Last year Inside Housing carried out an investigation on the replacement of faulty fire doors by councils across the UK. It was found that across 98 Councils, around 10% (approx. 33,000) of fire doors were unlikely to satisfy the 30 minute standard. As councils, social housing providers and private landlords embark on a replacement fire door programme, the BWF Fire Door Alliance has seen an increase in the number of enquiries regarding the third-party certification of fire doors. Partnering with Housing Management & Maintenance, we would like to provide clarification on third-party certification and the benefits it provides.
What constitutes a ‘Fire Door’? As an effective passive fire protection product, fire doors fulfil a life-saving role in resisting the spread of smoke and fire for a period dependent on their fire classification. A fire door is a general term used to describe a complete installed assembly consisting of a complex system of components that must work together to perform in the event of a fire to save lives. The system includes the fire door leaf, frame, ironmongery and the glazing. Unfortunately it’s only when a fire breaks out that the consequences of poorly manufactured or installed fire doors are known.
Demystifying third-party certification
Third-party certification is a process of testing and verifying a fire door’s design, performance, manufacturing process and quality assurance of procedures and supporting documentation. A company that seeks third-party certification is independently audited to ensure that the management and manufacturing processes, and supporting systems, are in place to ensure consistency with the fire door that was initially tested. The product is also subjected to regular scrutiny, with periodic testing taking place on standard products to ensure that the test wasn’t just a once-only event.
This thorough certification process offers peace of mind that the fire door will perform as designed in the event of a fire. It also provides visibility and traceability of the door’s journey through the construction supply chain.
Find Out More
On the BWF Fire Door Alliance website there a number of resources to help in the specification, installation and maintenance of fire doors, including our best practice guide. Visit https://firedoors.bwf.org.uk or email us on firedoors(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)bwf.org.uk to find out more.