The LWF Blog
Passive fire protection for Building Professionals – Part 5February 20, 2020 9:26 am
In LWF’s blog series on passive fire protection for building professionals and contractors and those with an interest in structural fire protection issues, we aim to give an overview of the important role passive protection plays in the overall fire safety provision of a building. In part 4, LWF looked at passive fire protection products such as glass and glazing. In part 5, we will discuss third-party accredited products and contractors.
Third-party accreditation takes the form of an independent assessment declaring that specified requirements pertaining to a product, person, process or management system have been met. The accrediting body for fire protection purposes must be registered with the Passive Fire Protection Federation (https://pfpf.org/) and must be independent of any element of the manufacturing, sales and installation processes.
In order to become a third-party accrediting organisation, certain conditions must be met. The body must have experience of accrediting similar products or services, or of manufacturing, installing or testing similar products. It is also necessary for the organisation to be accepted by the industry as an expert in the field.
Third-party accreditor status can only be provided to companies who have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt their ability in relation to quality assurance and technical competence, along with a reputation of integrity and trust within the passive fire protection industry.
Accrediting bodies ensure that the products have been adequately tested and that the mandatory installation guides and operational instructions for the accredited product are correct . The body will usually be industry and sector specific and so will only be able to accredit those items and contractors which fall into their remit.
Some installers mistakenly believe that if they have been trained by the manufacturer, they are third-party accredited installers. While manufacturer training can be extremely useful for an installer, the standards to which they would be held by a third-party accrediting body are significantly more onerous. In addition, an accrediting body may follow up on installations or the manufacturing standard of products which are undertaken after accreditation has been achieved, whereas a manufacturer will not do this.
The aim of the third-party accrediting body is to ensure that a suitable standard of installation or manufacture is provided and is being maintained over time. The benefit of using third-party accredited products or companies is to ensure receipt of a consistent quality of service and product manufacture. Once accredited, fire stopping professionals can become members of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection (the ASFP).
At LWF we would always recommend that third party accredited fire stopping products or installers are used to ensure that those with an interest in the buildings safety can be justifiably confident in their passive fire protection. For a list of accredited ASFP members please follow this link.
In part 6 of this series, LWF will continue looking at third-party accreditation. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please do not hesitate to contact this office on freephone 0800 410 1130.
While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.