Accreditations and certifications are critical for maintaining compliance with fire door regulations. They represent the strict standards that must be followed for fire doors to offer proper protection, and mark the culmination of rigorous testing procedures.
In the UK, certifications are provided by various organisations, including the government, industry associations and independent accrediting bodies. Ultimately, they show evidence that a fire door has been tested and approved to meet the required standards.
Fire door certifications are an important part of any passive fire protection strategy. In this article, we will elaborate on the key fire door accreditations in the UK, explaining their significance and how certification is obtained.
Why are fire door certifications important?
Achieving and maintaining these requirements provides independent third-party verification that fire doors have been tested and are therefore fit for purpose in the event of a fire. Building owners and managers are responsible for fire doors being installed, maintained, and inspected per the relevant requirements. Here are the main reasons why these requirements are so important:
In the context of passive fire protection, fire doors play a key role in a building’s compartmentation strategy. This means they help to limit the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building, provided that they have been properly installed and maintained. Fire door accreditations give that extra element of assurance that a building is being safeguarded.
Building owners and managers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of occupants and property. If a fire occurs and it is found that fire doors were not installed or maintained correctly, the building owner or manager may be liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Accreditation and certification schemes should help prove that fire doors have been subject to regular inspections and maintenance.
One of the most notable aspects of recent regulatory changes is the importance of a clear audit trail, and fire doors are no exception. A certification is a marker of compliance and therefore must be included in any safety information kept during the lifecycle of a building, in adherence to the golden thread approach.
Regulatory framework for fire door certifications
Fire safety regulations set out the requirements for fire doors, including their performance standards, installation, and maintenance. Additionally, several fire door accreditations have been developed by industry associations, such as the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the British Standards Institution (BSI), and the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). As mentioned previously, these accreditations show that fire doors have been tested in line with stringent safety and performance criteria.
Fire door accreditations and certifications
FIRAS is a well-known third-party certification scheme. It provides independent verification that a company’s fire protection installations, including fire doors, meet specified standards. The scheme is operated by the Warrington Certification Ltd and is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to BS EN ISO/IEC 17065:2012.
FIRAS certification is awarded to companies that have demonstrated competence in the installation of fire doors, and various other fire protection products and systems. Companies must undergo regular assessments to maintain their certification, showing that their work consistently meets the required standards.
The FIRAS certification scheme for fire doors covers a range of installations and door types, including timber, steel and glazed fire doors. Certification also applies to the installation of associated hardware, such as door closers, hinges, and locks. With FIRAS, all fire door technicians have to have their individual licences and are audited by the governing body. FIRAS will send out an audit team to inspect their work on fire doors and will only award their licence if the work is up to their standard.
BM TRADA offers a range of services related to quality, safety, and sustainability across various industries, including construction, energy, and manufacturing.
BM TRADA provides certification services to verify that fire doors meet the standards for smoke control and fire resistance. BM TRADA’s certification scheme for fire doors is known as the Q-Mark Fire Door Scheme and is recognised by the Fire and Rescue Authorities and the Building Control Bodies.
In comparison to FIRAS, BM TRADA grants a supervisor manager’s licence under which groups of technicians can operate. The supervisor is then responsible for signing off on their work, rather than the scheme. This means that the ultimate responsibility to uphold the accreditation standards lies with the supervisor holding the licence, not BM TRADA.
British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Fire Door Alliance
The BWF Fire Door Alliance is a leading industry association that provides fire door accreditations and certifications. In 1997 they established the BWF Fire Door Alliance Scheme, a third-party certification scheme for fire doors and their components, including hinges, locks, and intumescent seals. This scheme provides a comprehensive certification process that includes initial type testing of fire door assemblies, factory production control audits, and ongoing surveillance of certified manufacturers.
British Standards Institution (BSI)
The BSI is a recognised global leader in standards development and certification. The BSI has developed several standards related to fire doors, including BS 476 and BS EN 1634, which specify the fire resistance requirements for fire doors and other building elements.
The BSI offers third-party certification services for fire doors based on these standards. This process involves testing fire doors to determine their fire resistance performance, as well as surveillance of certified manufacturers to ensure ongoing compliance.
Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB)
The LPCB is a certification body that specialises in fire and security products and services. Certification for fire doors is provided through the LPS 1056 scheme, which relates specifically to security requirements for windows and doorsets.
The LPS 1056 certification process involves testing fire door assemblies and factory production control audits. This certification guarantees that fire doors are manufactured to consistent quality standards and that they meet the required performance criteria.
What are fire door plugs?
Fire door plugs are labels provided by accrediting bodies that show a fire door has met high standards for resisting fire and containing smoke. These can often be found on the top edge or hanging edge of the door. The background and colour of each label shows the certified capabilities of a fire door, as seen in the below examples from BM TRADA:
- Yellow background – 30 minutes of fire resistance
- Blue background – 60 minutes of fire resistance
- Brown or black background – 90 minutes of fire resistance
Fire plugs and compliance requirements
While labels are informative, it is important to note that fire doors can carry different labels other than the fire plugs mentioned above. Furthermore, the labels themselves are not sufficient to meet the legal conditions for fire door inspections.
In the event of a fire door inspection, evidence must be shown that proves the fire door is a primary tested door. This means that the door has been tested as a full set, and in adherence to the relevant British or European standards in a laboratory setting.
Concerned about whether your fire doors are compliant, or need to schedule an inspection? Get in touch with CLM Fireproofing. Our team has demonstrable expertise in fire door installation, maintenance and remediation. Contact our fire door specialists today.