PROFAB: Can you trust product fire rating test certificates?

Posted on December 13, 2017 by CCF



Choosing a product that carries the mark of a reputable third-party certification body gives assurances as to the performance of the products. Using certificated products, correctly installed, provides a powerful demonstration that due diligence’s have been served.





As a manufacturer of passive fire protection products Profab Access Limited acknowledge the value placed on QA and product certification by architects, specifiers, contractors and building owners. Technical Director, Austin Stone from Profab Access elaborates “Fire testing is an essential part of our product development regime, Certifire offers us the ability to differentiate our products from non-certified equivalents. Assuring clients that our products are consistent and fit for purpose is a primary policy. We are the first access panel manufacturer to have our products certified under this scheme. Similar to the UL certification scheme in the US, each production unit is fitted with a unique Certifire issued serial number for complete traceability. Furthermore, we sincerely hope this scheme becomes the standard of choice throughout the construction sector, nationally and internationally.” Certifire is a scheme which assures performance, quality, reliability and traceability of fire protection products and systems. The CERTIFIRE brand is recognised by many regulatory authorities worldwide as an international mark of fire safety. It is delivered in several countries throughout the world. Any product required to maintain its integrity in the event of a fire should have a valid and up to date fire rating test certificate issued by a recognised independent UKAS accredited testing laboratory. Proof of product certification must to be readily available to view upon request to confirm the manufacturer’s claims. BESEN and other fire certificates differ in that the manufacturer of the product is routinely independently checked under the certifier scheme to ensure that the product itself and production of it remains true to the tested specimen. Following an initial assessment of supporting documentation, which may include existing product test reports, a factory inspection is undertaken and a sample selected for testing. Further enforcing the validity of certification, the scheme also differs from proprietary testing by operating a policy of routine inspection to ensure manufacturing consistency.

Profab achieved UL (underwriters Laboratories) fire certification on one of its products some time ago, UL is the USA test standard and works similarly in that Profab routinely have independent inspection of the manufacturing processes and products to ensure the product remains “honest”. Profab have other products with the fire certifier accreditation. We have our range of Riser doors under the certifier scheme and our range of personnel doors which also have CE marking. It was our intention to ensure all our products carry the certifier label before the end of 2014. Hence we see Certifire as an ideal vehicle to raise standards in the market and provide confidence that a product is fit for purpose. Profab have seen products in the marketplace that we know have changes to what was tested, we have seen riveting replacing welding, larger products supplied as fire rated when only small sample tests have been carried out, materials removed , reduced and replaced to reduce cost, all these things  sour the general reputation of the manufacturers and market. We expect other Access Panel manufacturers to move to Certifire. It’s a positive step for our industry and we’re proud to be leading the way with access panels. We’re sure that the reputable manufactures with quality manufacturing processes and products will join in taking the industry to a more respectable level. Testing is always costly hence it’s not something smaller companies wish to invest in but we feel it critical to our industry’s reputation, having said this we actually anticipate unit price increases to cover this testing. Our industry has a moral obligation to put this ahead of product cost cutting and playing fast and loose with fire tested products. We hope Profab and its customers mutually benefit from certifier, we hope to benefit from increased business and revenue and our customers benefit by having confidence in compliant risk free products on time and in the knowledge that they are working with a company dedicated to investment in product safety and innovation to fulfil their future needs.


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