There is yet further uncertainty, confusion and delay once again over the intended start of CE marking of doorsets for fire resistance. At a recent meeting, the responsible committee, CEN and the Commission failed to agree.
The original target of 1 September for introduction of the necessary standard EN 16034 is now looking unlikely. The new date could be 1 Dec 2016; possibly even 1 Dec 2017; maybe even later than that.
The stumbling block …… The work that is needed is to rationalise the scopes of standards EN 14351-1 and prEN14351-2 with standard EN 16034. EN 16034 only covers fire resistance and smoke properties, yet both EN 14351-1 (external doorsets) and prEN 14351-2 (internal doorsets) have been written to exclude doorsets with fire resistance characteristics. So there is conflict between the standards, and no practical way for doorsets with fire resistance characteristics to be CE marked.
The Commission has requested initial minimum work to rationalise the differences by modifying the scopes of 14351-1 and -2, then further work during the 3-year transition period to bring the standards closer together. The required changes are seemingly trivial. And it should be easy with a sensible outlook to make the required adjustments. Yet here we are after more than a decade of committee comings and goings still without a way forward.
Delays and delays ….
The committee has also chosen to bring in further changes that were not anticipated, which introduces a potential legal complication. Also, the Commission has declared that CE marking to EN 16034 cannot be made until prEN 14351-2 has been through the voting and ratification process for citing in the Official Journal. That can take at least 6 to 12 months. And the period for voting hasn’t started yet. The Commission has also said that there are no Notified Bodies yet appointed for EN 16034, so CE marking for fire resistance and smoke control cannot take place.
If the most sensible suggestion should be taken up – to include fire resistance in EN 14351 as the standard for doorsets, and use EN 16034 as a supporting standard – then there could be a further 4 years before this horrible confusion is resolved.
Fire safety in the UK does not depend on CE marking and the introduction of EN 16034, which only applies to doorsets (supplied in full, including the frame and all components, from one source). None of this affects the flexible supply of door assemblies – backed by established independent third party certification – as customarily and happily followed in the UK under building regulations.