Warringtonfire upgrades laboratory following UKCA certification demand


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Warringtonfire, a fire testing, inspection, and certification service provider, has said to have made significant investments in its High Wycombe fire resistant testing laboratory to meet the anticipated growth in demand ahead of the UKCA Mark deadline.

The transformation of the facility includes refurbishment of its onsite fire resistance and smoke laboratories. This comprises new smoke testing equipment, a complete re-lining of two test furnaces as well as installation of a new cold abatement system to extract test fumes from the fire laboratory environment.

Alongside the additional fire resistance testing equipment, Warringtonfire’s acoustics laboratory has also been revamped, with new acoustic measuring equipment to enhance and improve testing capabilities.

Lee Wade, general manager, Warringtonfire High Wycombe said: “We have seen a surge in demand for the smoke testing of products. This is being driven by both regulatory changes, such as the looming UKCA Mark deadline coming into effect from January 2023, as well as an increasing appreciation from our customers of the value that testing and certification adds to their products.

“That’s why, despite the uncertainty Covid-19 has generated within the industry throughout the past two years, we have committed to significant capital investment to ensure our laboratory is the benchmark for fire testing, inspection and certification here in the UK. In turn, this will help our clients ensure they can continue to market their products in line with the very latest regulations, in a timely and efficient way.”

Further investment has also been made to improve the facility’s sustainability credentials, with the installation of a new cold abatement system to extract fumes and odours from the test area, as well as fitting LED lighting throughout the laboratory. Alongside this, the company has added more floor space through a new purpose-built building to ease congestion and improve working conditions, allowing staff to build test specimens away from the furnace.

New digital viewing technology has also been introduced at Warringtonfire High Wycombe. The package enables customers to watch live product testing remotely at higher quality and has the capability to share live test data from Warringtonfire’s control system

“Given the changing ways we and our clients have had to adapt, we’ve increased our focus on digital technology. This includes new video packages, better viewing angles of tests in ultra-high definition, and the ability to zoom in on specific areas of the test and our furnaces,” said Wade.

“In order to maximise the potential of the investments made throughout the site, we’ve also embarked on an internal programme to train and upskill our colleagues in testing capabilities, technical qualifications, and project management. This will help our clients stay ahead of any regulatory changes, such as the UKCA Mark, and help them continually improve their products.”

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