The Government’s recent consultation has just closed seeking views on a prioritisation of fire safety risks to help building owners, signalling an intent to carry out research on key factors.
ASDMA welcomes a re-focusing on risk, which allows the development of tailored fire safety solutions based on the risk profiles of buildings (not just related to height) and of building designs, related to building type, use and especially the particular concerns of those in the building.
But for products and product systems in constructions the conclusion is surely straightforward?
Low risk fire safety in buildings in turn points to low risk products to protect against fire. That is necessary particularly to limit fire size, control the effects of fire and minimise smoke spread.
The conclusion could not be clearer. Fitness for purpose is key. And for that aim there is already a well-established solution available, encouraged by manufacturers.
Specialist manufacturers of bespoke custom-made timber fire doors have long been accustomed to provide doorset designs and assemblies based on extensive testing, fit-for-use driven research & development and quality manufacturing.
The vital further ingredient encouraged by specialist manufacturers is third-party product certification (TPPC), carried out by an independent UKAS-accredited competent authority.
That’s providing re-assurance of fitness for use – by adding confidence in both the level and consistency of performance, extended to a defined scope of application, founded on test evidence and a demonstrated record of manufacturing and use.
TPPC is based on scrutiny of factory processes, continuous incorporation of new test evidence, routine product auditing and repeat tests, in accordance with core principles for impartiality and fairness from international process standards.
If low risk fire safety is to be a core Government aim, then the fundamental value of formal third-party product certification in reinforcing product performance and capability should not be ignored.