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Meet Mike Rooney, Technical Support Engineer at Pyroguard

As a Technical Support Engineer, Mike Rooney has been part of the Pyroguard family for more than four years. In that time, he’s become a familiar face to many customers, supporting them through the specification stages of their projects to ensure fire safety requirements are consistently being met, without compromising aesthetics and functionality.

To find out more about how Mike is helping to drive technical expertise through Pyroguard’s range of products – and helping customers to utilise the highest standards of fire safety glazing solutions – we caught up with him.

How long have you been at Pyroguard and what are some of your highlights from your time here?

I joined Pyroguard in 2015, so I’m approaching my five-year mark here at the company. I would certainly say that the first few years are really all about finding your feet in the industry. As it’s so specialist, you have to build your skills and technical knowledge up to another level. The challenge of this has been really enjoyable for me and I still feel there is much more to learn.

Of course, a big part of my role is to get out on the road to work directly with customers. That means travelling around the UK and abroad to provide hands-on support during the specification and installation stages. This really is a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand how Pyroguard’s products are bringing tangible benefits to customers – not just in terms of fire safety, but also in transforming buildings into visually attractive and practical spaces.

Alongside technical specification and aesthetics, safety is of utmost importance for Pyroguard’s products. How does your role contribute to this?

My main contribution when it comes to ensuring product safety is in the testing of the glasses we produce. Following the design and build phases, we then undergo extensive testing on every product to ensure it meets – or exceeds – the necessary requirements. Once the testing is complete, we move on to the particular certification processes which differ from country to country. I typically look after the UK certification to ensure it contains all recent testing, as well as overseeing the general upkeep of the documents through revalidation and reissuing. This process reassures our customers that our products not only fulfil their specific needs, but also those required by law.

Alongside this, I sit on numerous technical committees – including ASDMA, BWF and the GGF – working to update and revise product and testing standards, provide industry-wide guidance (including producing relevant documents for circulation), and work closely with various technical expert groups, all of which helps keep Pyroguard at the forefront of safety and testing in the industry.

How have you seen the fire-rated glazing industry evolve in recent years, and are there any key trends that you think will influence the industry – and Pyroguard – moving forward?

The Grenfell Tower disaster has had a major impact on how the entire industry – and the general population – view fire safety. People are now much more aware of the need to have robust certification, competent installation and third-party accreditations. There has been a definite movement towards adopting a ‘best practice’ approach to all aspects of the fire safety and testing process, which has focused attention on ensuring all materials and testing are up to standard now – ultimately reducing ‘corner cutting’.

In addition, architects and specifiers are much more keen to consider fire testing and fire safety design at the first stage of the process. There has been an increase in demand for more visual fire safety systems that are not only aesthetic, but also measured to the highest level of safety standards and fire testing.

As a Technical Sales Support Engineer, what does a typical working day look like for you? And what keeps you motivated?

Technical support varies day to day. I’m often working to provide technical support both internally and externally, so I’ll quite often be on the road visiting customers – both in the UK and abroad. I’m also hands-on with fire testing to ensure that all of our products meet the grade and perform exactly as they’re designed to in the event of a fire.

While that variety keeps me motivated in my job, I’m also striving to become an expert within the field. That means keeping ahead of industry trends and regulatory requirements so that our product developments always excel and we can provide the very best level of technical support to our customers. Our R&D department and the technical teams have a really strong commitment to this, so it’s a great team to be a part of and it’s inspiring to be involved with such dedicated individuals.

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