Performance-based design of buildings using Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) tools had opened new possibilities for to designing large and complex buildings such as airports, railway stations, shopping centres, exhibition halls and hospitals, 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.
Fire Safe Europe believes that FSE, when used appropriately, can contribute positively to a better appreciation of fire safety in buildings.
Nevertheless, it is essential that it is used by qualified experts and that FSE assumptions are clearly expressed and properly evaluated.
The success or otherwise of FSE depends very much on how it is applied. 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.
Since the misuse of FSE methods could lead to disastrous consequences, including the loss of life, caution is needed. The “precautionary principle” should always be abided by when it comes to fire safety measures.