Installers and specifiers may still not fully aware of the many options available to them to help manage social distancing and limit direct contact with ironmongery and doors
In line with a recently updated guide from the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers and Finishes and Interior Sector, which outlines how business owners can use partitioning and ironmongery to help manage social distancing, there are a number of solutions available that can help with these issues in a number of key ways.
“During these times, it’s no surprise that installers and specifiers are being asked about the most suitable products to fit,” says Eryl Jones, Managing Director of the Assa Abloy Door Hardware Group, a business unit of Assa Abloy Opening Solutions UK & Ireland. “It’s critical to advise decision makers on practical product choices, which not only meet the needs of the here and now, but which also provide long-lasting, compliant solutions too.
“For existing hardware, the truth is nothing will beat a regular and thorough cleaning routine. However, for new installations, there are a variety of considerations that installers and specifiers will want to bear in mind when advising their customers. Here are our top ironmongery tips on how to manage social distancing and limit contacts with doors.”
Seek specialist closing devices
To minimise contact with a door, many will be tempted to keep doors held open. This, however, must not be done with fire doors, but this challenge can be overcome with electromagnetic hold-open units. Connected to the building’s fire alarm system, these will automatically release in the event of a fire, helping to keep people and property safe.
Provide personalised keys
Users sharing keys can quickly increase the spread of bacteria and germs. An access control system that employs individual keys puts a stop to this, and simplifies key management too. Electromechanical solutions use high-end micro-electronics and programmeable keys and cylinders to overcome this challenge.
Adopt anti-microbial solutions
Anti-microbial solutions, or ‘touch-safe’ as they’re often called, offer a proven way of preventing bacteria from spreading. In the current climate, it’s unsurprising that installers and specifiers are receiving an increased number of enquiries about these solutions. It’s worth noting that these products might not offer the best long-term solution, as they can lose their potency over time. Nevertheless, they are easy to install and cost-effective. One solution is anti-viral copper tape products, which wrap around a clean door handle, for a quick, temporary ‘touch-safe’ solution.
Don’t forget about ancillary products
When considering ironmongery and doors, it’s can be easy to forget about other ancillary products that can help limit and mitigate the risks of spreading bacteria. If there are concerns around products that could provide surfaces where bacteria may collect, then concealed products such as hinges and door closers offer an assured solution. Another factor to think about is signage. Given the current climate, specifiers may want to consider signage relating to hand washing and sanitising, social distancing, and other measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of germs.
Making sure products are up to mark
While not directly relating to helping manage social distancing or limiting contact with doors, the final tip is on product marking, as it’s vital that solutions with the appropriate product marking are being specified and installed. With the new UKCA and UKNI marks introduced from 1 January 2021, it’s crucial that installers and specifiers understand the implications for products that do not have the correct marking in place. Not only will product marking be invalidated, but the potential implications for all those involved throughout the supply chain could be very serious, including significant fines and penalties.