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GAI seeks clarification after BS 476 22 fire door testing announcement

Fire door testing to BS 476 22 looks set to remain

The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) is seeking further clarification from the UK Government following the announcement by the UK and Republic of Ireland governments that fire door testing to BS 476 22 will continue to be accepted in England and Ireland alongside EN 1634-1. 

A consultation on amendments to Approval Document B, launched by both governments in early 2023, included a proposal to move away from testing to the British standard BS 476 22 in favour of testing solely to the European standard EN 1634-1.  

The GAI and its members have campaigned extensively in response to this proposal, highlighting the risks involved in the removal of BS 476 22, the many impacts it would have on the architectural ironmongery and construction sectors, and the lack of any meaningful benefit.  

GAI technical manager Douglas Masterson said: “While the initial announcement was a welcome one for the architectural ironmongery industry, the wider construction sector, and the safety of the built environment, there does appear to be further consultation ahead.  

“We are encouraged that the governments have listened and responded to our concerns so far, and I trust they will continue to do so. 

"These proposals would lead to the re-testing of a huge number of products currently on the market, costing millions of pounds, putting businesses and jobs at risk, and reducing the availability and choice of tested and compliant products – all without delivering any meaningful improvement to safety. 

“During our campaign we have delivered multiple technical briefings and run consultations which have identified and amplified these issues, and allowed us to deliver the views of the sector directly to MPs, TDs and all those in government involved in these proposals.  

“We are grateful to everyone who contributed so far to this industry-wide effort.” 

The specific announcements from each government are as follows: 

  • England: March 2024 amendments to Approved Document B, volume 1 and volume 2 for England, which sees any changes take effect from 30th September 2026 is available here. This details both BS 476 22 and EN 1634-1 in Appendix C: Fire Doorsets and Table C1 as being acceptable for fire resistance testing. 
  • Republic of Ireland: Technical Guidance Document B 2024 Fire Safety – Volume 1 Buildings other than Dwelling Houses (March 2024)  for Ireland is available here. This states the following in Appendix B1: Fire Doors “While classification of performance of a fire doorset to I.S. EN 13501-2 is the preferred method, internal fire doorsets may continue to be tested to BS 476 Part 22.”  This version of TGDB applies to the design of works, or buildings in which a material change of use takes place on or after 01 May 2025. 

The GAI will be continuing close liaison with Government and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), and updating its technical guidance to members as the position is confirmed.

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