Fire door certification documents: the top 10 basics
Times are changing and fire certificates, more than ever are, being scrutinised to help us improve safety.
In days gone, many people would routinely request a copy of the fire certification and simply file it. This is no longer the case, not before time, but this is causing some confusion and misinterpretation.
So we thought that, during Fire Door Safety Week, it would be timely to look at the basic top 10things to be aware of when dealing with fire door certification.
Before we even start, and as early as possible, ask for copies of the certification for the product being used. Do not, as is often the case, wait until the end of the project.
Is the certification in date? Most will have a valid to or expiry date. You should not accept a certificate if it is out of date. However, in some cases this may be accompanied by an extension letter, though these are rarely more than a month or two in length. This is often done if the certification body is running behind on updating documents.
Is the certification supplied by a UKAS-certified body? The most common ones are: Warrington Fire (Exova, Certifire) BM Trada (Warrington Fire, Q-Mark), BRE, Blue Sky, UL and IFC. If you receive a document that has an unknown name, or does not have a UKAS mark, check the company which has produced the document.
Does the product name shown within the certification match that of the product being supplied/specified? Most documents will have the name of the product on the front page. The product name should match that shown in the quotation and the product on site. Sometimes, the product will have a marketing name that does not match that shown in the certification. In this case, you will need to make sure that the construction of the door matches that being supplied as well as gaining confirmation from the supplier. For example, a door within the marketing materials may be called a Chester, but the certification does not refer to this marketing name.,
Does the certification cover the size of door set being used? The document will stipulate the maximum size permitted and is most commonly shown in a table.
Does the certification cover the configuration that is being specified/supplied? Single-action single door set, single-action double door, double-swing single door or double-swing double door, and so on. Some certifications only cover single door sets and not doubles. Be mindful of this.
Does the certification cover the frame material being used? The document will prescribe the type, MDF, softwood or hardwood, as well as the minimum timber density. Just because it’s hardwood does not automatically mean it is suitable. The document will also stipulate if specific frame materials cannot be used and will show the minimum profile sizes permitted for the product, like thickness, stop size, etc.
Does the certificate cover any glazing systems/apertures? If so, is the glass, glazing system, glazing bead size, material and/or aperture size being used covered within this?
Does the certification cover the ironmongery being used/specified? The document will provide rules for each ironmongery component and if it can, or can’t, be used. It will also stipulate the maximum size of items such as locks. It will note the maximum permitted face plate of the lock. This may be shown as 75mm, for example, which means the face plate of the lock being used cannot exceed this size.
Does the certification cover the intumescent detail being used/specified? For example, one 15×4, two 15×4, and so on. Also, the document will stipulate the specific make and brand of the intumescent seal which will be required to be used.
Is the certification document signed? This may seem like a simple, obvious thing, but, technically, if the document does not have the signature of the creator or the named company, then it is not valid.
Hopefully, this will assist in ensuring your product is certificated. If you have any questions relating to the documents you receive, don’t hesitate to contact the sender. If you are wary of any responses you receive, contact the creator of the document, like Warrington Fire, IFC etc. These companies will be happy to assist. You can also seek independent advice from associates like the Fire Door Alliance, ASDMA and the Doors & Hardware Federation.
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.