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UK’s First Fire Door Installation Qualification Pilots at NPTC Group of Colleges

Joinery students at NPTC Group of Colleges

NPTC Group of Colleges is piloting a new fire door installation qualification. Aimed at improving fire safety by ensuring that all fire doors are correctly installed by qualified tradespeople, this is the first qualification in the UK to specifically cover the correct specification and installation of fire doors.

The pilot will be delivered by NPTC Group of Colleges, a British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Centre of Excellence, from 4-5 October 2017 to a group of six advanced CYFLE/Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) modern apprentices, with the expectation to deliver the full course from December 2017.

Covering a range of topics, the course will include the current legislation relating to: the fitting of fire doors, fire door frames and linings; specification and fitting of fire door ironmongery; fitting of fire seals on doors and frames; the inclusion of apertures and associated fire regulation related to the fitting of glass; and the effects of use on fire door performance.

The qualification will be available as an optional unit for apprentices, a two to three-day course aimed at experienced tradespeople and a four to five-day course for both individuals and organisations that specialise in fitting and replacing fire doors. It is anticipated that this qualification will link in to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme, used on larger sites to demonstrate individual competencies.

Ann Jones, Labour Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd and a committed fire safety campaigner says:

“I am delighted that Wales is once again leading the way on fire safety. Practical thinking and effective collaboration is needed to drive much needed change and it is particularly encouraging to see the fire door industry and NPTC Group of Colleges working so closely with the British Woodworking Federation and wider industry to meet this challenge head on.

“I very much hope that this pilot is the start of a change process that embeds competence at the heart of construction, increasing skill, knowledge and reducing risk.

“Fire Door Safety Week is the perfect time to announce this exciting development and helps us to understand through the array of useful resources just how important fire doors are and how we can check and take better care of those doors around us. Fire doors are just one aspect of building safety, but a very good indicator of a building or process in disrepair.”

Mark Dacey, chief executive, NPTC Group of Colleges says:

“As NPTC Group of Colleges, we are proud to be a centre of excellence for BWF. The fire door training, a first in the UK, shows clearly the innovative approach the College takes, working with partners and the sector, to meet their needs. Coupled with our fire sprinkler courses, the College is in prime position to deliver quality training to make buildings safer and better equipped, to meet modern safety standards.”

Hannah Mansell is spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week, as well as BWF technical manager, chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust. She says:

“Fire doors are often the first line of defence for users of a building in the event of a fire and yet they remain a significant area of neglect. Subsequently, every year lives are lost or put at risk, and property unnecessarily damaged, because fire doors have been wrongly specified, fitted or maintained.

“There are many critical elements to get right in the construction of fire doors, and a host of regulations governing their manufacture, installation and maintenance. But a single mistake in specification, fitting or use can render a fire door ineffective or turn it into a death trap.”

Fire Door Safety Week, a national campaign now in its fifth year, is run by the BWF, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme, in partnership with the Government’s Fire Kills campaign. It aims to raise awareness about the role of fire doors in preventing life changing injuries and the legal responsibilities of managing fire door safety.

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