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Warringtonfire marks 50 years of ‘making tomorrow safer than today’

16 August 2022

WARRINGTONFIRE IS marking the 50th Anniversary of the company’s first commercial fire test, which took place at a (then) newly completed fire testing laboratory in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (pictured) in the summer of 1972.

Five decades later, what’s believed to be the UK’s oldest existing fire resistance testing laboratory continues to operate. Today, it’s one of Warringtonfire’s main sites and 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 an ongoing collaborations with various Trade Associations and standards committees, Warringtonfire’s team of highly respected technical experts continues 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, indeed, now has one of the largest global teams in the industry.

Tens of thousands of tests

Mark Cummings, technical director at Warringtonfire, stated: “Since 1972, we’ve conducted tens of thousands of fire tests at our High Wycombe laboratory, all of them 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, at airports, in schools or hospitals will have been developed and tested at our High Wycombe facility. We’re all extremely proud of our work.”

Cummings continued: “However, we’re not resting on our laurels. Given the significant changes we’re witnessing in the built environment, we know there’s much work to be done if we’re 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 by using the in-depth technical expertise we possess, particularly that of our colleagues in the Scope and Governance team, to constantly raise industry standards.”

Further, Cummings noted: “Our people are critical to our success. They always have been. We will continue to invest in our people, developing the careers of our existing colleagues through initiatives such as our Ignite programme as well as bringing in new talent through the Graduate Intake Scheme.”

Significant milestones

Although Warringtonfire’s High Wycombe laboratory specialises in the testing of timber fire doors, over the years it has also been privy to the testing of many unusual products. These have included the front end of a train as well as an eco-development of a straw bale house.

2022 also marks two further significant milestones for the business. It’s 25 years since the introduction of sister company BM TRADA’s Q-Mark third party certification scheme and three decades on from the inception of the Warringtonfire Certifire scheme. Both have played a critical role in raising standards of fire protection in the built environment and 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,” concluded Cummings. “The products that customers have developed and tested at our facility have undoubtedly exerted a positive impact on the built environment. It’s a great foundation upon which to build for the future.”

*Peter Barker (technical manager at Warringtonfire) will be hosting a free two-hour webinar entitled ‘An Introduction to Fire Doors’ on Wednesday 12 October. Full details are available online at www.warringtonfire.com