Apeer is determined to ensure that its new range of fire doors is entirely fit for purpose: and that includes their installation. Managing Director Asa McGillian describes his company’s approach in developing its new composite fire door range
The recent second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy (14th June) has served as a strong reminder of the importance of getting fire safety right. This clearly remains a priority for many, including those working hard to ensure the construction industry is supplied with reliable, compliant products, including fire doors.
Grenfell triggered a sweeping response by the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government (DHCLG) through which every component of the Grenfell Tower has been extensively tested and re-evaluated, the government is determined to leave no stone unturned. The result of this process was the effective moratorium on the sale of composite fire doors, following the discovery that many of such products installed – and not just limited to Grenfell – had not been tested on both sides of the door. And although the residential doors installed in Grenfell Tower were also found to fail the FD30 fire rating, they were not implicated directly in the cause of the tragedy.
The composite fire door industry has necessarily been through a renaissance and, we believe, quite rightly so. Whilst fingers will be pointed in due course about responsibility for the decision to pass doors based upon the testing of just one side, under the close eye of a government determined to be seen to be doing the right thing, manufacturers of composite fire doors must produce products that are above and beyond reproach. And that includes Apeer.
As one of the UK’s longest established composite door manufacturers, we have control over every process that goes into the production of all of our doors. And despite the renewed pressure to produce fire doors that meet the current regulations, Apeer continues to produce all of its products in excess of published standards.
With this background in mind, Apeer has developed and launched a new portfolio of GRP fire doors – the Isolate range. Of key significance is that whilst a number of companies have been able to produce solid composite fire doors that meet test standards, few have been able to produce and successfully certify products with apertures for glass, spyholes and letterboxes. Apeer has managed to include such features and still successfully pass, and exceed, the minimum test requirements.
In addition to options for spyholes and letterboxes in the new styles, the doors also come with a 3-star cylinder for maximum security and a Pyroguard double glazed IGU for the glazed version. As with all its composite doors, Apeer is able to offer Isolate doors in a wide range of standard, premium and RAL colours, thanks to its in-house, high-tech paint line, with customers able to specify and order the products quickly and easily via the company’s online Door Builder.
However, the manufacture of compliant composite fire door products is just one aspect of the supply chain, believes Apeer. The company considers there are two key strands to the process of ensuring that standards are met: in addition to compliant products that exceed the Building regulations, Apeer believes that it has a responsibility to ensure their responsible, correct installation.
To this end Apeer trains all of its fire door trade partners at the factory to ensure correct, thorough, high quality installation of their products. This includes ALL individuals who will be installing the doors, not just key members of installation companies – if you haven’t been trained by Apeer, then you can’t fit their fire doors.
This rule ensures that individuals throughout the supply chain are not just fully trained but that they accept the appropriate responsibility for the correct installation. A poorly fitted window or door can be repaired or replaced with little impact to the homeowner other than maybe a leak. A poorly fitted fire door can have far more serious, and permanent, repercussions, as well as generally being far more costly, in money and time, to repair the total damage.
The fallout from the Grenfell Tower tragedy is the forensic examination of every aspect of fire safety. Apeer is determined that its fire-related products will never be found lacking, that they are fully fit for purpose in the fullest sense of the term.
ISSUE: JULY 2019