Wrightstyle has called for better education and enforcement in the industry in the wake of a fraud trial in Northern Ireland.
The company says that many people involved in the specification, supply and installation of fire-rated glazing systems do not have the appropriate technical skills.
This has been demonstrated recently, when a glass company fraudster was jailed for supplying ordinary laminated glass as fire-resistant glass to victims across Ulster, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Britain. The police officer in charge said that “the potential loss of life in this case cannot be underestimated.”
Wrightstyle’s managing director, Tim Kempster said that the case was one of criminal fraud, but the less deliberate omissions in fire safety could have the same catastrophic consequences in the event of a serious fire.
He explained that Wrightstyle has tried to raise awareness of the complexity of the technical aspects of fire-rated glazing systems as too many designers, contractors and building control officers either don’t fully understand them or don’t want to understand them.
Tim Kempster explained that Wrightstyle will educate and refuse to produce or quote for something non-compliant, however some companies either don’t understand the implications or don’t care. He said the worst offenders are glass and systems companies who will supply to anyone, but are seemingly unconcerned how the systems or materials are used or installed.
Specifiers should only buy fire-rated internal and external systems from a reputable company, according to Wrightstyle, that has proof that their systems will do what they claim, and deal only with suppliers that have dedicated technical departments able to guide customers through complex compliance issues.
In addition, it advises that that specifiers don’t base purchasing decisions simply on cost, but to only buy advanced glazing systems from suppliers who can supply test certification for both the frame, and vice versa.
Tim explains that better continuous professional training for specifiers and better enforcement will ensure excellence of written records at every stage and that appropriate glazing systems have the correct certifications and are properly installed.
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