Fire certification: how does it work?

Stairways Fire certification: how does it work?

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.

Global assessment

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.

Third-party certification

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.

Richard Kowalski
Technical Manager (Doors Division)
Stairways Midlands


Author: Stairways

Stairways, founded in 1989, has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft production capacity. Stairways goal is to raise their profile and brand awareness to become known throughout the industry as the UK’s leading staircase and door solution provider.

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As a highly reputable firm within the industry, Stairways are dedicated to meeting their client’s product and application requirements. All materials used are manufactured to the highest quality and meet the relevant standards achieving ISO9001, FSC®, and various product certifications, whilst their staircases and door solutions are manufactured with compliance to UK building regulations & legislative standards in mind. Using the knowledge, passion, and experience acquired across all team members over the past thirty years, Stairways aim to continue to be the best in what they do.


Stairways are continuously looking for opportunities to improve and expand their service offering; this includes the investment in new machinery to further enhance and innovate the manufacturing process, with the aim to shorten lead times and increase overall in-house capacity. The changes Stairways employ are always focused upon improving the customer experience, to ensure their process remains as efficient as possible from start to finish.


Privately owned and managed since it was founded in 1989, Stairways has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Starting as a small staircase manufacturer, Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft of bespoke and mass production capacity.