It’s not often I’ll do a rant but I’ve had enough of companies falsely claiming that a ‘system’ is CE marked. Quite simply it’s just not possible and I think it’s wrong to mislead people.
In any industry, and especially in one like smoke control where the stakes are high, it’s the responsibility of the industry to educate and inform customers and specifiers and not to feed them false and misleading information. It’s not right and could affect the integrity of the industry and reputation of those making the claims – you know who you are!
What is a CE mark?
A CE mark is to demonstrate that a component meets a regulated standard of performance. You can't CE mark a system but you can CE mark relevant products which are components of the system, either to the relevant parts of EN 12101 (smoke control) or to other standards. Standards also set out the testing regime and the participation of third party certification and test bodies in order to demonstrate that products meet the required standard.
Misleading people is a common problem, though. The real purpose of the CE mark of course is for freely transporting goods across the EU and so you can see why it only covers products. For example, a fan can be CE marked but a combination of fans cannot be CE marked and is not intended to be.
How do you know whether a CE mark is real?
Each CE mark will have an associated Declaration of Conformity related to the claim, which should be available on request. If you want to dig deeper then ask for a copy of the certificate from the Notified Body, or even the test reports. Currently it’s possible to CE mark smoke barriers to EN 12101-1, natural ventilators to EN 12101-2, powered ventilators (fans) to EN 12101-3, smoke ducts to EN 12101-7, smoke dampers to EN 12101-8 and power supply equipment to EN 12101-10.
What is changing with CE marking in 2013?
Up until now CE marking products in the UK to the Construction Products Directive has been optional. However under the new Construction Products Regulation, which replaces the Directive, it will be mandatory to CE mark to the Construction Products Regulation from July 2013.
If you’ve seen any claims which are outrageous or misleading (normally found on poorly prepared marketing and product information, rather than in contracts of course) let me know.
Thank you, rant over.
Paul is a Technical Director for Colt, experienced in smoke control, HVAC, solar shading and louvre systems.