Incorrect use of wording when requesting evidence of the fire performance for a door set is a daily occurrence, in my experience. In the past, I have been as guilty as anyone!
We have all used the term “certification” or “certificate” when requesting evidence. However, did you know that only one out of the three necessary documents is actually called a certificate?
So, here are the facts. The three types of “certification” are:
Fire test report
This is a document issued by the test laboratory. It confirms what was tested and the results of the fire test. It does not provide a scope, or confirm that any deviations from the tested product can be made. Only a test report from a UKAS-accredited test laboratory should be accepted.
These can only be created if there is evidence to demonstrate fire performance and, therefore, at least one fire test report would be required.
The assessment takes information from the fire test report and creates a scope. For instance, within a fire test, if you test an oak door, the fire test only covers oak. An assessment would additionally allow you to use different timbers, like ash, maple or walnut. The greater the number of fire test reports, the wider the scope can be. As with the fire test report, ensure this has been completed by a UKAS-accredited laboratory. By using a UKAS-accredited laboratory, it ensures that the assessments are created by competent staff with experience in certification, fire testing and fire-rated products.
In most cases, a third-party certificate is a combination of the fire test reports and global assessments, with the addition of product marking, traceability, frequent product audit tests and yearly system audits. Third-party certification schemes will always be linked to a UKAS-accredited laboratory. This provides an additional level of reassurance that the product covered within the certificate is manufactured and supplied to the correct specification.
Third-party certificates are, technically, the only type of fire door document that are, in fact, a certificate.
Any of the above documents can be used to demonstrate the performance of a fire door. However, for instance, if you are only supplied a fire test report, this will only demonstrate the performance of the door as the tested item. Any changes made to the tested product would not be covered. It is recommended that only assessments and third-party certificates are accepted, unless you have had specific testing done for the product being used.
Always remember, a fire door is not just a door set. It could save a life one day.
Technical Manager (Doors Division)