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November 16, 2022


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

Testing and certification

New UK fire resistance testing lab opened by UL and the Fire Protection Association

In response to the urgent demand for more fire testing facilities in the UK, a major new fire resistance testing laboratory at Blockley, Gloucestershire, opened on 15 November, said to feature two of the largest furnaces of their kind.


The new lab opened on 15 November at the FPA’s facilities in Gloucestershire

UL Solutions, in partnership with the Fire Protection Association (FPA), has opened a new fire resistance testing laboratory for building products and systems, doors and windows, fire stopping, joint systems and related fire resistance products.

The closer partnership between UL and the FPA and planning for the testing lab was announced last year, to support the push for third part certification.

Located in Blockley, Gloucestershire, the facility features fire resistance test furnaces, funded by UL, that will benefit manufacturers from the UK, Europe and worldwide who require independent fire testing and certification. The testing capabilities at the laboratory will also be beneficial to manufacturers seeking UKCA and CE marking services.

The FPA’s BS 8414 test rigs at Moreton-in-Marsh are now complemented by the two new furnaces at Blockley. The large four-by-three metre wall furnace can accommodate larger test samples, and more systems can be tested simultaneously, allowing UL to provide customers with expedited results. A high resolution CCTV system allows tests to be recorded and live streamed.

“This new laboratory offers much-needed extra capacity for fire resistance testing, and we’re delighted to have worked with the FPA on this project,” says Karine Johnfroe, Vice President and General Manager of the Built Environment group at UL Solutions.

“The partnership between the FPA and UL Solutions demonstrates our shared mission of working for a safer world. With the Blockley laboratory and by offering services to help meet regulatory and code requirements, we are able to provide trust and confidence to code authorities while supporting contractors and building owners that building products they use to meet regulatory and code requirements.”

Welcome news for the industry

The opening of the new laboratory is said to be of welcome news for manufacturers, specifiers and contractors. In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy of 2017, they are now required to provide detailed test data for their projects and will now have increased independent testing capacity in the UK.

The laboratory’s location in central England, the fire safety expertise that the two parties bring, and the synergies that come from UL cooperating with the FPA, will help satisfy the needs for independent testing capacity and help ensure better fire safety compliance for a wide range of construction products and systems, says the two organisations. Although the fire resistance laboratory has been developed primarily to support UK-based manufacturers, it also serves as a resource for businesses outside the UK wishing to access the post-Brexit market, who can use it to confirm that their products meet UK requirements and standards.


Jonathan O Neill, FPA

“The FPA is delighted to be part of this dynamic collaboration with UL Solutions that will further enhance capacity and capabilities at our Blockley site,” said Jonathan O’Neill OBE, the FPA’s Managing Director.

READ: IFSEC Global interviews Jonathan O’Neill OBE – The challenges ahead for the fire safety industry 

“UL Solutions certification is universally recognised as providing trust and confidence to code authorities that products meet code requirements. Now, as a result of our work together, manufacturers and system providers will not only have access to the tests and certifications required by UK regulations but will also be able to satisfy the requirements of regulators around the world.”

The Blockley facility complements the existing UL Solutions testing and certification services provided across the UK, covering facades, cladding building envelope systems, and door hardware testing, including testing to a wide range of North American and European standards.


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