When Frank Pierce went on stage at our recent Fire and Life Safety Expo many commented that they kept the best until last.
The advertised topic was Construction Products Regulations (CPR) and it certainly generated some interest as there were quite a few that joined the audience to hear what he had to say.
Construction Products Regulations
Frank choose this topic as he wanted to make our clients aware of what regulations are out there so they could avoid making any major mistakes. As he gave his interpretation of the CPR he stated that ignorance is no defence and with large fines and prison terms as a threat it was time for everybody to look for guidance. While all products must reach a certain standard, some don’t. The main concern when it comes to liability is when using a non-compliant product as not only will it make insurance null should something occur, it may render a building not fit for purpose and result in it being shut down.
If there is a relevant European standard, then there is an obligation to use a CE mark. Where an EN standard for a product exist then only products which comply with that standard may be used in a construction project. Fixed firefighting equipment comes under this remit. It includes fire alarm/detection, fixed firefighting, fire and smoke control and explosion suppression products. Fire alarm products do come under the CPR, however, it was interesting to learn that emergency lighting does not. In fact, very few electrical items come under this standard, it mainly deals with equipment used to build buildings.
Harmonised EN applies to products rather than systems, Frank referred to the EC NANDO website as a further reference point. Harmonised products must carry the CE mark and they must have declaration of performance documentation. Depending on classification they may require a third party certification and/or involvement of a notified body. The CE mark indicates a product compliance with EU regulation and enables free trade within European economic area and European free trade association. The mark is more than just two letters, it will contain manufactures address, certificate number, product data and more. These will be missing from product coming from China for example.
The importance of using quality products that are properly certified for use cannot be overstated. If you are providing a quality service to your clients and want to be known as a professional service provider you will ensure you will only use products that are tested and certified for use. As a distributor Northwood will ensure all their products comply so their customers can rest assured they are covered.
Frank wonders what issues Brexit will bring. If you are currently purchasing directly from the UK you may become the importer now, with all the responsibility. Maybe that product you are bringing in now could bring you more heartache than you want. What about stock that you have already imported pre-Brexit? So many questions, you need to decide if you want to risk it.
As a distributor Northwood Technology take care that our products are compliant with regulations, that documentation is correct and instructions are in the right language. We also ensure that manufacturers details are available and all necessary requirements are met.
We take the quality of equipment very seriously and we have built our reputation on it. That’s why our customers can rely on us to only supply equipment that has been produced to the highest standard and comply with all relevant regulations.