Testing to the appropriate Fire Standard e.g. BS EN 1634 is a pre-requisite for products intended for use on Fire Doors and an essential element in attaining CE marked status. Manufacturers are required to label or identify the product with the certificate number and to supply fixing instructions to ensure that it is used in the correct way.
In addition to fire testing, products for use on fire, smoke and escape doors are also required to meet an appropriate EN performance standard. European product performance standards (ENs) have been developed for most building components, these include a comprehensive range of performance standards for architectural
hardware. Almost all of these European architectural hardware standards follow a common format to help their understanding by specifiers, architects & users. Each product is classified under a sequence of performance headings; generally, these are the same for all products.
Products are ‘marked’ with a six or more (8 for hinges) digit classification coding, this shows what levels of product performance are being claimed for the item. This classification system enables complementary items to also be specified to, for instance, a common level of corrosion resistance, category of use, door mass etc. Each product and/or its packaging is required to be marked with:
• The manufacturer’s name or trademark or other means of identification.
• Product identification number.
• The six or more digit classification number as above.
• The BS EN standard number e.g. BS EN 1935 for hinges
• The year and week of manufacture (this may be coded)
Specifiers should note that different levels of product quality can be determined by the specific coding the product gains. It is therefore worthwhile checking the coding against apparently homogenous products.
This is a scheme for the independent third party certification of passive fire protection products.
Having established the performance requirements under the appropriate EN, a full appraisal of the product is undertaken to determine the field of application, this analysis is often more stringent than the tests applied in gaining CE marking although one may contribute to the other. The Certifire test results information is contained in the certificate and specifies on which types of door the product is approved for, together with any limitations.
Approved Document B to the Building Regulations (England and Wales) recognises the importance of independent product conformity certification. It states:
‘Third party conformity certification schemes not only provide a means of identifying materials and designs of systems, products or structures which have demonstrated that they have the requisite performance in fire, but additionally provide confidence that the systems, materials, products or structures actually supplied are provided to the same specification or design as that tested/assessed.’ Full details of Certifire certificates are contained in a register, which is regularly updated and freely available to architects, specifiers and regulatory enforcement authorities. HI-LOAD hinges were the first to have Certifire approval and one of the very few ranges to have that approval. HI-LOAD hinges have exceeded 30 and 60 minutes testing on fire-rated timber doors and doorsets - without integrity failure.