Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading resource for security and fire news in the industry. James was previously Editor of Professional Heating & Plumbing Installer magazine.
October 7, 2020

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IFSEC Interviews...

Smart sanitisers, webinars and touchless entry points: Fireco’s pandemic response

Best known for its Dorgard solution, Fireco has been working hard in 2020 to keep building occupants safe from fire and assist in germ control. IFSEC Global sat down with James Wheeler, Chief Commercial Officer at Fireco to find out more about how its products and webinars have provided the ideal solution for its customers.

 

IFSEC Global: You showed off your latest product, Germgard, at the recent IFSEC Tech Talks? Can you give us a little preview of how the solution works and why you launched it?

James: Germgard was created because we wanted to further assist our customers with germ control. Germgard is a smart sanitiser combined with digital signage, designed to promote awareness of the importance of hand sanitisation to all building users. It can also be tailored to suit individual business needs, helping as a building management tool. Some examples of potential messaging includes instructing users to follow your one-way system or putting on a mask before entering.

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Our customers require visual, physical products as evidence in promoting their return to work strategy in their workforce. Germgard meets those requirements, ensuring best practice, encouraging occupants to self-police when moving around the building.

And how else has Fireco responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you been running any new initiatives to support the industry?

Since the beginning of the pandemic many people have been working from home so we decided to host webinars offering free education on fire safety, door compliance, evacuation strategies and legislation. We have had over 2000 sign ups and 16 guest speakers from the fire safety industry take part. We’re really pleased to have been able to keep all of our customers and suppliers up-to-date with the latest news from Fireco and from the industry in general.

We want to thank our amazing guest speakers for uniting our industry during lockdown, and keeping us all educated and focused – watch this space as we have more to come!

Have you witnessed new benefits to your Dorgard solution with the onset of contactless solutions?

When COVID-19 hit our business we reacted quickly and recognised the huge importance of Dorgard, not only as a fire safety product but as a product that can assist with a premises germ control. And, due to our quick reaction to the needs of the market, we recently celebrated selling one million Dorgards!

Dorgard holds fire doors open safely and legally and closes when the fire alarm sounds. By allowing our customers to hold their doors open, they are limiting the need to touch door handles and reducing the risk of cross-contamination. Dorgard can also aid with reducing pinch-points in corridors and doorways and increase ventilation throughout a building.

After the recent Fire Door Safety Week highlighted the importance of fire doors, what would be your advice to those specifying fire doors to ensure they remain compliant and protect the lives of building occupants?

Firstly, it’s worth noting the ever-increasing requirements for better and more comprehensive testing for doors and hardware. It’s important to use a reputable company that has tested the doors against an agreed British standard. A number of door manufacturers now have excellent methods of quality control and traceability using new methods.

Some advice that we’ve picked up through working with customers and suppliers are:

  • Identify the correct door hardware at the specification stage
  • Choose door closers suitable for the users of the door
  • Correct fitting of all parts of the door and the hardware
  • Keep fire doors maintained by getting them checked regularly by a trained professional

Quality installation of the doors is as key to resident safety, perhaps, as much as the doors themselves. Use accredited fire door installers that will fit the doors to a high standard.

I would also like to add, on the Fireco website we have a fire doorset configurator which allows you to select your door and all the hardware in one place, making it really straightforward for the user.

Can you explain to us a little bit more about your role in FIMA, and how the organisation is looking to support the industry?

Fireco created FIMA and works closely with all its members. At Fireco, we work extremely hard to meet all legislative requirements for the safety of our products and have even gone as far as testing our products with other brands to help customers when making buying decisions. We wanted to create an alliance for manufacturers who want to unite and work together in achieving certification. We also thought it would provide a great opportunity for companies who wanted to integrate their products, whether that’s through hardware or software.

More often than not, installers and customers will need a variety of solutions for the fire safety and security in their building, which means it’s important for different products to work in unison. It makes it much easier for the end user when making decisions if they can see that products from different companies can work together, meet regulations and hold certifications. We wanted FIMA to provide customers with a selection of trusted companies all in one place.

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