The proposed approach by the EC consists of two highly contested national test methods: BS 8414 is currently under question and could be removed from the UK regulatory system: An independent expert witness at the Grenfell inquiry has stated that BS 8414 does not sufficiently fulfill the purpose of giving guidance on fire safety of facades. DIN 4102 part 20 has been supplemented with an additional test method in Germany: It was concluded that DIN4102 part 20 does not sufficiently represent the risks associated with an external fire.
The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) is a key piece of legislation for fire safety in buildings that must be kept and strengthened. Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) believes that the review being currently carried out by the European Commission is an opportunity to address some major fire safety issues.
Performance-based design of buildings using Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) tools had opened new possibilities for to designing large and complex buildings which could not have been designed in the same way using existing prescriptive rules. The primary aims of FSE must continue to be to prevent the loss of life. The misuse of FSE (be it deliberate or unintentional) in order to reduce costs or to change a building’s use after completion is a risk that needs to be kept in mind. The “precautionary principle” should always be abided by when it comes to fire safety measures.
Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) was discussed during the 1st Fire Information Exchange Platform meeting on October 16, 2017, and identified as one of the work streams for the platform. The purpose of this letter is to express our position on the opportunities and risks presented by FSE.