Fire certification

Stairways Fire certification
Understanding fire door certification

Fire certification of doors is currently a hot topic. Understanding how the certification process works is important when requesting evidence of fire performance for your doors.

It’s something we hear all the time: “Can I have a copy of your fire certification, please?” but what does this mean?

In fact, there are three types of documents that are involved in fire certification – and only one of these is actually a certificate.

The three main documents that may be supplied are:

  • Fire test report – This describes what happens to a product in fire test conditions.
  • Fire assessment – This can be a global assessment or a project-specific assessment.
  • Independent product conformity certificate – Also known as third-party certification.

All three of these can serve as evidence of fire performance – but they’re also all very different. So, let’s take a look at each one in more detail.

Fire test reports

Fire test reports are sometimes (but not often) issued as certification for a product. The report confirms that a specific doorset (of a certain height, width, design and fittings) has been tested and either passed or failed the fire test. It does not cover any deviation from the tested sample.

The report is just that, a report on what happened in a fire test. The fire test should always be carried out by a UKAS-accredited test laboratory, according to the guidelines laid out in

  • BS 476-22:19871 – Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method for determination of the fire resistance of non-loadbearing elements of construction, or
  • BS EN 1634-1:2014+A1:2018 – Fire resistance and smoke control tests for door and shutter assemblies, openable windows and elements of building hardware. Fire resistance test for door and shutter assemblies and openable windows.

If you can get a fire test for the specific product that you intend to use, then this is the best evidence. However, this is rarely done due to product variations.

Fire assessments

The British construction industry loves to design flamboyant buildings with unique specification and designs, making every building – and door – different from the next. But with so much variation, it would be impossible to test every single design, size or specification that is proposed. The industry, therefore, uses fire assessments.

An assessment generally consists of multiple fire tests, and it is common for an assessment to encapsulate 30-40 fire tests. These documents are created by a UKAS-accredited test laboratory or certification body, and they provide the scope for variations in criteria like size, finish and design. The UKAS bodies use the test reports, as well as specific product rules and their extensive experience to create these documents and the scope within them.

Third-party certificates

Independent product conformity certificates – better known as third-party certificates – are the only documents that are actually called certificates. They are available when the door manufacturer is a member of an independent product conformity scheme.

Fire test reports and fire assessments form the basis of the third-party certification. However, unlike the other two documents, all third-party certificates require that scheme members have regular inspections and fire test audits every five years.

In addition, factory production audits must be carried out every 12 months. The manufacturer must provide installation instructions and data sheets and be an ISO 9001-registered company. They must also ensure that all products are labelled or identified as being a fire door and that they are included as part of a relevant scheme.

Some schemes also require products to be labelled with a unique identification number. These offer full traceability of individual doorsets, from factory to site, and make it easy to gather specific information, such as manufacturer, date of manufacture, to whom the door was supplied, where it was delivered and even where it should be installed within a building.

Which fire certification document do you need?

All three of the documents listed above can be used and are acceptable evidence of fire performance. However, when receiving a fire test report or fire assessment, we recommended you check the documents carefully to ensure the product being received matches the evidence in the documents.

The third-party certification offers a better reassurance that the product being supplied is certificated due to the regular audits and scheme rules.

For more information on third-party certification, please visit our fire door testing service page or visit the BWF Certifire website.

Stairways

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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Commitment

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.

THE FUTURE

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.

THE HISTORY

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.

RESIDENTIAL

Stairways are passionate about helping national and regional housebuilders, architects and contractors complete large-scale project requirements within the residential sector. Stairways quality timber staircases and door solutions are often specified due to their functionality, flexibility and ease of installation, whilst offering peace of mind compliance.

STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

Stairways are the perfect supplier of FSC® accredited range of door solutions. Offering a range of door and frame finishes, acoustic, fire and smoke resistant configurations that are ideally suited for heavy traffic student accommodation. Their vast experience with producing high-quality door solutions for a wide range of projects ensures that they consistently meet and exceed expected timescales, specification and performance requirements.

Leisure

Choose from Stairways variety of opening systems within the Eco-Mercial range to best assist with functionality and performance requirements. Our vast experience with producing high-quality door solutions and staircases for a wide range of projects ensures that we consistently meet and exceed expected timescales, specifications, and performance requirements.

Education

Choose from Stairways variety of opening systems within the Eco-Mercial range to best assist with functionality and performance requirements. Our vast experience with producing high-quality door solutions and staircases for a wide range of projects ensures that we consistently meet and exceed expected timescales, specification and performance requirements.

Commercial

Stairways provide innovative design and finishing solutions to architects, specifiers and contractors. Our FSC® accredited range of door solution and staircase products are ideally suited for heavy-duty applications within the commercial sector.

Hotels

Stairways are one of the leading manufacturers of doors, door sets, and door solutions. Their door solutions for hotels and leisure facilities meet and exceed all the relevant safety and performance requirements, whilst achieving the relevant aesthetics in keeping with the building design.

Medical

Stairways are the perfect supplier of FSC® accredited range of door solutions. Offering a range of door and frame finishes, acoustic, fire and smoke resistant configurations that are ideally suited for heavy traffic medical facilities. Their vast experience with producing high volume, high-quality door solutions that consistently meet and exceed expected timescales, specification, and performance requirements.