Quality controls for Santos kitchens: GS certification, safety assurance
04 / 10 / 2021
The Santos kitchen brand subjects its units to rigorous internal controls in accordance with current legislation to verify their quality, strength and safety. What’s more, since 2015, all its products bear the GS certification mark, which ensures that they meet the safety requirements established by German and Spanish laws and regulations.
GS certification—which is Geprüfte Sicherheit or ‘Safety Assurance’ in German—is the only one in Europe which, since 1977, verifies compliance with all quality and safety standards specified by the German GPSG (Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz) Act or Equipment and Product Safety Act, as well as other EU directives on the marketing of products. It is an optional and voluntary certification, which is recognised as an assurance of quality and reliability throughout Europe.
The GS mark can only be issued by designated certification bodies and confirms that the products have been tested and trialled in independent laboratories authorised for such purpose. The procedure encompasses all stages of the manufacturing process, and involves a comprehensive analysis that includes mechanical and chemical safety. This is an assurance that all products manufactured by Santos are free of harmful substances and are resistant to breakage.
Likewise, GS certification also includes evaluating the production system, ensuring that the manufacturing facilities have been inspected. In fact, regular auditing of the facilities is an essential requirement to keep the certification valid. During these periodic inspections, aspects such as having a quality system in place, the manufacturing environment or measuring instruments are examined to confirm that the requirements continue to be met.
In short, the GS mark assures users of the high quality of the kitchens manufactured by Santos, as well as the fact that their safety or health will not be at risk, either through intended use or through foreseeable misuse.
Tests to obtain GS certification
To obtain GS certification, a laboratory accredited by TÜV Rheiland subjects Santos kitchen cabinets to different tests, which are carried out according to the UNE EN 14749 (Furniture – Domestic and kitchen storage units and kitchen worktops. Safety requirements and test methods) and AfPS GS 2019:01 PAK (chemical evaluation of PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) standards. These tests are performed on both entire units and separate items:
- Shelves: Forces are applied in different directions to check the stability and safety of shelves and their brackets, verifying that they do not overturn. What’s more, the brackets are subjected to impact tests, to ensure their resistance to breakage which could result in the shelf falling.
- Doors: The safety of the hinges and other fittings is checked, ensuring that they work properly. Likewise, it is verified that there are closing and braking mechanisms, and that they work properly.
- Drawers: Their end stops and safety mechanisms are checked to ensure that they work properly.
- Wall and hanging units: An overload test is performed on units to check the strength of wall fastening mechanisms. This ensures that the capacity of the hanging bracket is suitable for the size of the unit.
- Glass: An impact test is carried out to check how breakage occurs. This ensures that the glass used for vertical applications—fronts—is tempered or safety glass, and that its breakage will not cause damage to the end user.
- Cabinet stability: All units—wall, base and tall—are subjected to this test to check that—even in the worst-case scenario, with all doors and/or drawers open—they do not tip over and remain fastened to the wall, as the case may be.
Aside from these mechanical tests, tests are also performed on chemical components that may be present in the materials of Santos kitchen cabinets. These tests ensure that there are no harmful chemical substances or that the amount of these is found below the limits established by law, which means that they pose no risk for users.
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