Warringtonfire is marking the 50th anniversary of its first commercial fire test, which took place at a newly completed fire testing laboratory in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in the summer of 1972.
50 years later, what is believed to be the UK’s oldest existing fire resistance testing laboratory continues to operate. Today, it is one of Warringtonfire’s main sites and is a centre of excellence for the testing of timber fire doors.
In addition to being an early pioneer in fire testing, Warringtonfire has remained at the forefront of the industry. Through its collaboration with trade associations and standards committees, Warringtonfire’s team of highly respected technical experts continue to play a pivotal role in raising standards in the fire protection industry.
Recognising how much customers rely on specialist technical knowledge to support them through the testing process, Warringtonfire has continued to invest heavily in building a world-class team of technical experts and has one of the largest global teams in the industry.
Mark Cummings, Technical Director at Warringtonfire, said: ‘Since 1972, we’ve conducted tens of thousands of fire tests at our High Wycombe laboratory, all designed to ensure that the products our customers develop are safe, compliant and fit for purpose. It never ceases to amaze me that many of the products that we all walk past every day, in offices, airports, schools or hospitals, will have been developed and tested at our facility at High Wycombe and we’re extremely proud of our work.’
He continues: ‘However, we’re not resting on our laurels and with the significant changes we’re seeing in the built environment landscape today, we know there’s much to do if we are to continue to deliver on our purpose of making tomorrow safer than today. Our focus for the future is to continue working with key trade associations and standards committees using the deep technical expertise we possess, particularly of those colleagues in our Scope and Governance team, to constantly raise industry standards.
‘Alongside this, our people are critical to our success – they always have been. We will continue to invest in our people, developing the careers of both our existing colleagues through initiatives such as our Ignite programme as well as bringing in new talent through our Graduate Intake Scheme.’
Although Warringtonfire’s High Wycombe laboratory specialises in the testing of timber fire doors, over the years it has also tested many unusual products. These include the front end of a train as well as an eco-development of a straw bale house.
As well as 50 years of fire testing at High Wycombe, this year also marks two further significant milestones. It is 25 years since the introduction of sister company BM TRADA’s Q-Mark third-party certification scheme, and 30 years since the inception of the Warringtonfire Certifire scheme. Both have played a critical role in raising standards of fire protection in the built environment and today are widely recognised, respected and specified by end users across the globe.
‘We have come a long way since our first ever test at this site, and the products that our customers have developed and tested at our facility have undoubtedly had a positive impact on the built environment,’ said Mr Cummings. ‘It is a great foundation on which to build and to enable us to continue to make tomorrow safer than today over the next 50 years.’
To give back to the industry that it has been a part of for the last 50 years, Peter Barker – Technical Manager at Warringtonfire will be hosting a free two-hour ‘Introduction to Fire Doors’ webinar on Wednesday, 12 October. For full details visit www.warringtonfire.com