Important fire incidents in these last years have risen multiple questions on how we assess the fire performance of buildings and their different components. The way we build is also changing. We adapt to new needs; we market new materials and technics. That’s why it is essential to use evaluation methods that reflect these evolutions.
On one side, European governments have started to work to improve how they evaluate building fire performance. For instance, UK Government Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced in January 2020 the development of a “sophisticated matrix of risk that will replace the historical system and underpin our approach to future regulatory regime”. The Netherlands has taken a similar path, and across the pond, the NFPA has launched the revolutionary EFFECTTM tool to assess building facades. European policymakers are taking crucial steps to improve the assessment of building fire performance; while they do, stakeholders like us can contribute their valuable expertise to achieve this common aim. That is why we can already act concretely by developing a rating scheme for fire safety in buildings. Such an approach has already proven successful in sectors like car safety, with the Euro NCAP, which “has created the five-star safety rating system to help consumers, their families and businesses compare vehicles more easily and to help them identify the safest choice for their needs.”
Fire Safe Europe is convinced that such a successful initiative can be reiterated when it comes to evaluating building fire safety. This is why we have launched a project to create the world’s leading fire safety assessment for buildings. The ambition is to develop a clear rating scheme to inform consumers on the level of fire safety of a building based on a holistic evaluation of buildings through a series of key requirements. A variety of stakeholders will be involved to ensure the representativeness of this scheme and its comprehensive nature. This scheme will also give confidence to building owners, builders, architects, tenants, etc. It will enable them to trust their buildings will perform optimally in a case of fire, ensure lives are protected and that the structure is resilient enough to minimise societal, financial and environmental impacts.
Regular updates on the work of the coalition and the development of the Buildings Fire Safety Rating Scheme will be provided in the European Fire Safety Community, so make sure to register if you want to access the latest information.