a fire resisting door set, and it is vital that every piece ofthat ironmongery is proven to be compliant and compatible with the complete door when it arrives on site for final installation.

Specification and supply of essential items of ironmongery also brings many risks in terms of ensuring ironmongers have the correct test evidence and mandatory certification to support the product, especially as there is such a wide and varied choice nowadays and the further down the chain this goes towards the end user, the more critical the knowledge of choosing of the right essential items of ironmongery is.

So to help professionals in achieving this, Zoo Hardware has launched a series of residential and commercial fire door kits which include those essential items of ironmongery (hinges, door closing devices, locks/latches) that have been performance, fire tested, UKCA/CE marked and CERTIFIRE approved where applicable for specification and supply onto the common fire door set types in existence in accordance with the relevant European standards to suit both 30 and 60 minute fire rating.

The kits also include the relevant signage and intumescent fire protection packs for morticed hardware, depending on the application to comply with building regulations and can also provide specialised built kits.

The range comes with multi-finish options including black, brass and bronze finishes that is supported by test evidence and certification.

As the construction industry embarks on its new safety regime, architectural ironmongers and manufacturers can work together to ensure every fire door achieves complete compliance and guarantees maximum safety throughout its entire lifecycle, in line with the latest requirements of the Building Safety Act 2022. 

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