Hampshire Partitioning Contracts Ltd, trading as HP Contracts, the interior design and internal fitout specialists ups the ante on Fire Safety for Doors and Fire Stopping.
In October 2019, HP Contracts successfully gained BM Trada Q Mark Certification to cover Fire Door Installation, Fire Door Maintenance and Fire Stopping. The Q Mark Installers Scheme was launched in January 2001 to complement the long-established manufacturing scheme. The scheme is designed to ensure that robust processes are in place to maintain the fire integrity of buildings through the correct installation and maintenance of products critical to life safety. Third party certification is onerous and involves additional and ongoing training for the HPC team, regular audits and accurate record keeping to ensure that the requirements of the scheme are constantly met. HP Contracts achieved the standard in three critical areas of operation namely, fire door installation, fire door maintenance and fire stopping and in the two years since accreditation has seen an ever-increasing demand for its service.
Fire Doors are a critical part of a fire protection system, engineered to ensure that, when closed, they can resist the passage of fire, protect escape routes and ensure that people can leave safely or, in some cases, stay in a safe area and await rescue. If a door is not installed correctly, the ability to resist fire can be compromised. By achieving third party certification HP Contracts have retrained the team and tightened up processes to ensure that customers have the reassurance that everything has been done to ensure that the door will perform as intended once installed.
Beyond installation, the Fire Safety Order stipulates that building owners must ensure that fire doors are regularly inspected – this is often overlooked. As an engineered product with moving parts, regular inspection and essential maintenance is required to ensure a fire door continues to meet the necessary standard. Recognising the importance of this, HPC have also extended the scope of their certification to ensure that the same rigour is applied to their work when maintaining fire doors.
In addition, HP Contracts are being increasingly asked to look at fire stopping, the process of effectively and safely closing any gaps or holes, created for example, when pipes or cables are required to run between fire compartments in a building. Fire can move quickly if there are gaps or insufficient insulation at critical junctions. Again, looking to ensure customers are fully reassured that HPC has the expertise and rigour of process, these operations are also covered by their Q Mark Certification.
Owner Stuart Deas stated, “It is concerning when you look at the number of problems that we still regularly see in relation to fire safety in our daily work. It is clear that much historic work has been done without the necessary knowledge, skill, or care – corners have been cut and as a consequence lives have been put at risk. With events of recent years we need to do more as a sector, not just in terms of ensuring that our people are competent and processes robust, but that we can easily demonstrate this to our customers. That is why we have taken the view that we need third party certification. It has not been a cheap or easy process to go through, but I believe we have emerged as a stronger business with a clear culture of safety first”.
With certification from Q Mark BM Trada and 30 years of internal refurbishment experience, Hampshire Partitioning Contracts offers clients a wide range of skills to complete fire door installation and maintenance and fire stopping works comprehensively.
Author: Stuart Deas, Hampshire Partitioning Contracts