What To Look For In a Fire Door Supplier
Choosing the right fire door supplier is important as out of all building fire safety measures in place, fire doors are among the most visible and frequently used.
Ensuring fire door compliance is vitally important in not only ensuring the safety of the residents but is also likely to be a major factor in what stands between a customer’s decision between one contractor and another. It is imperative that all those responsible for the procurement of fire doors can make an informed decision using an evidence-based approach. As a specifier of fire door sets, you will want to ensure you can be confident you are appointing a trusted manufacturer that produces products to the highest standards and complies with the right accreditation. We explore the necessities of a fire door supplier and the industry standards required.
It is important that fire doors undergo rigorous independent testing in an approved UKAS test house, ensuring compliance to the latest industry standards is applied.
There are various types of testing available; those include primary testing and ‘cascaded test evidence’. Primary testing, usually conducted in a UKAS test house with qualified test engineers, reports what doors have been tested and what the outcome of the tests was. On the other hand, an organisation may decide to use test reports from another company, known as ‘cascaded test evidence’, often used when an organisation wishes not to conduct testing of its own.
Ensuring compliance to the latest industry standards is something that all fire door suppliers should be monitoring. Therefore, making continuous improvements to ensure requirements are met and that the doors they supply can be trusted to withstand a variety of circumstances is important.
A supplier that has the appropriate and trusted certification is vital and needs to be ensured at every stage of the supply chain.
Primary testing is important, but this alone cannot ensure fire door compliance. To accompany primary test evidence, a manufacturer should be able to demonstrate third-party certification by a UKAS accredited body such as the most widely recognised BM Trada. This ensures that high standards are being met and are continuously followed in the procurement of fire safety doors. Not only this, as part of the certification, the manufacturer will be issued with a Field of Application Assessment which will allow them to manufacture door sets to bespoke sizes and designs, with a range of ironmongery and accessories.
To offer peace of mind for fire doors sets, various testing and certification can be conducted. Third-party accredited certification, administered by recognised bodies such as BM Trada and Secured by Design, allows for the provision of certificate and the listing of door set ranges under that scheme to be certified, allowing complete confidence in your supplier.
Asking the right questions and requesting evidence is vital at the procurement stage when selecting your supplier of choice. Evidence of certification can be requested by the concerned party and can be given in the form of complete copies of certificates, test evidence, or visiting the third party’s website to see if the company in question is registered. Field of Applications, written by an accredited third party, allows companies the flexibility to offer different styles of doors, with the assurance that primary testing has been conducted at a high standard.
There are also various ways you can check that your fire door set meets the correct certification requirements following delivery. This should be easily identified by way of a label or plug usually positioned on the top of the door. This label will contain information about the type of certification administered and whether it meets the appropriate industry standards of a fire door. If you feel that there is a reason for concern regarding your door, you should report it immediately.
Having a fire door supplier that wants to build a relationship with their clients highlights the quality of service they provide. Suppliers should understand that clients are looking for a supplier they can trust to deliver products to a high standard and bring confidence to clients that they can deliver the best possible service, ensuring a high level of professionalism and communication at all stages.
Hence why offering services such as dedicated account managers, who can prioritise workloads and build strong relationships with clients, ensuring that clients are kept up to date about their orders or quotations, is vital to maintaining longevity in an organisation’s client portfolio. A supplier that can carry out customer service to this standard and deliver promptly is equally beneficial as this is something that can set them apart from competitors.
A well-equipped and dependable product range is also a valid reason to choose a supplier. Bespoke manufacturing is essential when it comes to replacement fire door sets as not only does it enable the door set to be made to suit the existing structural opening but enables a vast range of designs to suit the exact project criteria.
As a bespoke manufacturer, Sentry Doors can offer a wide range of sizes, styles, and finishes to suit clients’ exact requirements. To ensure clients are aware of all product options available to them, we offer a Resident Design and Colour Choice sheet to assist in the selection process.
It is always wise to ask your supplier what their quality assurance process is as it should be an element of the production process that is monitored throughout the procurement of door sets. Ensuring consistent quality checks will determine the level of confidence a supplier has in their products and will reflect how committed they are to maintaining high standards.
A supplier’s commitment to quality management is evident in their certification schemes as it demonstrates a desire to ensure full compliance in their products. Offering high-performing products that combine quality, service, and value, alongside vast technical expertise and consistent investment portrays how committed a supplier is to its quality management.
Independent third-party ISO 9001 certification portrays to clients that a supplier is committed to meeting their needs through continuous quality management improvement. This certification represents a supplier’s dedication to consistent improvement within this area and for their cliental.
Ensuring fire door compliance is a collaborative approach as the correct installation of a fire door is equally important to selecting the correct supplier. It is important that door sets are installed by competent personnel who are the third-party accredited by BM-Trada or equivalent and that the door set is fitted in accordance, supported by your chosen manufacturers’ installation guidelines.
Our Installation Partner, Mila Maintenance, explains the importance of selecting the right supplier.
‘The market for fire doors has increased dramatically in recent years and maintaining supply chain integrity whilst at the same time ensuring 100% product technical compliance is a real challenge. Sentry Doors enables us to meet the challenges we face by delivering a consistently good product, and the relationship between our two companies has developed significantly to ensure we can support them equally’.
Tristan Cooke, Managing Director, Mila Maintenance and Installation
There are a range of factors that contribute to appointing the right supplier. Whether that be quality assurance or the level at which compliance to industry standards is met. As a supplier of choice to local authorities, housing associations and their contractors, Sentry Doors offer a robust certification portfolio combined with quality assurance and industry-leading lead times. Sign up to our Compliance Portal to keep up to date.