An Aluminium Door makes the perfect entrance

As featured in Windows Active February 2021:

It is clear from market research that there are exciting growth opportunities for sellers and installers of residential entrance doors of all materials across the UK. Consumers are very aware of their options and they now have the freedom to design a secure, energy efficient, bespoke door of their choice via a plethora of online door configurators. Aluminium entrance doors are the ‘new kid on the block’ in the UK and Irish residential markets but they are widely specified across central Europe, with over 50% of replacement and new build doors in Germany being aluminium. Surprisingly perhaps, composite doors whilst ubiquitous in the UK, have not really been widely adopted by consumers or installers on the continent. Aluminium doors share the continental market with timber and premium quality uPVC panel doors.

 

 

German consumers prioritise product quality and material specification above price in their selection process because outstanding daily performance and longevity are pre-requisites. Price and choice of installer are important issues but they are of secondary importance in the decision-making process. Aesthetics and Design are increasingly important and every market in Europe has idiosyncratic door designs, particular to a country or region. Generally, at this time UK consumers have a fairly conservative taste in front door design but as people become more affluent, there is a desire to make a personal statement on a property’s frontage, using the front door, particularly if its a mid-high-end, bespoke home.

Across the UK and Ireland, demand for aluminium entrance doors is steadily increasing. Market share is still modest, but growth is being driven by demand from developers and consumers building high-specification homes, where aluminium front doors are typically chosen to complement aluminium glazing or premium quality uPVC flush window systems. Typically today, aluminium entrance doors are sold into homes that are valued at circa £400k minimum, so they are still very much a niche product.

Because aluminium is relatively light and very strong, much wider and higher entrance doors can be manufactured up to 1250mm x 2700mm, which is perfect for ‘grand design’ new builds, particularly where the front door is glazed-in, within a large glass façade. Aluminium is an excellent choice for door skins because hundreds of different bespoke designs can be achieved and with 3mm skins in particular, spectacular finishes can be produced using a CNC machine.

 

 

Improving the thermal efficiency of buildings is now a legislative requirement and this is forcing door manufacturers of all materials to react. Aluminium entrance doors provided by Spitfire Doors and others are all under 0.9 w/m2K and can be as low as 0.6 w/m2K. With an aluminium entrance door, very high levels of security protection against intrusion are a given.

The Spitfire Doors journey began in 2016. Following almost 2 years of research into European markets, products and suppliers, the decision was taken to introduce two distinct residential aluminium door systems to the UK, via a network of independent installation partners. Essentially, a door range at the very top-end of the market and a mid-market door series, both sourced from highly respected European manufacturers. The main criteria for selecting manufacturing partners was to collaborate with companies that only make aluminium doors and they must have a respected pedigree of producing ‘fit and forget’ front doors. Price for Spitfire Doors is a distant second behind product quality and performance, because service calls and unhappy customers are a money pit for door installers.

Whilst recognising that composite doors enjoy a dominant share of both the replacement and new build markets, which will continue for many years, Spitfire Doors predict that aluminium entrance doors will take a significant slice of the mid to high-end new build market, exactly as aluminium windows, sliders and bifolds have done. 15 years ago, who would have thought that aluminium window and door systems would have made such a successful comeback in the UK residential market or that uPVC systems houses would be forced to launch aluminium systems to maintain market share?

 

To discuss your Aluminium Entrance Door requirements, contact Spitfire Doors on 01625 412570 or why not design your own door using our door configurator?


Biometric Fingerprint Technology

What is Biometric Technology? 

Biometrics identification is the only mode of authentication that can unequivocally validate a person's identity. Biometric authentication is the automated recognition of an individual using unique physiological characteristics, such as fingerprints, which have been pre-stored in a biometric security system or scanner. Biometrics most commonly refers to the use of technology to authenticate or identify a person based on their Fingerprint. Fingerprint readers analyse a fingerprint to digitally identify a person to grant access to systems, devices or data. There are other systems like face recognition, voice, hand geometry, Iris recognition, and DNA but fingerprint readers are most prevalent and are the only biometric solutions fitted to high-end aluminium residential entrance doors.

Why select a capacitive fingerprint scanner to unlock and open your front door?

Of all the biometric techniques, fingerprint scan is the most convenient and most secure way of proving identity, guaranteeing trusted access to the right people, at the right times. Plus, capacitive scanners are very reliable and easy to use.  Children's fingers from age of 6 upward are recognized and Spitfire Doors scanners are easy for young and old to use.

The Signature Spitfire Doors capacitive fingerprint reader requires the user to simply press and briefly hold the finger on the scanner for less than a second to open the door, which is a huge improvement over the old technology and far less reliable ‘swipe’ scanners.

The Signature Spitfire Doors fingerprint scanner is intuitive and each time you use the scanner our unique algorithm adapts to your finger. This unique feature is particularly useful in hot and cold conditions because the scanner will still recognise your finger as your finger expands and contracts. The encrypted software guarantees peace of mind because it means your entrance door is totally secure.

Design your unique front door complete with fingerprint scanner

 

Are Fingerprint Readers Secure?

Your unique fingerprint is much more secure than a key, which could be stolen, copied or lost. Authorized individuals can be programmed to unlock a door using their unique  fingerprint. And a fingerprint scanner is one thousand times more secure than the 4-digit code on a bank card.

A fingerprint reader has a patented fingerprint recognition algorithm at its core and biometrics are extremely hard to fake. Our advanced reader is very sensitive and detects the temperature of a finger placed on it, if the temperature is outside normal parameters the scanner will deny access.

No impression remains on the scanner when you use a Spitfire fingerprint scanner, which provides an extra level of security.

Biometrics provide strong authentication and accountability because no-one can later deny having accessed the scanner, because the scanner retains a record of activity.

Unlike keys or passwords, biometrics are non-transferable and the Spitfire Doors scanner unlocks the door in 1.2 seconds.

 

Spitfire S-500 Signature Series door with fingerprint scanner

 

What is NFC Technology?

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a contact-less communication technology based on a radio frequency field using a base frequency of 13.56 MHz. NFC technology is perfectly designed to exchange data between two devices when they touch, or are in very close proximity to each other and that is why millions of modern payment terminals now feature NFC. You will have witnessed the rapid transaction between a contactless credit card and an NFC device, which is just like the contact between your Spitfire Doors fingerprint reader and your Smartphone will be.

The latest generation of Spitfire Doors feature NFC readers, that will communicate with our Smartphone App, meaning you can open your Spitfire Door using your Smartphone as you approach the door.  The security of near field communication technology is emphasised by the word “near”. NFC signals only transmit data centimeters away from the NFC device and unlike wireless internet technology, near field communication signals can’t be hacked from across town, across the street or even across the room.

NFC is actually a subset of RFID (radio-frequency identification), a technology that allows identification through radio waves.

 

Can other technology be integrated into a biometric scanner?

Fingerprint readers and electrical unlocking systems allow more effective connections with smart phones.

The Spitfire Doors scanner has a double relay so that a second door could be programmed and opened using the same scanner; eg. a garage door or adjacent gate. An intercom system can also be wired into your door, allowing you to unlock the door with a single 24V pulse.

If your door or handle has LED lighting built-in, this can be controlled via the Smartphone App and scanner.

Spitfire Doors fingerprint readers can be combined with a codepad and wireless doorbell, in one small and aesthetically pleasing unit which is flush mounted on your door sash. These unique combination units can be integrated within the external pullbar handle or built-in to the external face of the door.

Our online Door Designer will help you configure your perfect door.

 

Spitfire integrated codepad, fingerprint scanner and doorbell

 

How easy is it to programme a scanner?

Fingerprints can easily be added to the Spitfire scanner using our Android or Apple Smartphone App or by using the control buttons located between the hinges of the door itself. There is no need for a PC or sets of buttons on the door itself. Only an ‘Authorised Administrator’ can grant access to other users, by first unlocking the scanner using their own fingerprint before they record a new users finger.

Adding a new user to the Spitfire Doors fingerprint scanner takes about 30 seconds and they can be removed just as quickly.

 

Can you allow free access through the door during a party for example?
Yes, our scanner has a ‘Free Access’ mode which can easily be activated or de-activated via our Smartphone App. This mode overrides the scanner technology and will allow any fingerprint to be read to open your Spitfire door, until you re-activate the scanner.

Spitfire recessed door handle

 

Can I check who is using my scanner?

Yes, via the App you can view the last 100 visitors and what time of day they entered.

Plus, you can restrict access to a user or users, at different times of the day e.g. cleaners or gardeners.

 

What type of lock is fitted on a Spitfire Door with fingerprint or codepad access?

An extremely secure, multipoint, electronically operated lock will be fitted to your door. This lock will be released when the scanner recognises a valid fingerprint, and you can simply push the door open.

Immediately as you close the door from either inside or outside, the electronic lock will automatically operate and all locking points will engage inside their security keepers with a reassuring whirr.

So, whenever your Spitfire Door is in the closed position, it will be totally secure with all locking points engaged. Safe, secure, sophisticated.

 

What happens in a power cut?

Your electronic lock will still operate if you access your Spitfire door using a key.

Spitfire S-500 installation in Culcheth, Cheshire

 

Find out more about our S-500 Signature Series Doors


Advice for choosing a door when installing in a Marine or Hostile Environmental situation

It is universally recognised that entrance doors installed in close proximity to the sea, an estuary, a swimming pool or certain industrial sites, will be constantly attacked by salt or other corrosive substances. It is important to follow our advice when choosing your front door, so that you enjoy years of trouble-free use and learn how to keep your door in pristine condition.

Which Door would be suitable in a marine environment?

We would recommend you specify our S-500 Series if you live in a hostile environment, because this door series is supplied with a full 5-year marine warranty. Within reason, you are free to choose from any of over 400 designs from this series. View the range of S-500 doors 

 

Door Finishes and Colours

Our textured IGP finishes are the most resistant to attack. This luxurious textured finish is best suited to the following colours:

 

Which door handle is best in a marine environment?

There are options to consider here:

  1. Choose a recessed handle outside, so that there is no external furniture, except the brushed steel rosette that reinforces the area around the profile cylinder
  2. If you choose to order a rain deflector at the base of the door (recommended), always choose a polished finish
  3. Avoid furniture on the outside of the door, but if you want an external handle, it must be polished chrome
  4. Avoid fingerprint scanners and LED’s
  5. All S-500 series furniture is manufactured from AISI 316L. Steel Alloy 316L is austenitic stainless steel, with a high nickel and molybdenum content, which is more resistant with regard to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments

Get in touch with Spitfire Doors

 

Best door lock for use in Marine environments

We recommend fitting a Spitfire electrically operated lock because it is more consistent in pulling the door slab tight-in against the frame, as the door closes.

 

Door frame

In hostile environments, we recommend a stronger and more stable outerframe than usual, choose from our AT100 or AT100P profiles.

 

Cill

We recommend a specifying a 150mm cill in marine environments to take water away from the door more quickly.

 

Maintenance


CLEANING STAINLESS STEEL – every week is recommended

Stainless steel is a metal alloy that contains at least 10.5 percent chromium. Although stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, it is not stain-proof. If salty water dries on a stainless steel surface, it usually leaves behind a white film. Remove salt spots from stainless steel by using cleaners that are effective yet safe for this surface. If you use harsh, abrasive products to clean stainless steel, you run the risk of making it susceptible to corrosion.

 

DO

  • Use the mildest possible cleaning agents
  • Use plastic or wood tools
  • Follow any polishing lines if you use slightly abrasive cleaners
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Wipe dry

DON’T

  • Use steel or metal scrapers as they will cause rust spots
  • Allow chemicals, bleaches or chlorides to remain on the steel for more than a minute
  • Another method is as follows:

Things You'll Need - White vinegar - Baking soda – Soft cloths

Step 1 - Moisten a soft cloth with white vinegar

Step 2 - Dip the cloth into baking soda

Step 3 - Wipe off the salt spots with the cloth

Step 4 - Rinse the cloth under clean, running water, and use it to wipe off the area. This will remove any lingering residue from the baking soda

Step 5 - Dry the stainless steel surface with a lint-free cloth.

 

Other advice:

Cleaning the aluminium powder coated external surface of the door -  every week is recommended

Powder coating is one of the most durable colour coatings and with very little effort on your part, it will provide you with many years of excellent service. To extend the life of your powder coated door and to comply with our warranty, a simple, regular maintenance program should be implemented.

The effects of ultra-violet light, atmospheric pollution, dirt, grime and airborne salt deposits can all accumulate over time and should be removed at regular intervals.

In beachfront homes, industrial or geothermal areas a cleaning program should be carried out weekly.

Simple steps to cleaning your powder coated Spitfire Door

  • Carefully remove any loose surface deposits with a wet sponge
  • Use a soft brush (non-abrasive) and a diluted solution of a mild detergent, eg, pH-neutral liquid hand dishwashing detergent in warm water to remove dust, salt and other deposits
  • Ensure you thoroughly rinse the surfaces with clean fresh water after cleaning to remove all residues
  • Stubborn marks on the powder coating may be removed with methylated spirits
  • You can order special aluminium cleaner containing citrus in a 500ml can from Spitfire Doors, to spray on your door, which can be gently buffed to remove water marks and general dirt, like fingerprints.

To speak to a member of Spitfire Doors' customer service team, call 01625 412570, or email sales@spitfiredoors.co.uk


SPITFIRE OPENS THE DOOR TO MACCLESFIELD SHOWROOM

Spitfire Doors was established 3 years ago and we now have 30 Design Partners across the UK and Ireland many with S-500 doors on display. Find out where our Design Partners are located.

We recently opened a new showroom in our Macclesfield head office, where eleven S-500 doors are on display, incorporating Automatic Locking, Fingerprint Recognition, Keypad Entry, LED Lighting, Swarovski Crystal and a wide range of colours and finishes to whet your appetite.

 

 

Quite a few visitors to our showroom bring their Architects' drawings with them and are looking for a door with great design and technical features with high levels of security, which would provide them with a grand entrance. Very few consumers are put off by a £5-8k price tag and many expect our doors to retail at £10k+.

Design your unique door

 

 

 

Spitfire Doors is recognised as a true luxury brand, with each door combining premium quality Schüco aluminium profiles with engineering excellence. There are over 400 designs to choose from in every RAL colour or combination of colours, durable wood-effect detailing and tactile textured finishes. Contact Spitfire Doors.

 The S-500 Series of doors offer a very high level of certifiable security, having passed level RC3, at IFT Rosenheim in Germany and PAS24 at BSI in the UK. This guaranteed level of security coupled with exceptional thermal performance, where doors can be manufactured to achieve U-Values as low as an industry leading 0.7 W/m2K and the opportunity to design your own door, really does offer homeowners the perfect entrance door.

 

You can design your own door here and we will put you in touch with one of our Design Partner who will be able to discuss your design in more detail.  Alternatively, call our Customer Services team on 01625 412570 or email sales@spitfiredoors.co.uk and we will be happy to answer your questions.

 


Aluminium doors Cheshire

Why you should invest in an Aluminium door

The Spitfire S-500 Series is our premium range for good reason.

For one, it's widely regarded at the best front door in Europe.

A big claim indeed, but one that is more than justified as you'll read...

 

Our Aluminium doors are built to last a lifetime

Over two hundred S-500 Series aluminium doors are installed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland each week, specified by architects because they combine premium quality Schüco aluminium profiles with engineering excellence.

Spitfire Doors are designed to be virtually burglar-proof.

The way we combine the aluminium profiles with high security locks and handles ensures security at home.

Spitfire S-500 Series aluminium doors have a baked-on powder coated paint finish which guarantees colour durability, weather resistance and low maintenance.

Spitfire doors have been tested and passed level RC3, at the most highly regarded test house in Europe, the Rosenheim Institute in Germany.

 

S-500-fingerprint-recognition-with-carbon-fibre

 

Biometric options

Spitfire S-500 Series doors are all equipped with a high quality multipoint lock with a 5 point German Winkhaus hook lock with 4 hooks. Our double-doors are equipped with an end-to-end adjustable shootbolt made of solid stainless steel.

You can upgrade the anti-burglary security with a choice of automatic lock with finger scanner, keypads or Bluetooth for communication with your mobile phone.

Contact us for more information on our biometric options.

 

600+ designs

Design your door from a blank canvas or customise our existing styles from over 600 different entrance door models.

 

RAL colours

We offer every RAL colour or combination of colours, durable wood-effect detailing and fully textured surface finishes to compliment your home.

 

Swarovski Crystal

Give your front door that extra touch of individuality.

We can subtly incorporate stunning Swarovski ® gems inside your door’s glass panel or you can even choose our special vertical handle featuring a magnificent single crystal.

Find out more.

 

Ultra low U values

S-500 Series provide extraordinary thermal insulation. With leaf-enclosing infills on both sides (85 mm thick), three circumferential seals and three panes of window protection glass (U-value 0.5 W/m2K), you can be assured of thermal efficiency and comfort in your home.

 

 

Try before you buy

Come and experience S-500 Series at our new showroom in Macclesfield, Cheshire, North West.