Fire doors play a vital role as part of a buildings passive fire protection system. They help sub-divide the building in to compartments, slowing down the spread of fire and smoke and allowing occupants to escape by keeping routes clear of fire and smoke.
Fire door manufacturers often make claims that their doors are tested and achieve a certain performance level. But, did they actually pass? How can they prove it?
All fire door designs should be tested to BS 476 Part 22 or the European equivalent BS EN 1634 Part 1. This represents how they will function during a fire. It is important for a manufacturer to demonstrate that the products they make are consistently fit for purpose.
Ways of demonstrating fire door performance1. Testcertificate
A certificate tells the purchaser that a company’s products have been tested and they have the certificate to prove it. However, caution still needs to be taken with this as it only provides a snapshot of the product test.
This is where a manufacturer makes their own claim of conformity by stating their product ‘complies with’ or is ‘designed to’ or ‘tested to’ a certain standard. There is no guarantee that these claims are correct and that the products meet the right standards.
3. Third party certification
The company 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 is subjected to regular inspection, with frequent tests taking place on the fire door.