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Why Specialist Training is Key to Improving Fire Door Safety

Nicola John, Managing Director of Fire Door Maintenance (FDM), explains the vital need for accredited fire door safety training and how a new facility will help the public sector raise standards.

Fire Door Maintenance (FDM)

The need for more stringent fire door installations, inspections and maintenance is intensifying across the public sector. Post Grenfell and in line with the demands of the Building Safety Act 2022, improving overall quality, compliance and competence is essential. Although changes to fire safety regulations will help to meet these aims, there are skills and knowledge gaps that still need to be filled.

Fire doors are essential in preventing the spread of fire and smoke, yet anybody can install, inspect and maintain them – and that needs to change. As highlighted at the Grenfell inquiry, 106 of the 120 doors in the building had been replaced and comprised different hardware from the tested door. This issue contributed to the doors not performing as expected.

To address these safety risks, more training is required, including a focus on the importance of primary test evidence. That is why FDM has launched a new Training Academy, which is the UK’s first practical training centre for the fire door industry.

Raising the bar

Purpose built, the 3000ft2 Training Academy aims to raise safety standards across the industry. Comprising different types of fire doors and components from a range of manufacturers, the facility provides a dedicated space for hands-on training plus classrooms for theory-based learning.

Accredited by GQA Qualifications, an awarding body for specialist and occupational roles, a variety of courses are on offer focusing on how to deliver fire door inspections, maintenance and installations to the highest standards.

The Hackitt report underlined the importance of the ‘golden thread’ and this is at the centre of the accredited training. Each course underlines and explains the risks of changing or substituting components in a fire door. After completion, participants will receive a GQA skills card proving their ability for when working on site.

A variety of awareness courses are also being developed for any public sector workers seeking to learn more about fire door safety, including representatives from housing associations, local authorities and the emergency services.

Boots on the ground

As part of FDM’s offer, the Training Academy is being used to provide bespoke training for our own operatives too. This 400-strong workforce is available to housing associations and local authorities seeking to outsource fire door inspections, maintenance and installations.

Before any work begins, details of the manufacturers of the fire doors within a building are sourced. This information is provided to operatives at the Training Academy ensuring they know exactly what to look out for during the inspection, including any potential risks.

Turning the tide

The pressing need for more thorough fire door installations, inspections and maintenance has spurred the demand for specialised skills and knowledge. High-quality, accredited training is key to ensuring all those responsible for multiple fire doors can achieve compliance and set higher safety standards.

Nicola John, Managing Director of Fire Door Maintenance (FDM),

Contact Fire Door Maintenance (FDM)

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