JELD-WEN has become the first UK volume timber stair manufacturer to be…

JELD-WEN has become the first UK volume timber stair manufacturer to be certified by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) for its fire protected timber stairs.

The LPCB, which is part of BRE Global, assesses and certifies fire and security systems and services against standards, such as British Standards, European Standards and Loss Prevention Standards (LPS), which are developed in co-operation with manufacturers and insurers.   It also provides independent third party certification and listing of fire and security products and services.

JELD-WEN’s fire protected timber stairs initially underwent extensive testing to the Government’s CLG funded, BRE developed test method BD2569. This was followed with the Company being evaluated by LPCB, which included approval of the company’s quality management system to ISO 9001, as well as assessment and surveillance of the factory production control system. Being certified to LPCB also includes ongoing periodic audit testing of the product.

As a supplier of LPCB approved products, JELD-WEN is authorised to label its fire resisting timber staircases with the instantly recognisable LPCB ‘horseshoe’ mark and the company is now being listed in the LPCB’s Red Book live on their website and will appear in the 2012 Edition of the hard copy Directory, long regarded as an essential for every Architect’s library.  This gives specifiers and developers the confidence that JELD-WEN can demonstrate the quality of its stairs, which means that fire related hazards in buildings are being minimised and occupants better protected.

Ian Purkis, President of the British Woodworking Federation and Technical Director at JELD-WEN, said: “We are very proud to be the first LPCB certified manufacturer of fire protected timber stairs. Increasing numbers of developers are looking to use timber stairs for low to medium rise apartments and this certification will give them added confidence to specify our stairs. This is a really exciting development, as it demonstrates how timber stairs are a very real alternative to concrete for apartment buildings up to six storeys high, which will bring major cost and environmental benefits for developers.”

Tony Baker at the BRE/LPCB said: “This certification is about giving specifiers and developers more confidence about products that meet fire protection requirements.  They should be in no doubt now that JELD-WEN’s timber stairs can be specified for low and medium rise blocks, in the knowledge that they help minimise fire risks in the buildings they are designing, specifying or managing.” 

Stairs can be one of the most hazardous locations in a home, where research showed that 800 fatalities and major injuries are caused every year.  JELD-WEN, working in conjunction with the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), has developed a consistent standard for the industry to recognise compliant and non-compliant stairs.  

As a result of this work, JELD-WEN became the first timber stairs manufacturer to be accredited to the BWF’s Stair Scheme in the latter part of 2010.  All accredited stairs are recognised by the scheme’s badge, which is fixed to the product in the factory.

Rigorous tests carried out by the BRE as part of the BWF’s Scheme confirmed that JELD-WEN’s timber stairs are effective as a means of escape, even after extremely hazardous fire conditions. No only does this show the stair was not consumed in a fire, but also that JELD-WEN’s fire protected stairs demonstrated that they could maintain their normal function in the event of a fire occurring within a stair enclosure. One of the test requirements following the actual fire test, is that the stair will still carry a large static load, confirming its functionality to be used as an Escape Stair for building occupants.  This test concluded that JELD-WEN’s fire protected timber stairs can retain their normal function after extreme fire conditions within a stair enclosure, providing building occupants with a route to escape.

BWF Stair Scheme Chairman, Pauline Kelly, said: “Achieving fire certification for timber stairs is a major step forward for our Scheme, for JELD-WEN as a manufacturer and for the joinery industry as a whole.  We can now prove that timber stairs are acceptable under the Building Regulations as escape stairs, which means that they are a viable and cost-effective option in multi-storey, multi-occupancy buildings.”

JELD-WEN offers a full range of made-to-measure and stock flights, as well as stair components.   The company also offers the top 20 most popular stair layouts to make specification easier.  JELD-WEN produces stairs in a full range of designs and timber options, including oak, pine and kerto, to suit customer needs. This also includes a choice of factory finished options that enhance performance and prolong the lifespan of the staircase.  Stairs are also available with full FSC Chain of Custody Certification, on request.

JELD-WEN provides a free on-site survey within five days of quotation and full technical advice through its team of stairs specialists.

To request the latest JELD-WEN stairs catalogue, call 0845 122 2890 or visit the website

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