Benefits of Certification
Flood-fighting product manufacturers should consider these benefits when thinking about whether or not to get a product certified through our program:
To gain marketing advantages
A certified product may display the FM Approved mark (Blue Diamond) authorized by FM Approvals as a certification mark for products that meet the minimum requirements of our program. This also indicates that the product has undergone evaluation and testing to verify that the product should perform as indicated.
To meet regulatory requirements
Some communities have specific regulations permitting only certified products to be sold in their jurisdiction.
To ensure consistency and proven performance
Our program, based upon ANSI FM 2510 standards and through FM Approvals’ ongoing manufacturer audits, verifies that manufacturing processes remain effective and consistent. When you buy a product, you expect it to work. You expect that it will function and perform as the manufacturer intended. This program focuses on reliability and integrity through certification.
Unbiased & objective approach
Our focus is to increase product reliability through unbiased testing and to promote the development of better flood-fighting products.
Additional benefits to participating in the program is that certified products are featured on this website and listed in the “Approval Guide.” The Approval Guide houses real-time information about tens of thousands of products and services tested and FM Approved.
The steps to participate in the National Flood Barrier Testing and Certification Program are as follows:
- A manufacturer submits an application to ASFPM along with a non-refundable application fee.
- ASFPM reviews the application and then coordinates a call with the manufacturer, and applicable program parties, to discuss testing criteria, the certification process and next steps.
- ASFPM prepares the testing cost estimates and provides them to the applicant for their review. See more detail on the required tests in the Testing and Certification Process section below. Note: Cost estimates depend on the product, logistics involved, and scalability of testing, and are developed case-by-case basis. The Manufacturer will pay for all testing costs should they choose to proceed.
- Manufacturer reviews the cost estimates. ASFPM is available to answer any questions on the estimates.
- Should the manufacturer wish to proceed to the testing phase:
- ASFPM will initiate an agreement with the manufacturer and schedule water testing with the USACE – Research and Development Center.
- FM Approvals will initiate a separate agreement with the manufacturer in accordance with their product material testing and certification process.
Testing & Certification Process
There are two tests each product must pass to become certified – a water test by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research Development Center and a product material test by FM Approvals.
Water Testing Criteria
Water testing refers to a suite of tests that will thoroughly examine a product’s ability to withstand flood-related conditions that include hydrostatic, hydrodynamic, overtopping, velocity and debris. Flood barriers for opening barrier and perimeter barrier applications will be water tested and certified per the maximum hydrostatic depth determined by the manufacturer and/or product specifications.
Water testing of flood barriers for opening barrier and perimeter barrier applications will be conducted by the USACE – Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Opening barriers, flood mitigation pumps, flood mitigation valves, and penetration sealing devices will be conducted either at ERDC or the manufacturer’s facility. Conducting water testing at an independent facility/lab will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Water testing is conducted in strict accordance with approval standard ANSI FM 2510 and must be witnessed and validated by representatives from FM Approvals.
Product Material Testing
Product material testing refers to a suite of tests that will thoroughly examine a product’s ability to withstand forces of nature that impinge upon the product when deployed. Testing factors include resistance to internal leakage (if product is designed to be filled with water), component durability/cycling, resistance to impact, wear, abrasion, vibration, salt corrosion, environmental corrosion and hail impact. Additional testing is conducted for tensile strength, tear and puncture probability, and biological degradation. The product’s component makeup will determine the applicability of material testing specific to the product.
Product material testing is conducted in strict accordance with approval standard ANSI FM 2510. Testing will be conducted by FM Approvals at their world-class, 1,600-acre, state-of-the-art global research campus in West Glocester, Rhode Island.
An initial manufacturer audit will be coordinated and conducted by FM Approvals. This product, quality and facilities audit is a critical requirement of all FM Approval programs and provides independent verification that the manufacturer has established robust and effectively-managed processes to ensure compliance in product production.
Report & Certification
Technical reports will be generated for water and product material testing, reviewed for accuracy, and shared with the manufacturer. Upon meeting all requirements of the program, a final report will be sent to the manufacturer certifying the product as FM Approved. Certification is effective as of the date of the report and the manufacturer may then label and market their product in accordance with guidelines set forth by FM Approvals.
Ongoing Monitoring / Auditing
To maintain certification, future manufacturer process audits will be coordinated by FM Approvals to help ensure that FM Approved products continue to meet all the requirements of the test standard or specification.