International Door & Operator Industry

NOV-DEC 2018

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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49 TECHNICAL V O L U M E 5 1 I S S U E 6 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 to fulfill market need. This discussion is aimed at an industry focus that will improve compliance, make certification training highly desirable, and help to permanently change the position we find ourselves in today. A Better Platform The tired old phrase of "I've been doing this for twenty five years" means little-to-nothing in a deposition or on a witness stand. It can be a truly humbling experience if this is all you have to rely upon. Apathy, ambivalence, lack of knowledge or simply inadequate training has caused and will continue to cause avoidable risk to life and property. Plaintiff attorneys can be exceptionally good at making us look incompetent or irresponsible in the process of trying to prove liability and negligence no matter how much experience we have - it's their job. Standardized training is a fundamental key that we can employ to our advantage in a situation like this. It's quantifiable, it's defensible, and it helps lower our own liability profile. Let's interject at this point: This is not an IDA membership drive or a recruiting ploy. You don't have to be a member to obtain certification. Certain manufacturers have adopted the IDEA program and offer in-house training and certification testing for their distributors. And IDEA holds monitored certification testing at these and other regional events all over the country, many times per year. Study materials are available to anyone for a modest fee. Is there further value in membership? Of course there is, and we always welcome new members to our ranks, but creating a quantifiable measure of training creates undeniable value and legitimate leverage to techs, door companies and manufacturers across our industry. This is the mission. A Better Plan Surfaces With everything said, we have two primary targets in sight: 1. Create a measurable standard of training by an independent third party (IDEA or others). 2. Create demand for those certified individuals from owner communities (building owners and property managers). A plan is evolving that makes sense and, since we have the training component in place already, we need to look at the standards component to help elicit demand for our services The standard we want to review is NFPA 80. The 2010 edition section 5.2.3.1 states: "Functional testing of fire door and window assemblies shall be performed by persons with knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the type of door being subject to testing" The 2013 edition revised this language as follows: 5.2.3.1 "Acceptance testing of fire door and window assemblies shall be performed by a qualified person with knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the type of assembly being subject to testing" So, the real questions are what, exactly, does a 'qualified person' mean? How do you measure 'knowledge and understanding'? The 2016 and 2019 NFPA 80 publications adopted this language without change from 2013. (If you carefully review NFPA 80, you will find that section 5.2.4 refers to periodic testing, [annual inspection and drop testing]. It states that, as a minimum, periodic testing shall include, as a minimum, the provisions of acceptance testing [testing performed upon completion of installation] found in 5.2.3.1.) What happens when we change the language in 5.2.3.1 to something like: "…a person trained and certified by an independent agency, manufacturer or association to perform acceptance testing of the operating components of the type of assembly being subject to testing" What Does Happen? Well, several things. Very simply, you would have the power of our industry at your fingertips. IDA, IDEA and other industry organizations and subject matter experts can drive the discussion via owner and property manager focused articles and continuing education explaining standards changes and responsibilities. This campaign could be launched well in advance and as ongoing communications. Don't underestimate the influence of the architectural communities either – they have a tremendous influence via specification language and legal construction documents once they understand the weight of the standard. Our associations have many points of access to our market, and we can exploit them to our collective advantage. This awareness would be invaluable to our industry as a whole. If you are an accredited company with certified rolling fire door technicians, you have something to sell that has "If you are an accredited company with certified rolling fire door technicians, you have something to sell that has much more meat on the bone than any competitor without these credentials..." Continued from page 46 Continued on page 50

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