CertAlarm launches 2nd year of round-robin test series to improve the comparability between laboratories

CertAlarm, an organization offering a pan-European quality mark in the fire protection and security systems industry, today confirmed the launch of its 2nd year of round-robin test series. Round-robin tests are comparative tests performed by the participating laboratories at regular intervals and using the same test sample. As such they are an important monitoring tool for CertAlarm’s partners and recognized test laboratories. They enable quality supervisors and management to place the results obtained by the laboratory performing the tests in a wider framework and to identify problems and initiate actions for improvement.

In particular, round-robin tests help to bring to light inconsistencies in the testing systems or methods and can give rise to necessary corrective action, e.g.:

  • interpretation of standards,
  • calibration/maintenance of the testing equipment,
  • training of the laboratory personnel,
  • adjustment of influencing factors relevant to testing (e.g. climate).

For CertAlarm, regularly performed round-robin tests create the necessary confidence in the accuracy of test results between the partners involved and ensure the high quality standard the CertAlarm mark stands for.

 “Round-robin tests are a perfect means to identify any inconsistencies between laboratories when testing to these standards which are more complex than they first appear. In order to improve our program we specifically select tests which have proven to be difficult to perform or have shown in the market place that inconsistencies exist in approved products”, says Daniel Griffin of CertAlarm partner Intertek and Chair of CertAlarm’s Technical Advisory Group. “One of the tests selected for this year’s series is e.g. clause 5.3 static response temperature of EN 54-5:2000 + A1:2002 heat detectors, a test which is particularly critical in determining if the heat tunnels in use by CertAlarm’s test laboratories are within an acceptable tolerance. In 2013 CertAlarm laboratories conducted a similar exercise on smoke tunnels against EN 54-7. Once all labs have participated the results are collated and compared by the Technical Advisory Group. The round-robin procedure helps us understand if we are doing things right and providing our customers the same level of results”, Daniel Griffin adds.

“Round-robin tests with international participation are becoming increasingly important. We just recently welcomed two new partners on board and now have eight accredited test laboratories working for us from different European locations and with different testing equipment and personnel. With our round-robin tests we make sure that all labs obtain the same reliable results”, says Anja Kinsky, General Manager of CertAlarm.