BWF third party certification scheme aims to eliminate dangerous practice within stair manufacturing industry

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) is launching a new scheme to establish an independent, third-party certification scheme for timber stairs.

The aim of the scheme, which is claimed to be the first of its sort, is to help eradicate dangerous practices within the stair manufacturing industry and ensure that timber stairs can be relied upon in the event of an emergency evacuation.

Timber stairs are becoming increasingly common in multi-storey, multi-occupancy buildings however, the BWF has warned that if they are not manufactured and installed correctly they could put the lives of the building’s occupants and fire and rescue service personnel at risk.

BRE has released photographs taken during recent testing of a government funded project on the fire performance of escape stairs.

Ian Purkis, BWF president and technical director of the stair manufacturer Jeld-Wen, says, “As one of the main routes for evacuation in a fire, stairs must retain their integrity and be capable of fulfilling their performance requirement if they are called upon to serve as an escape route.

The photographs taken by BRE provide a shocking visual example of the impact of fire on a flight of stairs, and how a properly protected stair holds up when put to the test, demonstrating in a very graphic way the need for our new scheme.”