Fire door company hiring more staff despite pandemic

A concept image of the Doors Plus Group mobile showroom

A concept image showing how the mobile showroom will look for the demonstration of the 'CCS Pin' - the innovative microchip the company are installing into their doors. - Credit: The Doors Plus Group/Tangerine Creative

A Dereham company is bucking the pandemic trend by hiring more staff members as it continues in its mission of ensuring doors are fire-safe.  

The Doors Plus Group is located in the industrial park between Dereham’s Tesco and Breckland Council’s offices.

During the pandemic, the company was designated an “essential service”, which allowed it to continue operating throughout the lockdowns.

Demand for its doors has soared to such an extent that the company is now expanding its premises and hiring more staff, with seven new staff members joining since the first lockdown and as many as 20 more forecast to join over the coming year.

The company was founded in 2012.

“We started in a literally rat-infested barn. It was full of rats running across the ceiling and in the walls,” said founding director David Burton.

“We bought an old rag-tag van that we had, dressed it up to make it look nice, and it grew from there.”

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The company began by manufacturing the doors, but was soon in the business of installing them too.

“Then Grenfell happened. Being in the industry we’re in, that kind of changed the direction really,” said Mr Burton.

By installing an innovative microchip into its doors' frameworks, the company is slowly revolutionising the future of fire doors.

“With our partner, Westport Doors, we’ve worked to develop a system… A fire alarm system has to be tested and inspected, with a register kept of its inspections,” said Mr Burton. 

“This system is a very clever piece of equipment, which logs those inspections.”

Naming one example of a client, Mr Burton said UEA were this year aiming to bring 2,000 of their doors onto the system.

Following the Grenfell disaster, parliament has debated bringing in tough new legislation, which would enforce regular fire door inspections.

Believing the legislation to be inevitable, Mr Burton said his company was trying to stay ahead of it.

“We’ve done a lot of work with the survivors of Grenfell and we’ve done a lot of fire door replacements for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea,” said Mr Burton.

He added: “To every single one of our guys, we say to them: if you’re installing a door, imagine it’s your family on the other side.”