FPA accredited to carry out BS 8414 testing

FPA accredited to carry out BS 8414 testing

THE FIRE Protection Association (FPA) has been officially accredited by UKAS to carry out BS 8414 testing on the ‘effectiveness of external cladding on buildings’.

In a release, the FPA stated that it was ‘open for business’ in regard to testing cladding systems to the BS 8414 standard, commenting that in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, cladding testing ‘has now become of paramount importance’, with the UK currently only having ‘few facilities’ in which to conduct the BS 8414 tests.

In turn, ‘even when a slot is available it can take months to receive results’, which contain the ‘vital evidence needed’ for building control approval. With the accreditation now received, the FPA’s ‘easily accessible’ sites at Moreton in Marsh and Blockley in Gloucestershire offer a ‘comprehensive range’ of testing facilities, providing results that ‘often exceed’ legislative guidelines.

The FPA has constructed two test rigs for commercial BS 8414 testing, with that test evaluating the ‘effectiveness against fire’ of external cladding on buildings. The rigs can test systems to part one (cladding attached to a concrete wall) and part 2 (cladding attached directly to a steel structure), while a half sized rig can test ‘bespoke’ elements surrounding a cladding test, such as the addition of a window or another type of opening to ‘more closely replicate’ a real life situation.

Jonathan O’Neill, managing director of the FPA, stated: ‘We’re proud to announce that the Fire Protection Association is now accredited by UKAS to carry out BS8414 testing. We have been instrumental in guiding legislation in the pursuit of thorough cladding testing and use of non-combustible materials, so this accreditation is vital to highlight our expertise.

‘Our experienced laboratory staff are able to guide our customers through the testing process, while providing independent and impartial results. As we have only just received accreditation we are able to offer availability for urgent testing requirements at competitive prices, as the Fire Protection Association is a not for profit organisation. We also pride ourselves on fast reporting turnaround times, usually providing the 8414 report within two weeks of testing.’