Why Insist on third party certification?
Third party certification is a process that tests and verifies a fire door’s design, performance, manufacturing process and quality assurance from manufacture to installation. A company that subjects itself to third party certification is independently audited to ensure that all the management and manufacturing processes and systems are in place to ensure consistency with the product that was tested. The product too, is subjected to regular scrutiny, with frequent testing taking place on standard products to ensure that the test wasn’t just a once-only event.
Certification has 4 key elements:
1. The Fire Test: The fire resistance of a door assembly is determined by subjecting a full-size construction to test with procedures laid down in the appropriate fire resistance standard, BS 476: Part 22 or BS EN 1634-1. Testing a fire door at a UKAS approved test facility to BS476 part 22 or EN 1634 is the only sure way to prove that it is going to fulfil its rating.
2. Auditing the Manufacturing Process: In the case of the Fire Door Alliance, the company is independently audited by their chosen UKAS accredited Certification Body (via the BWF Certifire or Q-Mark Scheme). The purpose is to ensure that all the management and manufacturing processes and systems are in place to ensure consistency in the manufacture of the product that was tested.
3. The Audit Test: The product is subjected to regular scrutiny, with frequent testing taking place on sampled products to ensure that the test wasn’t a one-off result.
4. Traceability: All fire door and doorset manufacturers and licensed convertors identify their products by a unique labelling system which defines the member’s name contact details, the certification number, a unique serial number for each door and the rating. A traceable labelling system allows the door to be linked to the test report and for manufacturers, door processors, installers, inspectors and clients to check on the history and correct use of the door. It also provides a safety net. By listing this information, the label provides traceability through the supply chain, ensuring the manufacturer can always be contacted if information on the fire door is required.
What is the difference between third party certification and a test certificate?
A test certificate tells the purchaser that a company’s products have been tested and they have a certificate to prove it. But caution still needs to be taken with this information. It provides only a snapshot of the product test.