Coalition to Make Fire Safety Standards


More than 30 international professional associations and building organizations are banding together to form a new group focused on fire safety.

The International Fire Safety Standards Coalition was officially launched at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in early July.

According to a press announcement released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors—one of the IFSS members—the body is aiming to set and reinforce the minimum requirements professionals should adhere to, to ensure building safety in the event of a fire.

The organization argues that “as the property market has become increasingly international with investments flowing across national borders, the sector still lacks a consistent set of high level global standards that will inform the design, construction and management of buildings to address the risks associated with fire safety.”

The IFSS points to London’s tragic Grenfell Tower fire last June—a blaze that killed more than 70 people—and how differences in materials testing and regulations created “uncertainty and a risk to the public.”

When the interim report on the Grenfell fire was released in December 2017, report leader Dame Judith Hackitt called the system “not fit for purpose” and said that that the way regulations are written is causing a problem. Partly because there are too many opportunities for loopholes and shortcuts, she says, but also because many are made to be more complex then they need to be, resulting in a lack of understanding on how to enforce—or even look for—certain requirements.

“The Grenfell Tower fire focused the world’s attention on how many buildings are threatened with the prospect of failing fire safety standards,” said Gary Strong, RICS Global Building Standards Director and Chair of the IFSS Coalition.

“All over the world we see the need for more high-rise structures which pose risks in the absence of a coherent and harmonized approach to setting global standards in fire safety. The effort by the IFSS Coalition aims to address this concern and bring together the design, construction and management aspects of ensuring fire safety of building assets.”

Members of the IFSS Coalition currently include:

  • Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors;
  • The Association of European Experts in Building and Construction;
  • Australian Property Institute;
  • Association for Project Safety;
  • Building Control Alliance;
  • British Institute of Facilities Management;
  • Chartered Association of Building Engineers;
  • Commonwealth Association of Surveying & Land Economy;
  • Consortium of European Building Control bodies;
  • Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists;
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers;
  • Chartered Institute of Building;
  • Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat;
  • Engineers Australia;
  • Federation International de Geometre;
  • International Code Council;
  • Institution of Fire Engineers;
  • Local Authority Building Control;
  • National House Building Council;
  • Royal Institute of British Architects;
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors;
  • Society of Fire Protection Engineers;
  • Sports Ground Safety Authority;
  • Singapore Institute of Building Ltd;
  • The World Bank; and
  • UNECE.

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Certifications and standards; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fire; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Latin America; North America; Regulations; Safety

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