Keeping up to date with all the latest legislative requirements can be a complicated (and time-consuming) business.

The products on sale here are subject to strict regulation, and for good reason. That the rules are prone to change doesn’t make this something that is simple for the layman to understand. This is where a good architectural ironmonger comes into his own.

Our expertise isn’t limited to the operation and implementation of a product. It is imperative that, prior to making a device available to our customers, we ensure that it meets the highest-possible standards and complies with all the latest laws.

Compliance alone, however, isn’t always enough to ensure a product receives the William Channon seal of approval.

Take the introduction of mandatory CE marking, for instance. Launched last summer, this is the result of a directive intended to ensure that all door hardware products on sale in the EU meet certain minimum standards. This is where it sometimes begins to get confusing for our customers.

You see, the CE symbol shouldn’t be taken as a sign of a product’s quality. Such a marking means that a product meets the minimum standards; our sights are set a little higher.

To quote from a recent marketing release from Abloy, ‘Whereas most hardware products meet the minimum standards, Abloy UK exceeds these standards’.

The lesson here is that the CE marking can lull customers (and specifiers) into a false sense of security. The CE symbol means a product is legal and meets all the latest legislative requirements. It doesn’t mean that it’s as effective as it could be.

That a CE marking means a product is of the highest-possible standard is a common misconception and one that w’re keen to advise our customers about. Legally, the door hardware products on sale here must bear the all-important CE symbol. But, like Abloy, we operate to a higher standard and greater levels of scrutiny apply.

In essence, the CE directive serves to encourage best practice and supports what good specifiers (such as ourselves) have always done. In basic terms, it means inferior products can no longer be traded. That w’ve never sold such products means that – for us, at least – not much has changed.

It is our responsibility, legally, to ensure our products meet the requirements of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) introduced last summer, but that doesn’t require a drastic change on our part.

Because we work with companies such as Assa, who make Declaration of Performance documents for their products available for all to see online, w’ve long believed that exceeding the minimum standards and ensuring that our customers receive nothing but the best ranks amongst our most-important duties.

If ther’s anything you’d like to know about a particular product and its compliance with the latest legislation, please feel free to take advantage of our expertise.