Jürgen Troitzsch, FEPS Germany, explained that fire regulations worldwide particularly focus on preventing fires starting and on slowing initial fire development, because this has the highest effectiveness in reducing fire deaths and fire damage.
He summarised a number of currently ongoing and future developments.
In Europe, implementation of the CPR (Construction Products Regulation) is now looking at ‘Sustainable use of natural resources’ and ‘Hygiene, health and environment’, both of which will strongly impact materials which will be able to obtain the CE mark for building use.Indoor air emissions of VOC, ammonia and dangerous substances will be taken into account. In rail transport, the new European Standard EN 45545-2 requires stringent fire performance levels, including Critical Heat Flux, Maximum Average Rate of Heat Emission, Smoke Obscuration Value and Conventional Index of Toxicity for smoke. Similar requirements apply for maritime applications. EN 45545-2 is under revision, including looking at tighter fire performance requirements for seats and revising smoke toxicity requirements. On the other hand, fire performance requirements for materials used in cars (EMVSS 302) are very low, despite increasing fire risks from compact electrical systems and batteries. Recent fire catastrophes in buses (e.g. in Germany, China, France) are resulting in pressure to introduce adequate fire performance regulations for materials used in buses and coaches.