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Proof of a fire door’s performance is essential in protecting the lives of building occupants. But does a one-off test result mean that fire doors are fit for purpose? No.
To be certain, fire doors should be certified.
Third-party certification of fire doors and doorsets provides crucial evidence that a fire door, when correctly installed and maintained, is fit for purpose and complies with fire door regulations, designed to protect lives and property.
Offering traceability throughout the construction supply chain, including important information about the door’s component parts, fire door third-party certification is a reassuring way to ensure that a fire door will perform as designed in the event of a fire.
Whether you are a landlord, a building manager in the public or private sector, an architect or building designer, knowing that a fire door will perform as it should is critical. A fire test report alone does not prove this.
Fire door third-party certification means that the door manufacturer or processor is audited by an independent third-party organisation to provide evidence that the product is tested appropriately and produced to a consistent standard. This gives verification of product performance and reassurance over consistency and quality.
In April 2021, The British Woodworking Federation Fire Door Alliance launched an awareness campaign, Be Certain, Be Certified, to highlight the importance of third-party certification of fire doors in improving fire safety standards across the UK. The campaign addresses a “clear lack of understanding” over what certification is and the vital role it plays in protecting lives.
Fire safety has rightly been treated with far greater urgency by those involved in building construction, ownership and management since the Grenfell tragedy. In the years since, new legislation in the shape of the Building Safety Act and the Fire Safety Act has been drawn up. These are intended to ‘create lasting generational change’ in the way that building products are manufactured, buildings are built and maintained, and how safety risks are considered and managed.
To gauge the current understanding, appetite and attitudes towards third-party certification, The BWF Fire Door Alliance conducted a survey of those who are responsible for the specification, installation and maintenance of fire doors. The findings suggested that while there is generally a good awareness of the benefits of third-party certification, some misunderstandings and misconceptions remain – which this report aims to identify and challenge.
In the year after the Building Safety Act became law, awareness of the benefits of fire door third-party certification is growing, but the proportion of certified fire doors in use has dropped slightly, new research for the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Fire Door Alliance has shown.
In March 2022, the BWF Fire Door Alliance conducted a survey of 1,000 people with responsibility for fire door specification, installation and maintenance across the UK to assess understanding of the Building Safety Act. The results have been published in our new report.