The newly amended regulation on fire safety and requirements for high rise buildings in Bulgaria put the country on the list of notable member states who are taking steps to improve the fire safety regulations of buildings at a national level. Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) asked a few questions about the new development on fire safety in Bulgaria to Mr. Yordan Nikolov, the Executive Director for the Bulgarian Association for Construction Insulation and Waterproofing.
What triggered the development of a new fire safety regulation in Bulgaria?
First and foremost, I believe it is important to clarify that the regulation is not a new one, but an amendment to the existing Regulation for Fire Safety Processing and Technical Rules and Standards for Fire Safety of the Bulgarian Government. However, the motivation behind the improvement of the existing regulation was due to the concern put forward by a remarkable number of experts in the field. Before, the current revision of the fire safety regulation, some producers started offering combustible thermal insulation panels for insulation of high-rise buildings in Bulgaria, with a declared class for reaction to fire of B and C (limited combustibility). However, many experts came to understand that this insulation was dangerous and didn’t provide high-rise buildings with an adequate level of fire safety.
What are the most notable achievements of the new regulation?
I think one of the most significant achievements of the amended regulation, is the strict requirement to only use materials with a Euroclass A (non-combustible) classification on high rise buildings, both for renovation and for new construction. This requirement corresponds to the fire safety requirements of high-rise buildings in a number of EU countries.
What impact do you think that the new regulation will have on fire safety in Bulgaria?
We hope that the new requirements put forward in the regulation will reduce the risk of casualties and victims when it comes to fire incidents in buildings, both during the time that the building is being constructed and when it is in use.
What steps need to be taken to ensure compliance with the fire safety regulation?
- To offer adequate information and training to all parties involved in the process, including contractors, consultants, and the government.
- To ensure strict control by the fire authorities, state construction as well as market surveillance.
- To send signals and demand accountability, when violations are identified and reported.