Correct fire door hardware can save lives.
Building owners and contractors are responsible for ensuring that fire doors have the correct certification, but certification can be quite a tricky subject. There are different bodies, keywords, and standards to be aware of; CE marking, British Standards (prefixed by BS), European Standards (prefixed by EN), harmonised standards or third-party approval schemes such as Certifire, they all have to be considered and checked before purchasing fire door hardware.
We have put together a quick and comprehensive diagram that should help to explain this a little better:
As you can see from our diagram, each item of hardware on a fire door has to meet a British (BS) or European (EN) standard. CE marking isn’t applicable to every product used on a fire door. CE marking is applicable only to those products where the BS EN standard has been harmonised under the Construction Products Regulation adding another level of compliance. These include:
- BS EN 12209 – Locks and latches
- BS EN 1935 – Hinges
- BS EN 1154 – Mechanical Door closers
- BS EN 1155 – Electromagnetic Door Closers
- BS EN1158 – Door coordinators
- BS EN 179 & BS EN 1125 – Panic and emergency exit devices
How does a product gain a CE mark?
As of the 1st July 2013, any product that comes under the scope of a harmonised standard must be CE marked before it can be placed on the market.
One big misconception is that ironmongery products are fire tested individually, that is incorrect. There is no fire certification for individual products, they cannot be tested in a fire scenario without being fitted to a door. Provided the products added to that door have not undermined the integrity of the door during the test then they are deemed to have been ‘included in a successful fire test’.
These test results are then used by the third-party test house to complete the requirements under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). After successful completion of mechanical testing of the ironmongery the product can be deemed ‘Suitable for Use On Fire Doors’. This combined evidence allows the issue of the CPR document and permits the use of the CE mark on the items of ironmongery tested (where the products standard is a harmonised Standard).
All products that are CE marked, and therefore deemed suitable for use on a fire door, will have a valid Declaration of Performance (DoP).
What is a Declaration of Performance?
The Declaration of Performance is a key part of the Construction Products Regulation. It provides information on the performance of a product.
Do I need to check the Declaration of Performance?
The simple answer is yes. Just because you can see a CE mark, it doesn’t always mean it has been formally CE marked.
Unfortunately, there is a very similar mark out there which is the China Export mark, look at the similarities below.
To be sure that you can use a product on a fire door you should always check the DoP. If the product needs to be CE marked, you will need to check for a number 1 in the fire classification box.
Where do I find a product’s Declaration of Performance?
DoPs must be made available for every CE marked product. This is either included with the product in the packaging, or available on the manufacturer’s website.
If they’re listed on the website, they must be readily accessible.
Ok so, I have bought a CE marked hinge and it has a 1 in the fire classification box on the DoP, can I now fit it to a fire door?
Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.
If buying doors and ironmongery separately, you will need to refer to the fire test evidence for the door from the door supplier. This can be a third party dedicated fire test report or a Global Fire Assessment. Both reports will define exactly what models have been tested with the manufacturer’s doors and also what alternative items of ironmongery are acceptable.
For example, the extract below is from a global assessment of a fire door. It clearly states that alternative items of ironmongery are acceptable provided they meet the relevant EN standards and carry the CE mark where applicable. Therefore, an alternative hinge can be used provided the DoP states EN 1935.
What about the products that don’t have to carry a CE mark?
Any non-CE marked items will also need to be checked against the doors fire test evidence to see if they fall within the scope of approval of the report.
One thing to remember; where the ironmongery and doors are bought separately from different suppliers, the responsibility is on the purchaser to ensure that the hardware components are compatible with the door supplier’s fire test evidence.
To make the selection of suitable fire door hardware easy, we have a range of fully certified and compliant Firemongery products available, see our website for more details.
We understand that selecting the right fire door hardware can be an arduous process and is a big responsibility for a purchaser, that’s why we also supply an integrated doorsets offering which takes away some of this hassle. We can guarantee the ironmongery we present to you as options for the door you choose will have been checked against all certification.