Stone Federation Great Britain created this Best Practice Guide to make for the lack of British Standard for the process except for manufacturers. The organization comments on the inadequate or incorrect instruction for the installation of fireplace surrounds by manufacturers which have resulted in injuries and fatalities due to the surrounds collapsing.
This guide takes a look at surrounds formed by thin slabs where the construction is typically of a box type. It also looks at all types of natural and artificial stones including limestone, sandstone, marble, granite, and slate. Here are some the safety tips provided:
Stone fireplace surround installation must only be carried out by a properly trained and experienced fitter. It is a not a job for a DIY enthusiast. The consequences of failure of a stone fireplace surround incorrectly installed and secured are extremely serious. Deaths and serious injuries have occurred as a result of stones falling from fireplace surrounds that were not securely fixed. It is essential that fireplace surrounds are designed to be installed and secured to withstand foreseeable abuse such as a child pulling down on a cantilevered mantel shelf.