I wouldn’t expect a heating engineer to look at a radiator or towel warmer and to know instantly that it meets the required safety standards for that type of product – unless it had a CE mark. And to be legally sold in the UK marketplace, it should have one.
It’s been over 12 months since the introduction of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which introduced a legal requirement for all building services products covered by harmonised European standards – including radiators and towel warmers – to have a CE mark when sold in the UK.
If they don’t, the product is illegal and can not be sold – and the members of the Manufacturers’ Association of Radiators and Convectors (MARC) want to remind the industry of this fact.
The CPR lays down the conditions for the sale and supply of construction products and is directly applicable in its entirety to UK law. It is therefore essential that anyone in the construction products supply chain understands their legal obligations.
In order to comply with the regulation, products should be tested to EN442 at a test house with notified body status. Test houses with notified body status are as follows:
- BSRIA in the UK;
- Centre Technique des Industries Aérauliques et Thermiques (CETIAT) in France;
- IGE (HLK) in Germany;
- WTP in Germany;
- WSP in Germany;
- Applus+ in Spain;
- MRT in Italy; and
- the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) in Denmark.
Products tested in any other way or at a test house without notified body status do not comply and are illegal.
In order to demonstrate compliance, all products must carry a label containing the following information:
- CE mark;
- the last two digits of the year the CE mark was affixed;
- acknowledgement of the standard – for example, EN442;
- the maximum operating pressure in bar;
- thermal output in watts;
- the standard characteristic equation for that radiator or
- towel warmer; and
- the manufacturer’s name and address.
Compliance is confirmed by a declaration of conformity signed by a person empowered to sign on behalf of the manufacturer.
As members of MARC, the leading trade association for radiators and convectors, we stand for quality within the industry and only supply CE-marked products.
If substandard radiators are installed, customers lose out on warmth and efficiency and end up disappointed – but more importantly, safety may be compromised. That cannot be acceptable in our field.
Anybody purchasing radiators should immediately reject those that are not CE marked, not only for their own good and for the benefit of their own customers but to ensure the industry as a whole maintains its standards and reputation.
Reporting non-compliant products to your local trading standards office can also help put an end to the problem.
So whether you are an installer or a supplier, we all have a duty of care to comply with the CPR. Always look for the CE mark when shopping for these products and if you can’t find it, don’t buy it.
John Colling is chairman of MARC