The last Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) online meeting (20 May) was inspiring. The agenda focused on fire safety related to EU projects. Among all the projects, DG Grow invited four of them with a large diversity of topics.
The development of a European approach to assess the fire performance of facades led by a consortium headed by RISE. Johan Anderson, who represented the consortium, gave a presentation focusing on the last updates of this critical project: finalising an alternative assessment method of facades. The consortium is currently testing the wood crib and will move to an actual facade specimen soon. An analysis will be made, and the consortium will develop a method to compare with DIN and BS8414. Johan described the project’s participation and the technical issues regarding the wood crib, species of the wood, density, availability, plate, combustion chamber etc.
Next June, RISE (Large test) and BRE (Din test) will perform average tests. (more details on their website).
Mr el Houssami introduced the project’s goal: to check what is happening in EU and non-EU countries on fire stats. In some countries, data are not public or very limited. Sometimes there is no standard definition in the same region and/or between countries. There is also no communication between the different stakeholders (police, fire, insurance). The aim is to develop a terminology and harmonised method to collect the necessary data. The project will end in February 2022.
Information on the project’s progress can be found in our article published earlier this year.
Fire Safety Engineering status and standardisation needs, introduced by Adamantia Athanasopoulou from Joint Research Center (JRC).
At present, JRC is working on Fire Safety Engineering with DG Grow with three identified tasks:
1- Exploring the content and feasibility of a European fire safety code (common design rules, but safety remains a choice of member-states authorities)
2- Assessing standardization needs for incorporation of fire engineering in the regulatory framework of the member-states
3- Definition of needs for guidance and training for professionals
JRC has also set up a Fire Safety Engineering Expert Network – just two meetings, happened till now, and it is so far a closed network. Its first activity is an inquiry to assess the situation regarding Fire Safe Engineering across Europe (best practices) and propose how to harmonise Fire Safe Engineering at the European level. The inspirations come from ISO TC 92 and CENTC 127. As Fire Safe Europe is a target for the FIEP, the integration of industry experts will be discussed and, when the conclusions of the JRC will be reached, they will be contacted.
As preliminary conclusions of this work, JRC revealed that the FSE-based approach is generally applied to almost all technical areas.
– Regulations and referenced standards are the most frequent sources for calculation methods for FSE approach application.
– The role of technical and scientific education on FSE related topics is crucial in all countries.
The technical report will be published in 2022.
Debbie Smith, as CEN TC 127 chair – gave the last presentation on the standardization processes. She introduced the CEN TC 127 and its objectives, mainly to develop standard from existing materials from ISO, IEC, CENELEC but also from scratch and by assessing fire hazard for providing fire safety in buildings. This committee acts as a horizontal committee. The broader objective is to develop a connection with other stakeholders at the national level. She described in detail the procedure of CEN TC 127 and its different Working groups. She finally explained that CENTC 127 could respond to the facade test method’s fire performance through its Working Group 6, to classification standard through Working Group 7, to FSE through Working Group 8 and Data gaps guidance document into Working Group 8 too.
Heikki Vaananen from DG GROW concluded the meeting by announcing to the FIEP participants that two other calls would occur this year, for which the agenda remains to be defined, and all proposals are welcome.