Installers and specifiers are still not fully aware of the many options available to them to help manage social distancing and limit direct contact with ironmongery and doors, says the ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK&I.
In line with a recently updated guide from the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers and Finishes and Interior Sector, which outlines how business owners can use partitioning and ironmongery to help manage social distancing, ASSA ABLOY’s extensive portfolio means its products can help with these issues in a number of key ways.
“During these times, it’s no surprise that installers and specifiers are being asked about the most suitable products to fit,” says Eryl Jones, Managing Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. “It’s critical to advise decision makers on practical product choices, which not only meet the needs of the here and now, but which also provide long-lasting, compliant solutions too.
“For existing hardware, the truth is nothing will beat a regular and thorough cleaning routine. However, for new installations, there are a variety of considerations that installers and specifiers will want to bear in mind when advising their customers. Here are our top ironmongery tips on how to manage social distancing and limit contacts with doors.”
- Seek specialist closing devices
To minimise contact with a door, many will be tempted to keep doors held open. This, however, must not be done with fire doors, but this challenge can be overcome with electromagnetic hold-open units. Connected to the building’s fire alarm system, these will automatically release in the event of a fire, helping to keep people and property safe.
ASSA ABLOY’s DC300G-HF door closer is commonly specified for these applications, with the option to not only choose hold-open but free-swing functionality too. This enables the door to operate without any resistance, so it can be left open in any position. However, just like with the hold-open feature, should a fire alarm be activated, the electromagnetic feature will release the door and ensure it’s closed securely.
- Provide personalised keys
Users sharing keys can quickly increase the spread of bacteria and germs. An access control system that employs individual keys puts a stop to this, and simplifies key management too. Electromechanical solutions use high-end micro-electronics and programmeable keys and cylinders to overcome this challenge.
ASSA CLIQ® Remote is one such system. A popular, award-winning solution, it allows all users to have their own personalised keys for doors, eliminating the need to share keys. A recent success story has been with the Hean Castle Estate, with ASSA CLIQ® Remote ensuring managers stay in control of access rights across the site at all times. Another long-term benefit of the system, according to Trustee David Lewis, is its flexibility. “As the Estate expands, the ASSA CLIQ® Remote system can grow with it,” he says. “The system is now simply part of the infrastructure of the Estate; should we need more cylinders or padlocks added to it, then this is an easy and hassle-free process.”
- Adopt anti-microbial solutions
Anti-microbial solutions, or ‘touch-safe’ as they’re often called, offer a proven way of preventing bacteria from spreading. In the current climate, it’s unsurprising that installers and specifiers are receiving an increased number of enquiries about these solutions. It’s worth noting that these products might not offer the best long-term solution, as they can lose their potency over time. Nevertheless, they are easy to install and cost-effective.
Customers might also want to consider anti-viral copper tape products, which simply wrap around a clean door handle, for a quick, temporary ‘touch-safe’ solution. For example, UNION has developed GripSafe to meet this need, which has been proven to inactivate 99.98 per cent of corona viruses.
- Don’t forget about ancillary products
When considering ironmongery and doors, it’s can be easy to forget about other ancillary products that can help limit and mitigate the risks of spreading bacteria. If there are concerns around products that could provide surfaces where bacteria may collect, then concealed products offer an assured solution. From concealed hinges to concealed door closing devices, ASSA ABLOY has a range of products available for guaranteed peace of mind.
Another factor to think about is signage. Given the current climate, specifiers may want to consider signage relating to hand washing and sanitising, social distancing, and other measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of germs.
- Making sure products are up to mark
While not directly relating to helping manage social distancing or limiting contact with doors, the final tip is on product marking, as it’s vital that solutions with the appropriate product marking are being specified and installed. With the new UKCA and UKNI marks introduced from 1 January 2021, it’s crucial that installers and specifiers understand the implications for products that do not have the correct marking in place. Not only will product marking be invalidated, but the potential implications for all those involved throughout the supply chain could be very serious, including significant fines and penalties.
ASSA ABLOY is taking all the appropriate steps to ensure its products have undergone the correct third-party marking for goods being sold into Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Those with questions or concerns around ironmongery product marking should not hesitate to contact the ASSA ABLOY team to discuss in more detail.