Manufacturer’s tech innovation aims to ‘transform’ building fire safety

Posted on September 17, 2020 by Alistair Hardaker

A fire door manufacturer has developed an industry-first solution to make building safety inspections faster and more accurate.

Contactless Check Solutions (CCS), based in Maryport, Cumbria, has created  a pin containing a unique identifier that can be installed into new fire doors during manufacturing or retrofitted to existing doors.

An accompanying CCS fire inspection app can then be used to scan the pin and give the inspector access to the door’s manufacturing and maintenance history in real time.

The app will then prompt the inspector to complete a checklist with compulsory photos which automatically update the record stored on the cloud.

Building owners and managers will have access to an overview of all their fire door stock, site by site, floor by floor, using a traffic light system.

The innovation is hoped to make it easier for owners and managers to ensure compliance with UK regulations by establishing a consistent system for fire door inspection programmes, regardless of the type of building.

CCS is targeting manufacturers of the millions of new fire doors which are produced every year in the UK, as well as the managers of the hundreds of millions of fire doors currently installed.

CCS is being supported by the Made Smarter North West adoption pilot, which is working with small and medium-sized manufacturers to help them introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth, as well as navigate the impact of Covid-19.

Support includes expert technology advice, digital strategy workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps to transform their business, a leadership development programme developed in partnership with Lancaster University, and funded digital technology internships.

Andy Tyas, Managing Director, said: “The fire safety industry is under intense scrutiny after Grenfell. The government is looking closely at how and when fire doors are inspected, maintained and managed.

“The development of this project will benefit the people responsible for the building as well as the regulatory authority to ensure correct inspections are being carried out in accordance with building regs.

“Made Smarter funding and advice has accelerated development of the technology by two years and dramatically increased our chances of being first to market with a technology that could transform the fire safety sector.”

CCS directors Sean Parnaby, David Reay and Andrew Tyas have been manufacturing fire doors for almost 20 years with West Port Windows & Doors.

Tyas added: “As a critical safety feature of any building, it is essential that all fire doors are compliant with British Standards and Building Regulations. But the management and inspection of this vital piece of life-saving equipment is something this country has never really got to grips with. The process is difficult because there is a lack of information on fire doors readily available.”

The new technology is forecast to increase productivity four-fold because it enables more doors to be inspected on a daily basis than could be achieved with a manual check, inputting and reporting.

“We have a passion for making sure people are safe,” Tyas said. “We build fire doors ourselves and putting this system in is the cure to so many people’s problems with managing fire doors. It shouldn’t be complicated. I believe that our innovation could transform the fire safety sector.”

CCS is now in discussions with building managers in Europe and the Middle East. It is also in discussion with door manufacturers, inspectors and local authorities about applying the solution to refuse chutes in high rise buildings and sprinkler systems.

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