The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Fire Door Alliance has 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.
Be Certain, Be Certified calls for the adoption of third-party certification of fire doors throughout all UK buildings to raise the standards of fire door safety and help protect lives. It also provides detailed information on fire door safety ahead of upcoming legislation – the Fire Safety Bill and Building Safety Bill – which will strengthen regulation over fire safety for all building types.
An informational platform, Be Certain, Be Certified offers guidance and resources to anyone who is responsible for specifying fire doors in any UK building. The campaign also gives expert insight into the third-party certification of fire doors, detailing the testing, verification of product performance and manufacturing process controls undertaken by an independent body.
Helen Hewitt, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation said, “Fire doors play an essential role in protecting building occupants from the spread of smoke and fire and can be the difference between life and death. But there is a clear lack of understanding throughout the supply chain over fire door performance and compliance, which means we continue to see fire doors that are not fit for purpose used across the UK, putting lives at risk.
“Ahead of the biggest changes to fire safety legislation in recent times, through the introduction of the Fire Safety and Building Safety Bills and the proposed technical review of Approved Document B, now is the time for all building owners, landlords and specifiers to ensure that their fire doors meet the correct standards. Only through specifying fire doors that are third-party certified can building owners, managers and occupants have peace of mind that their fire doors will be fit for purpose, in terms of fire resistance and smoke control, and perform as designed in the event of a fire.”
Third-party certification of fire doors provides independent evidence of the performance of a fire door and ensures that its performance data was not a one-off result. A robust process, fire door third-party certification requires fire door manufacturers and processors to be audited by a third-party, fire door assemblies to be tested to industry standards and ongoing audits carried out to ensure all products are tested appropriately and produced to a consistent standard.
Third-party certified fire doors manufactured, or modified, by a BWF Fire Door Alliance member, carry a label with a unique code. This provides access to vital information such as the name of the fire door manufacturer or processor, certification information and the product specification and production records. The primary label will also show the fire door rating for its minimum tested burn performance, for example FD30 which denotes a minimum 30-minute burn time.
Helen Hewitt, CEO added: “There is currently no mandatory requirement under Building Regulations for organisations, public or private, to use third-party certified fire doors, and we’ve seen a significant number continuing to use non-certified doors, despite knowing the dangers that improper fire doors pose to building occupants and users.
“At the BWF Fire Door Alliance we believe the only way to ensure a fire door is fit for purpose is through third-party certification. Alongside the Be Certain, Be Certified campaign, we will continue to lobby for a regulated regime of independent third-party certification of fire doors to be enshrined in law to help protect lives across the country.”
For more information about third-party certification and the Be Certain, Be Certified campaign, visit: https://firedoors.bwf.org.uk/be-certain-be-certified/