Posted on 20/01/2016 in News 32 2016
Building Fire Safety

Oliver Loebel, PU Europe, explained that fires in buildings are changing, with more goods, electronic equipment and comfort materials, and more complex buildings, both for offices and public buildings but also for homes, which are getting bigger (m2/habitant, with a tendency towards open geometries).Time to fire flashover so becomes shorter. This is accentuated by trends to improve insulation, so enclosing heat in case of fire, with airtight envelopes and controlled ventilation systems.

 Despite this, there is a clear downwards trend in the number of fire deaths in almost all EU countries. This proves that fire regulations are effective. Polyurethanes are increasingly used to ensure thermal insulation, for example in building insulation panels or in district heating piping. A recent study concluded “The current and correct application (of combustible insulation) in the building envelope does neither significantly contribute to the severity of the fire nor to an increase in victims”.

EFECTIS Netherlands for the Dutch government (VROM), 2009 “‘Brandveiligheid van Isolatiematerialien”

Mr Loebel emphasised that building fire safety is very complex, necessitating a holistic approach, taking into account design and compartmenting, content, escape routes, construction materials and insulation, active fire protection, training and organisation. Performance-based building codes appear as the best way forward to address fire safety in complex buildings, with the Construction Products Regulation providing important foundation with European tests and standards which can be implemented in national building regulations.

Share This