We’d like to say a big thank you to all the delegates and speakers who attended our first event at Newcastle’s brilliant venue, The Biscuit Factory. You helped to make the evening a fantastic success.

CHeSS is an initiative rather than a business. Driving the idea are four independent businesses which focus on door control, hardware, seals and security. We recognise that architects and specifiers sometimes struggle with these critical elements of building design and construction, but CHeSS offers a way to see how these products work together. In short, it’s an easier way to select and specify Architectural hardware.

After the roadshow, we had some fantastic initial feedback, but we believe that the lasting impact of any event is what really matters. We’re certain that those who joined us will take on board the messages about fire safety. Our expert Speaker, DHF General Manager and Secretary and BSI committee member, Michael Skelding took us through a presentation of the latest findings on Fire Doors from the ongoing Grenfell Tower inquiry.

One of the factors that contributed to so many fatalities was that lobbies, which could have been used as an advanced bridgehead for firefighters to access the higher floors, were badly compromised by smoke, leaking from the flats themselves. The fire doors fitted to the flats were not doing their job.  It seems there have been issues with incorrect specification, incorrect installation and inadequate maintenance. A review of all standards and independent, third-party certification of all these aspects is now likely to become a requirement.

If you were unable to attend our event, please keep an eye open for the next. Such was the level of interest in Michael Skelding’s talk, and so relevant the content, that we may well invite him along again to continue exploring these vital issues. The location may change so that we can reach a different audience, but wherever we are, whoever the guest speaker is, whatever the subject, we’ll be planning on a similar balance of informative discussion in a social, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Finally, we’d like to offer a sincere thank you to Michael Skelding for his insight and expertise. There are lessons from Grenfell that we can start to implement right away.