014 BP 1016

BP 10 October 2016

NEW BUILD & SOCIAL HOUSING performance in fire, but additionally provide confidence that the products actually supplied are provided to the same specification or design as that tested/assessed." Schemes such as the BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme provide third party and independently certificated products. This can help provide the assurance that the ironmongery or intumescents are fit for purpose. It is imperative that architects and specifiers are aware that should incorrect product selection occur, and non-CERTIFIRE approved ironmongery or intumescents are used on BWFCERTIFIED fire doors, the certification of the complete fire door is invalidated. This can result in legal action being imposed and put lives and property at risk. In all cases and from a legal perspective – all essential hardware should be CE marked as required within the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). Robust specifications also rely on making an informed and educated choice. This is why it is essential to investigate the test certificates supplied by manufacturers as unfortunately this can be a source of confusion in itself. Should a manufacturer have a certificate – this 14 BUILDING PRODUCTS | OCTOBER 2016 does not automatically mean that the door closer is compliant for the scenario for which it has been selected. Best practice means checking the ‘scope of approval’ on the test certificate itself, which details the product’s suitability for door types and the installation variants, which could potentially occur. For example, in the case of door closers – these can either be door or transom mounted, with a standard arm, parallel or slide arm application for use on latched or unlatched door. Always check the certificate covers the proposed type of installation. When selecting fire doors, architects and specifiers have to also address ease of access. It is important to understand that not all door closers can meet both criteria for fire safety and ease of access. This is where the CE certificate and Third Party Fire Test Certificate will satisfy Approved Document B and the necessary fire performance. When it comes to access into and through buildings, this is the main requirement of the Equality Act. The specific performance of door closers and the revised requirements for minimal opening forces is detailed within the Building Regulations BS8300: 2009 and Approved Best practice means checking the 'scope of approval' on the test certificate itself Document M in England and Wales, Section 3 in Scotland and Part R in Northern Ireland. These all state that: “…a door set must produce an opening force of below 30N between 0deg. and 30deg. and below 22.5N between 30deg. and 60deg..” Whilst that might sound straightforward - it is important to be aware that it is impossible for a manufacturer to claim it has a door ‘closer’ that is compliant with the Equality Act. The Act does not mention door hardware. However if the building regulations are met then this will meet the Equality Act’s requirements for ease of access. Unless the door is Automated or fitted with a Hold Open or Free Swing door closer, then there is no way of guaranteeing compliance. Regulations state the opening forces are in relation to the door ‘set.’ Door closers are an important element in meeting the values for door opening forces; however the effect of other ironmongery should be taken into account. When it comes to fire safety and ease of access, there is a huge amount of legislation, but it is important to be aware of the issues to consider - to get the specification right from the outset. This means only ever using a third party certificated piece of door hardware, which is CE marked and undertaking a thorough investigation of the information and test certificates. Reputable manufacturers will never shy away from providing comprehensive data or support and by making an educated and informed decision – architects and specifiers can ensure they have played their role in ensuring that a fire door is truly fit for purpose. Graham Hulland is Product Marketing Manager at dormakaba


BP 10 October 2016
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