Landmark international fire safety standards
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has joined together with more than 30 international organisations to develop industry standards around fire safety in buildings.
Launched at the United Nations in Geneva, the coalition of local and international bodies, together with those that set professional standards, have committed to developing and supporting a shared set of standards for fire safety in buildings.
The International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition will develop a high level set of standards to reinforce the minimum requirements professionals should adhere to ensure building safety in the event of a fire, informing the design, construction, and management of buildings to address the risks associated with fire safety.
The organisations have agreed to work together on this new set of standards to inform design decisions as the property market becomes increasingly international. Differences in materials testing and certification, national building regulations or codes, and standards on how to manage buildings in use, particularly higher risk buildings, means there is confusion, uncertainty and risk to the public.
Gary Strong, the RICS Global Building Standards Director cites the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 as a recent example which demonstrates the need for a coherent global approach to fire safety.
He said: “The Grenfell Tower fire focused the world’s attention on how many buildings are threatened with the prospect of failing fire safety standards. All over the world we see the need for more high-rise structures, some residential, some commercial and some mixed-use buildings, particularly in cities.
“Our concern is not with the height of these buildings but with the risks they pose in the absence of a coherent and harmonised 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.”
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