Canary in the mine?

Glass Times editor reflects on recent concerns that product certification is not taken seriously enough.

Mark Hutchinson, MD of fabricator Tradesmith, has announced that he is suspending the sale of bought-in fire-rated composite doors until further tests have been carried out and the results published.

This follows the government’s recent announcement that five manufacturers’ fire doors failed to meet fire performance standards after an ongoing investigation by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

“I expect others who buy fire doors for resale will be doing the same,” he said.

He asks if this issue is the canary in the mine. He also asks if there is a wider issue, and are we taking standards and certification seriously?

I think he makes a valid point, and it is a subject that has cropped up in many conversations I’ve been having with manufacturers and suppliers.

Following my own research into news stories for the September issue, it is beginning to look like certification is often a box that needs to be ticked, not a framework within we should all operate.

If we want end users to have faith in the construction and home improvement industries, then standards and certification – and their policing – needs to be taken more seriously.

To be honest, we shouldn’t be having this conversation in 2018.