Spotlight on… CE switchover postponed to 2025 

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Spotlight on… CE switchover postponed to 2025 

This postponement is excellent news for safety – the first and last consideration in all things relating to fire.

The Construction Index has published an article explaining, CE Marking is “a scheme that provides assurance to customers that they are buying what they expected they are buying“. This assurance has always been an issue with non-CE Marked products due to the lack of publicly available manufacturing information, meaning you have to take the seller’s word for it that what you get is what you expected.

Fluffy toys

If you are talking about a fluffy toy you may not be too concerned about a lack of publicly available manufacturing information. However, when you are looking at life-safety critical equipment and products for saving lives in a fire, it is widely recognised this is insufficient. Hence, with ‘necessity being the mother of invention’, CE Marking was born.

CE Marking provides the customer with a level of transparency and traceability (and safety) about the product they are buying. A product has to be what it purports to be. Without CE Marking, customers could buy products that are not what they expected.

False sense of security

This is made worse with a dangerous false sense of security if the product comes with a 3rd party test certificate and no CE Marking. A 3rd party test certificate can be great, but on its own it only demonstrates that the manufacturer managed to make a test specimen product that successfully passed the test in question.

There is no guarantee, nor any way of you checking, that what you are buying is the same as the test specimen product. You have no way of knowing if it has been manufactured:

  • With the same materials
  • To the same design
  • In the same way
  • To the same details
  • With the same components (all components)

And the danger is that you may overlook all of this as ‘assured’ everything must be ok virtue of the certificate you are being offered the supposed protection of.

Greater than the sum of its parts

With a CE Marked product any 3rd party certification has to come with a Technical Annexe (see example in Fig 1) showing all the key information for the customer to check against e.g. size the product has been successfully tested to, specification of components, materials used etc. This is why CE Marking and 3rd party certification combined are ‘greater than the sum of their parts’.

Mandatory. Or not?

So you would think that it was mandatory for all fire stopping products (life safety products) to be CE Marked*, and 3rd party certified by a UKAS or equivalent accredited Certification Body? You are forgiven for thinking this in a post Grenfell UK fire industry.

*not a ‘self-certification’ (which is a misnomer) CE Marking

Sadly, however, it isn’t. And it is leaving the door open for some manufacturers to sell non-CE Marked 3rd party certified fire curtains without publicly available details on e.g. product dimension limitations, fixings used, and materials or components tested.

It is not difficult to see how, without CE Marking transparency and traceability, catastrophic consequences occur when combined with ‘for profit’ manufacturers disregarding the rules (unfortunately, too often as we know all too well in the fire industry); what will happen in a fire if a product tested and certified to maximum dimensions of 3m x 3m is sold to suit an application 8mW?

Key take-aways:

  • CE Marking provides the customer with a level of transparency and traceability (and safety) about the product they are buying
  • Without CE Marking, customers could buy products that are not what they expected
  • For 3rd party certified products, it is vital to have CE Marking with a mandatory Technical Annexe showing the customer all the information required to know that what is being sold is the same as what is tested and 3rd party certified
  • Any product not CE Marked has only the manufacturer’s word that it will perform as tested initially


BS EN 16034 is the only standard for fire curtains that is harmonised and can therefore be CE Marked with 3rd party certification. This is essential for guaranteeing products conformity and your safety. Don’t take the ‘for profit’ manufacturer’s word for it. Insist on safety. Rely on CE Marking.

‘Raising Industry Standards’, with the UK’s safest fire and smoke curtains:
  • Smoke control in a fire (only UK company)
  • 3rd party certification and CE Marking (widest range in UK)
  • Maintenance-free fabric retention (only UK company)
This article was written on the 24th November 2022 by the team at Adexon Fire & Smoke.