Focus on sustainability and fire safety in the EU

Construction-site

A new EU directive on the energy performance of buildings is to result in comprehensive energy renovation and strengthen the focus on obligations related to fire safety. This is explained by Bendt Bendtsen, who is a Danish member of the European Parliament and was the main negotiator for the new directive.

What is the purpose of the new energy performance of buildings directive?
– It is intended to stimulate energy renovation of existing buildings. The old directive from 2010 had a lot of requirements for new buildings, but we only build about 1% building stock a year, while 80% of our existing buildings will be in use in 2050. So, in order to have well-functioning and efficient energy consumption and make Europe more sustainable, we have to energy-renovate many more buildings – in fact, three times as many as today. Only by making our buildings more energy efficient can we cost-effectively achieve the climate and energy goals for Europe. This includes fewer fossil fuels, less import from Putin and better indoor climate for European citizens.

What role does fire safety play in the directive?
– A completely new obligation in the building directive is that member states must prepare long-term renovation strategies to achieve highly efficient and de-carbonised building stock in 2050. In the national long-term renovation strategies, the member countries can both tackle fire safety and estimate the strategies’ significance for health and indoor climate – including the safety of residents and users. According to the directive, the EU countries will – by both building new buildings and through major renovations – take healthy indoor climate conditions and fire safety into account. It is important that the industry and stakeholders insist that the governments of the EU countries live up to their obligations. First of all, when the directive is to be implemented in March 2020, but also when the directive is used in practice.

How do we ensure fire safety generally in the hunt for energy efficiency?
– Energy renovations provide a clear opportunity to tackle fire safety in a way that is the least inconvenient and least financial burden for owners, residents and users. When you energy-renovate, it makes sense to take a position on whether all fire-safety measures have been taken, and whether technical or structural changes can be made to buildings that can improve fire safety.

Joint European building regulations have been discussed before. Is this the beginning of developments in this area?
– I do not think that a European building regulation is very likely. My impression is that the governments of the EU countries will continue to insist the geographic location and placement of buildings will be too nationally specific to justify a European building code. I think that it is already a major step forward for Europe and European citizens that our EU countries have obligated themselves to have a highly efficient, de-carbonised building stock in 2050 by looking at energy performance. The toolbox for getting there is in the hands of the governments of the EU member countries, and rightly so.

Facade fires that have occurred in recent years, including, most recently, the Grenfell Tower in London, have had major consequences in Europe. What is the EU doing to confront this problem?
– In the building directive, we have focused on obligations related to fire safety. This is a good first step, but, of course, it requires that the EU countries are conscious of their responsibility when the directive becomes national legislation. In addition, I have just presented a proposal regarding the EU’s 2019 budget to improve fire statistics in Europe. An improved statistical basis is the first step towards being able to optimise fire safety efforts in the EU countries. Today, there are very different national approaches and calculation methods when it comes to fire safety. It would be good to have a joint European data basis so we can identify ‘best practice’ in the EU countries’ fire safety efforts more easily – and, in time, even start European fire safety measures.

Cyber-Kriminalitaet

CFPA Europe publishes first European guideline for cybersecurity in SMEs

CFPA Europe publishes first European guideline for cybersecurity in SMEs

The “CFPA-E Guideline No 11:2018 S” is based on the German VdS 10000 guideline and is available free of chargeSmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular often find it  difficult to adequately protect themselves against cy-bercrime and the loss of important data, since comprehensive security measures entail high costs and considerable effort. To remedy this situation, the Confederation of Fire Protection Associations Europe (CFPA Europe), an alliance of more than 20 national safety organizations, has now developed the first European cybersecurity guideline especially for SMEs: the CFPA-E Guideline No 11:2018 S, “Guideline on Cyber Security for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.” This is based on the well-known German Guideline VdS 10000 (formerly VdS 3473) and provides an ap-proach that enables small and medium-sized enterprises to protect them-selves against cyber risks in an appropriate and affordable way.The CFPA-E Guideline No 11:2018 was published by CFPA Europe at the end of 2018 and is available free of charge at www.cfpa-e.eu.

Endorsement by European insurance association

The association Insurance Europe has officially endorsed the new guideline: For the first time, European guidelines are thus now available that are specially tailored to the needs of SMEs and are supported both by re-nowned safety institutes throughout Europe and by the European insurance sector.The guideline helps SMEs to improve their information security so that they can better resist cyberattacks. This resilience can be examined and certified on the basis of the guideline in audits – and thus also verified for dealings with business partners and insurers.

VdS-FireSafety-Cologne_forum

VdS-FireSafety Cologne on December 4 and 5, 2019 at Koelnmesse: Registration of exhibitors is under way!

A renowned industry gathering in the center of Cologne comprising a trade fair, expert conferences, and forums on the topic of preventive fire protection

Cologne, March 7, 2019. Companies from the field of preventive fire protection can now secure their participation in this year’s VdS-FireSafety Cologne trade fair on December 4/5, 2019 (see below for contact details). With its successful combination of trade fair, themed forums and expert conferences, VdS-FireSafety Cologne offers exhibitors the perfect setting to present their latest products and solutions and to enter into discussion with specialist visitors.

Versatile opportunities for presentation on favorable terms

The heart of VdS-FireSafety Cologne is the large trade fair with its focus on technical, structural and organizational fire prevention and protection. A site with a complete booth can be booked for as little as €215/m² for the entire duration of the fair.

All exhibitors are also invited to stage live demonstrations, and particularly interesting displays can be integrated as stations of the guided tours at the fair. The exhibitors’ forum in the trade fair hall also offers an attractive platform for presenting new products, along with technical and service innovations.

Future Forum Fire Protection

Future Forum Fire Protection, another themed forum in the trade fair hall, has now been a regular feature of the program for two years. Future topics such as aspects of digitalization in fire prevention and protection are explained and discussed here – an offer that has proved highly popular and attracts further interested visitors to the fair.

Seven high-caliber conferences

In parallel to the trade fair and themed forums, seven separately bookable expert conferences are offered at VdS-FireSafety Cologne. These too attract many interested expert visitors to Koelnmesse. The exhibitors of course also benefit from this, as for example René Schwertfeger from T&B electronic GmbH emphasizes: “The quality of visitors is particularly important to us: Thanks to the expert conferences taking place in parallel to the fair, the genuinely interested target groups are represented here, such as fire protection officers, insurance employees, experts, and consultants.”

The expert conferences at VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2019 at a glance:

  • Structural Fire Protection (Dec 4, 2019)
  • Security and Alarm Management (Dec 4, 2019)
  • Fire Extinguishing Systems (Dec 4, 2019)
  • 46th Professional Development Seminar for Fire Protection Officers (Dec 4/5, 2019)
  • Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation Systems (Dec 5, 2019)
  • Fire Detection and Alarm Systems (Dec 5, 2019)
  • Construction and Fire Protection in NRW (Dec 5, 2019)

Information and booking for exhibitors

Further information and registration details for exhibitors can be found at bst.vds.de/en/exhibition/exhibitors. If you have any questions, please contact Wolfgang Bartmann, tel. +49 (0) 221 77 66 6471, email: brandschutz-messe@vds.de.

All information on VdS-FireSafety Cologne at www.vds.de/fire-safety

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The heart of VdS-FireSafety Cologne: the large trade fair with providers from the fields of technical, structural and organizational fire prevention and protection

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Numerous product innovations and live demonstrations attract an interested specialist audience to Koelnmesse.

VdS-FireSafety Cologne_forum.jpg, caption:

A crowd-puller: “Future Forum Fire Protection” in the trade fair hall

 

 

About VdS:

 

VdS is one of the world’s most renowned institutions for corporate safety and security. 500 experts offer a unique range of services for fire protection, security, cyber-security and natural hazard prevention.

Services include risk assessments, testing and certification, inspections, information systems for natural hazards and an extensive training program. In addition, the independent institute sets international safety and security standards with the publication of a comprehensive set of Guidelines.

The optimal protection of our partners is based on a worldwide unique safeguarding concept whose reliability builds on more than 110 years of VdS-experience, combining all core aspects of loss prevention. Decision-makers around the world rely on VdS-approved reliability and certainty.

 

More information at vds-global.com

 

Rely on Europe´s No.1 for Corporate Safety and Security

Logos IMG-CFPA

The CFPA Europe family is getting bigger

New members have joined the CFPA Europe. These new members bring experience, knowledge and good practices in prevention, fire safety, natural hazards and security.

The new members are:

  • The Polish Association of Fire Engineers and Technicians (SITP) from Poland.
  • Swedish Thefts Prevention Association (SSF) from Sweden.
  • Hellenic Institute for the Fire Protection of Structures (ELIPYKA) fron Greece.
  • Occupational Health & Safety, Environmental, Consultancy and Training Services (NTSS) from Turkey.
  • Occupational Safety, Fire Protection and Evacuation (Trajf) from Albania.
lithium

AIAS in collaboration with Confcommercio organizes a Seminar on Fire safety and Lithium-Ion Batteries on March 7, 2019.

When can a new technology be defined as safe?

Starting from this question, the workshop will be a moment of confrontation between experts from the public sector, the research world and the industry to analyze the state of the art of legislation and good practice applicable to fire risk in industrial processes using Lithium-ion batteries for a scientific approach to analysis and risk reduction.

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USA streets ahead when it comes to the fire safety of mega-batteries

ESS-fire-service-safety

Mega-batteries in the electricity system, industry and in our homes are on the way, and that will throw up challenges when it comes to fire safety. In the USA, development is more advanced, and the work on managing the risks is in full swing.

Our energy system will be transformed in the years to come. Sustainable energy will become more prominent and the storage of surplus energy from wind turbines and solar cells will be an important part of the solution. Therefore, Energy Storage Systems (ESS) will play a pivotal role, both in the general infrastructure, in industry and even in domestic homes. Development is gradually getting underway around the world, but if you look at the USA, it is in full swing, with ESS being constructed on a large scale.

However, it will entail a number of fire safety challenges when you install large-scale batteries with all the chemicals and energy volumes they contain.

– In Denmark, we are sniffing around the area, for example, in connection with solar farms, in large companies and in data centres. However, the technology entails a number of challenges in terms of fire safety. In a fire, the batteries can emit flammable gases, or ‘thermal runaway’ can occur, whereby the battery generates heat uncontrollably with the result that the battery cells can self-combust. When an entire room is filled with batteries, this poses a risk that has to be managed, says Mikael N. Gam, who is a fire safety consultant with DBI – the Danish Institute of Fire & Security Technology.

New standards in the pipeline
Even though the prevalence is greater in the USA, the technology is also fairly new there. There are standards in the field but they are currently being revised thoroughly due to the experiences gleaned in recent years.

– There are new and relatively prescriptive standards on the way which must describe what you need to do to ensure an acceptable level of fire safety according to American standards. This will change, for example, when an ESS is covered by the standard based on the type of battery technology and the volume of energy in the batteries. As far as possible, the standards will also cover future technologies so that unregulated technologies cannot emerge, even though the field is developing rapidly, says Mikael N. Gam.

In addition, there will be limitations to the energy capacity (probably a maximum of 50 kW) in every block in an ESS and minimum distance requirements between the blocks and between a block and the walls, if the system is installed in a building. This way, you are minimising the risk of a fire spreading unhindered in a really large ESS. There are solutions available up to 30,000 kW, and it is expected that this will increase further in the coming years.

– At the same time, in the drafts of the new standards the scene is now set for requirements for sprinkler systems, for which there is a strong tradition in the USA, explains Mikael N. Gam.

What about the emergency response teams?
It is not only in relation to standards that ESS is being looked at in more depth in the USA. Full-scale tests of various ESS systems are being carried out in order to gain more knowledge on how batteries react in a fire when ‘thermal runaway’ occurs, what effect the batteries have in terms of heat in a fire, how fire spreads between the battery blocks, which gases are created and what can be used to extinguish them.

The last point is particularly crucial as some batteries, for example, can flare up again days or weeks after they have been extinguished and because different battery technologies require different extinguishing methods. For example, it is possible to extinguish a lithium-ion battery with water. But, if you pour water on a lithium battery it can create hydrogen, which is extremely flammable.

– Another aspect that is being focused on is the training of emergency response teams so that they can deliver an effective response. This is made more difficult by the fact that different ESS systems require different responses and that the technology is developing at such a rapid pace that standards can’t keep up. This also makes it difficult for emergency response teams to keep up, says Mikael N. Gam.

The work on fire-testing ESS systems and finding a solution to the training of emergency response teams continues apace in the USA. And, there is good reason to keep abreast of the solutions they come up with on the other side of the Atlantic. Because even if the prevalence of ESS is still limited on these shores, it is on its way.

VdS Treppenlauf

Participation of VdS Schadenverhütung in a charity stair run organized by the Volunteer Fire Department of Bergheim

In 2017 two teams from VdS Schadenverhütung participated in a charity stair run organized by the Volunteer Fire Department of Bergheim, running up 16 flights of stairs 45 meters high in full firefighting gear. All money raised at this event was donated on behalf of Paulinchen e.V. a foundation for burned children. The association will use the money for such activities as maintaining the free initial contact hotline that helps victims of burn injuries, for various campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of burns and scalding, and also for the “Paulinchen” seminars, where families with injured children can get to know each other. At the end of the campaign, the vast sum of 3.333 € was donated to Paulinchen e.V.

The Volunteer Fire Department Bergheim is now one of the six finalists in the category “Social Engagement” of the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award 2018. In an public online voting everybody can vote for his or her favorite team to reach the first place – until 27th of January 2019.  Which team made first place will be announced on the award night in Ulm on the 01.03.2019.

The Finalists for the „Special prize for social engagement 2018” are
Volunteer Fire Department Waltershausen (Germany)
SDIS 45 du Loiret (Orléans, France)
OSP Ochotnicza Straż Pożarna Lubin (Poland)
Volunteer fire Department Bergheim (Germany)
Chuncheon Fire Department, Gangwon Fire & Rescue Service (South Korea)
Youth Fire Brigade Langenthal (Germany)

Link for the Online Voting:
https://award.magirusgroup.com/en/

VdS Brandschutztage 2018 in der Kölner Messe ©VdS/Martin Rottenkolber

VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2018 with a multifaceted programme and numerous visitors from home and abroad

New exhibitor and visitor record, fully booked expert conferences, perfect networking opportunities

Cologne, December 5th, 2018 – For many fire prevention and protection professionals, VdS-FireSafety Cologne is the most important industry event at the end of the year. This was once again confirmed by the 7th VdS-FireSafety Cologne, which took place at the Cologne Exhibition Centre on December 4th and 5th, 2018. More than 100 exhibitors presented product innovations and live demonstrations at the major international trade fair, and a total of 3,300 visitors came to find out about current developments in the industry in the exhibition hall and at the expert conferences held at the same time. They also took advantage of the numerous networking opportunities.

Well-filled themed forums

The themed forums in the exhibition hall, to which all visitors had free access, were very popular. For the second time, the Future Forum Fire Protection was presented, this year with the motto “Today Vision – Tomorrow Everyday Life”. In the mornings of both days, experienced experts gave lectures on innovation topics and answered the questions of the trade fair visitors. In the afternoons, universities and manufacturers presented current findings, solutions and trends on the same stage.

Fully booked expert conferences

The seven high-calibre expert conferences that took place parallel to the trade fair in the halls of Cologne Exhibition Centre were also extremely popular, many of them fully booked. Among other things, the new conference “Security and Alarm Management – From Planning to Intervention”, which dealt with the convergence of fire prevention and protection, security services and optimally integrated emergency response, the compact seminar “Construction and Fire Protection in Northrhine Westfalia” on the new state building regulations, which will soon come into force, and the two-day international conference “Fire Extinguishing Systems” with case studies from Germany and abroad were available for selection. The internationally oriented programme also attracted many guests from abroad to Cologne Exhibition Centre; for example, the expert conferences were booked by visitors from 20 different countries.

Major trade fair and launch of international campaign

More than 100 exhibitors presented innovations and trends from various areas of preventive fire protection. Siemens presented its new international “Protection matters” campaign for the first time at VdS-FireSafety Cologne. It deals with the interlinking of the various fire protection professions (detection, alarm and evacuation, extinguishing, building and hazard management), which ideally are planned together from the outset. Siemens offers a comprehensive portfolio as well as planning aids that considerably facilitate the integration of the professions (more on this at siemens.de/protection-matters). “We used VdS-FireSafety Cologne to present our brand-new campaign, because here we meet an interested audience of experts in a very targeted manner. The feedback from the visitors was very positive. We are particularly pleased that the market perceives us as a driver for digitalisation in fire prevention and protection,” says Carsten Meißner of Siemens.

Live demonstrations and tours of the trade fair

At VdS-FireSafety Cologne there was a large variety of live demonstrations of the latest fire prevention and protection technology. These included, for example, a sprinkler system with foam admixture by FireDos and sprinkler demonstrations by Minimax Polska, in which the functionality of alarm valve stations and the spray patterns of sprinklers could be observed. VdS demonstrated original test equipment from the VdS fire detection laboratories: a rotating device in accordance with EN 54-12 for testing optical smoke detectors and a smoke box in accordance with EN 54-20 for testing aspirating smoke detectors.

The new offer for a total of three trade fair tours was also gladly taken up, during which interested visitors were shown selected product innovations and live demonstrations.

VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2019 on 4th and 5th December

Also next year VdS-FireSafety Cologne will not be missing from the calendars of industry professionals. Once again, it will take place at Cologne Exhibition Centre on 4th and 5th December 2019.

Further information on VdS FireSafety Cologne: www.vds.de/fire-safety

VdS Brandschutztage 2018 in der Kölner Messe ©VdS/Martin Rottenkolber

Full halls, satisfied faces: 3,300 visitors came to VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2018 to find out about the latest trends in fire prevention and protection.

VdS Brandschutztage 2018 in der Kölner Messe ©VdS/Martin Rottenkolber

Innovations were presented and many products demonstrated live at the more than 100 stands at the trade fair of VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2018.

VdS Brandschutztage 2018 in der Kölner Messe ©VdS/Martin Rottenkolber

Many of the expert conferences at VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2018 were fully booked, for example the expert conference “Fire Extinguishing Systems International” with simultaneous translation German/English.

About VdS

VdS is one of the world’s most renowned and prestigious institutions for corporate security and safety, specialising in fire protection, security, cyber-security and natural disaster prevention. The services include risk assessments, on-site inspections, certifications of products, companies and professionals, and a comprehensive training and publication programme.

The VdS seal of approval enjoys an excellent reputation in professional circles and among decision-makers. VdS clients include industrial and commercial businesses in all industries, leading international manufacturers, system houses and professional specialists, as well as risk-conscious banks and insurers. More information at www.vds-global.com.

VdS – Inspected. Approved. Safe.

CFPA-ok

Active participation of CFPA in European exhibitions

Two exhibitions:

Expoprotection

This late autumn there have been to big exhibition where CFPA Europe has been present. Expoprotection where in Paris 6-8 November and Director Tommy Arvidsson worked together with our member CNPP and CFPA E had also one side in their booth. Many visitors got interested to hear and learn more about CFPA E.

Expoprotection

Here is Patrick Hebbelynck (right) from CNPP talking with professors Barbara and Milovan Vidakovic, both from DITUR our member organisation in Serbia.

VdS FireSafety

In the beginning of December CFPA Europe joined in the booth with our member in Germany, VdS, at their international conference and exhibition in Cologne. It was very big even with even with approximately 1000 people participating the conference every day.

At the VdS-FireSafety the CFPA was represented by 4 speakers from 4 CFPA-members on quite different topics (From Grenfell Fire to Sprinkler systems and oxygen reduction systems up to Cyber security) – it shows the competency of our members:

  • John Briggs, FPA: “Grenfell Tower: Fire in high rise building in June 2017 – Could a sprinkler system have prevented or significantly reduced the impact and growth of the fire?”
  • Miguel Vidueira, Cepreven: “A real case: Efficiency problems with an existing sprinkler system due to a bad manufacturing of the pipework”
  • Heike Siefkes, VdS: “Oxygen reduction systems – determination of riskspecific oxygen concentrations“
  • Anja Kivac, DBI: “Social Engineering – Threat for the Human Firewall”

VdS-FireSafety

Here is John Briggs (left) from FPA-UK talking with Miguel Vidueira from Cepreven-Spain while Tommy Arvidsson between both reviews marketing material.

Organisations from East Europe

On 16 November CFPA Europe’s Director Tommy Arvidsson met people from ECEUFIRE, the East Central European Fire Corporation, at a meeting host by our member organisation in Slovenia, SZPV. Besides discussions about their co-operation, there was also plenty of time to talk about CFPA Europe.

Organisations-from-East-Europe

Here Tommy is making a presentation and Mateja Gris, Slovenia, Gábor Marlovits, Hungary, Horia Mihai Nicolescu, Romania, and Milan Hajduković, Slovenia are listening.

In Ljubljana CFPA Europe and Gašper Golob head of SZPV also had a possibility to meet Slovenian Insurance Association.

 

New method of evaluating overall fire safety

Brand_Sikring_nr

Fire safety is not just one thing. It involves an interplay between a number of different factors. And, if one of them fails, the entire projected safety falls apart.

This is the underlying basis of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, which is a new approach to fire safety that was presented at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas in the summer of 2018.

– The method means that you don’t just look at one factor – for example, the design of the building – but you have to view fire safety from a broader perspective in order to ensure that the overall level of safety is adequate. Many factors determine whether a building is safe, and if just one element does not live up to expectations, then you don’t have the expected level of safety, says Mikael N. Gam, fire safety consultant at the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology, DBI.

Prudent principles in tumultuous times
In specific terms, the ecosystem encompasses eight points that must be in place.

– In a time when many of the things we have historically based our fire safety on are changing – for example, the use of many new materials with different fire safety properties, the ecosystem is a highly prudent principle to work to. For everything is interlinked and, to a far greater degree than previously, we have to be aware that numerous factors impact on overall fire safety, explains Mikael N. Gam.

The eight points in the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem:

  1. The regulatory authorities must develop and maintain effective guidelines and laws in the field.
  2. Planning and design teams must apply the latest guidelines and regulations in the field.
  3. All standards must be referenced and complied with during all phases of a building project (design, execution, operation etc.).
  4. Safety must be invested in, and it must be prioritised in relation to training, the choice of products and the enforcement of guidelines.
  5. The workforce carrying out the construction of the building must be competent and highly trained so that it can perform the work in compliance with guidelines and regulations.
  6. An effective quality assurance system must be in place in order to enforce rules and guidelines during the construction phase.
  7. Emergency response teams must be prepared, well-trained and have the necessary equipment to be able to respond to any risks that may arise.
  8. The public must be well-informed regarding the risks and dangers posed by fires before fire safety is in order.