Why do these standards exist?
The need for a harmonised set of regulatory standards in relation to fire curtains is a necessity to ensure that all products meet a clearly outlined list of safety requirements. The standards mean that those selling or buying products such as fire curtains, can be absolutely sure that their products are fit for purpose. Many companies do not currently adhere to these new certificates, and will be continuing to sell products that do not in fact meet the new legal requirements.
What was the issue?
Prior to the EU ruling, there was no harmonised testing standard for fire resistant and smoke control products to follow and it was very unclear what standards tests needed to be carried out using in order to receive CE certificates.
Following the European Community’s decision to tighten the legal requirements of fire curtains, it meant that only fire curtains that have been certified to EN 16034 and EN 13241 could now be legally marketed, temporarily invalidating the sale of Colt’s FM1 and FMB fire curtains.
What do these certificates mean?
The need for the EN 16034 and EN 13241 certificates arose due to the new laws passed by the EU in November 2019, requiring all fire curtain products to meet these regulations.
EN 16034 refers to a set of harmonised European product standards that regulates the technical performance characteristics for fire proof and smoke control related products.
EN 16034 was introduced in 2016 as a means of starting the process of harmonising national regulations across Europe. The 1st November 2019 marked the end of the ‘coexistence phase’ alongside the national regulations.
What does this mean for Colt?
Following an extensive and thorough period of testing, Colt’s fire curtains have now obtained the certificates EN 16034 and EN 13241.
This means that Colt’s FM1 and FMB fire curtains have now been recognised as fully compliant with current European regulatory standards.
Fire curtains are an essential feature for a variety of building types to ensure the safety of those inside a building in the event of a fire. Fire curtains are vital in controlling the spread of the fire by sealing off areas where a fire occurs in order to compartmentalise the spread of fire and smoke.
The high priority placed on gaining European EN 16034 and EN 13241 certificates reflects Colt’s consistent commitment to meeting fire safety and smoke control regulations: in February 2019, Colt’s fire curtains were confirmed by the IFC Certification Ltd to be fully compliant to British Standard BS 8524.
How was certification achieved?
Our certification partner is the internationally renowned and well-experienced Applus+ technology centre and testing house in Barcelona, Spain.
The certification process can be a long and arduous task, so in order to be more efficient the process was divided into two phases:
We supplied Applus+ with all of Colt’s available fire curtain test reports. Using the data from these reports we have acquired certificates for all sizes of fire curtains up to a maximum size of 3x3 metres. This applies to both E Class and EW 30 Class.
Larger curtains need to be tested on site in Barcelona (EN 15269-11 EXAP).
Unfortunately, a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic has meant that we have not yet been able to carry out tests for larger sized fire curtains. Testing due to take place in Spain will be dependent on whether the travel restrictions remain in place but we expect these tests to commence in the coming weeks.
Click here to view Colt’s range of fire and smoke curtains.
What does this mean for fire curtains?
Crucially for Colt, the acquisition of these certificates removes all obstacles to selling fire curtains such as FM1 and FMB across Europe. The barriers have also been opened for the UK market, as the certificates also cover the British Standard requirements (BS 8524) that were attained last year.
By being able to list products that are fully compliant with the very latest and modernised regulations, this will ensure that our customers are given the reassurance they need that our products meet rigorous standards of safety.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this post. If you have any questions about fire curtains or would like to discuss a project, then please get in touch!
Conor Logan CEng FIMechE FCIBSE is Technical Director of Colt UK. Conor designs innovative smoke control and HVAC systems, represents Colt on many UK and EU standards committees and was Chairman of the Smoke Control Association for over 9 years.