Inadequate and incomplete fire stopping leads to safety risks

Inadequate and incomplete fire stopping leads to safety risks

CROSS Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures UK (CROSS-UK) are the body used by Government to report safety issues to ensure information about safety issues in construction are shared with the sector. They recently published the following report.

Following numerous compartmentation surveys in residential flats, inadequate and incomplete fire stopping of cables and services have been regularly observed as they pass through compartment walls. These appear to be either as part of the initial build or following subsequent installations after premises occupation.

Inadequate fire stopping around cables and other penetrations

FIS together with ASFP and GPDA have developed a labelling initiative to ensure that follow on trades and engineers installing cables don’t simply pass their services through the compartment wall before investing how to carry out the work compliantly.

This link will take you to a short article, written by FIS Technical Director Joe Cilia, How do we ensure that fire walls forming compartmentation don’t fail because additional cables and pipes are installed through the wall post occupancy

More information on the Fire Labelling Scheme is available here: Fire Labelling

The artwork for the labels can be downloaded from

UK Government overlooks construction in extension of CE mark use

UK Government overlooks construction in extension of CE mark use

The Department for Business and Trade announces an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for UK businesses, but DLUHC (who regulate Construction Products) have indicated that this extension will not apply to construction products.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has announced today a package of smarter regulations designed to “ease business burden” that includes recognition of the CE mark in the UK beyond the 2024 deadline.  This means British firms will be able to continue the use of CE marking alongside UKCA in perpetuity.  But, FIS have been informed that this easement relates only to the 18 sectors that fall under DBT – it does not apply to construction products.

Announcing the change Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake stated:

“The Government is tackling red tape, cutting burdens for business, and creating certainty for firms – we have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver.  By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy.”

DLUHC have indicated to the Construction Products Association (who are leading representation on this matter through the Construction Leadership Council) that recognition for construction products will continue until 30th June 2025 ONLY.  The rationale offered is that the Government remains committed to ensuring the testing regime for construction products is effective and inspires public and market confidence.  DLIHC have indicated that they will set out their proposals for reform of the construction products regime in due course.

Commenting on this announcement FIS CEO Iain McIlwee stated:

“The logic is hard to follow here.  All the arguments about red-tape, business burden, avoiding cliff edges and refocussing on innovation and growth that apply are replicated, even magnified, in the construction sector.  The unnecessary re-testing of product that transitioning to UKCA necessitates is a waste of resource and, particularly in the case of fire safety, precious furnace time.  The Government talk about pragmatism, but this is not extending to construction and that is disappointing and frustrating in equal measure.  I only hope that “due course” considers, but doesn’t conflate the need to focus on product safety, which is a very separate and significantly more important issue to address.”

You can read the full announcement here.

Workmanship on construction sites – Design and installation of dry lining systems.

Workmanship on construction sites – Design and installation of dry lining systems.

The code of practice detailing design and installation of dry lining systems on construction sites has been reviewed.

The Guide which was last reviewed in 1994 has been updated by a panel of experts and includes definitions on systems and terms and guidance for designers, guidance on quality checking as well as information on tolerances and how to inspect completed work.

The Code of conduct is a must have for anyone involved in the industry as it clearly defines tolerances such as 3mm on the crown of a joint so that disputes around the subject can be addressed quickly.

A full check list to sit alongside the Code is being developed to assist phased quality checks.  When this is available FIS will be hosting a webinar to run through the changes and any impacts on our community.

BS 8000-8:2023 Workmanship on construction sites – Design and installation of dry lining systems. Code of practice now available on the BSI shop.

Switching from BS476 Fire Testing – An Open Webinar by CPA

Switching from BS476 Fire Testing – An Open Webinar by CPA

The government has consulted on a potential move from the BS 476 fire testing standard to the Europen standard EN 13501-1. This, without a doubt, will affect many stakeholders in the built environment.

BS 476 is well known across the industry and while some elements have some equivalence with European Standards many do not. Many areas of the industry rely on 476 while others question the equivalence of the European standard.

The CPA Chief Executive, Peter Caplehorn, will discuss its merits, problems and also possible solutions.

Sign up for the webinar here

FIS Responds to Consultation on Omitting National Standards from ADB

FIS Responds to Consultation on Omitting National Standards from ADB

FIS has today responded to the the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) consultation on changes to the guidance in England using Approved Document B (ADB).  This consultation includes the recommendation to remove national classes using the BS476 series as a method of demonstrating compliance.

The reason behind the change is that potential flaws in Approved Document B and the use of the national classification standards for Reaction to Fire and Fire Resistance were identified in both the Building A Safer Future work and during the Grenfell Inquiry.  As part of this, it was highlighted that the BS476 series standards have not been reviewed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) in detail for some time (typically over 20 years) whereas the European equivalents continue to be updated on a regular basis.

Through an extensive consultation with members concerns have been raised that this approach would be more problematic when looking at Fire Resistance.  Here manufacturers have been more heavily reliant on testing to British Standards.  This test evidence would all be rendered defunct by the proposed change and a substantial programme of retesting will be required to support the determination of products and systems commonly used today.

Click here for a fully copy of the FIS Position Paper and Response to Consultation on Omitting National standards from ADB March 2023

You can see a full copy of the consultation which closes on the 17th March here.  Please do consider adding your own response.

FIS launch two further guides for drylining

FIS launch two further guides for drylining

FIS has today launched two new expert guides; a Pre-construction Guide for Drylining and a Construction Site Guide for Drylining. They are an invaluable resource for the industry and aim to reduce risk, ensure compliance and guarantee that projects are delivered on time, and to budget. 

The guides have been produced off the back of concerning results gathered from an FIS Survey into Challenges in the Drylining sector. The survey found that amongst its member base, 97% of organisations had been asked to commence construction without having sufficient information to accurately detail the installation of the work.  Wider discussions had resulted in a number of concerns being raised linked to a lack of standardisation in design detailing required.  To start to address this, the FIS Drylining Working Group, which is comprised of manufacturers, designers and contractors working in the drylining sector, produced the guides to continue the provision of information and guidance to the point of installation.

The Pre-construction Guide for Drylining has been pulled together from decades of experience and focuses on the lead-up to commencing installation works. It highlights how to check bids and tenders for compliance, understand time requirements and site conditions, and ensure the design information is sufficient and fit for purpose.

The Site Guide for Drylining provides expert knowledge on preparatory work, sequencing, the checking of design information, how to recognise common issues and address them, and also how to perform quality checks to ensure building compliance.

Commenting on the guides, Iain McIlwee, FIS Chief Executive said:

“Drylining systems form firewalls, fire escape routes and provide passive internal fire protection so it is incredibly important to get it right at all stages of installation and this has to start far earlier and long before boots hit the ground. Our new guides allow professionals to reduce risks, support compliance and most importantly of all encourage responsible planning.”

The guide sits alongside other FIS best practice guides that relate to drylining:

The guides utilise the information, knowledge and good practice employed by its members and deliver a valuable resource for improving works package delivery, enhancing quality and aiding projects to be finished on time, safely and within budget.

FIS members can download both the Pre-construction Guide for Drylining and the Site Guide for Drylining at