Monthly Archives: April 2016

CFPA-E launches a new guideline: “Forest Fires”


Wildfires involve the loss of a major forest area, especially during summer in the southern countries of Europe. This forest loss is difficult to recover. But this loss has to be added to other consequences of fires: injuries and deaths; evacuation of villages; roads and rail cuts; electricity, telephone and water supply disruptions…

Most fires that occur are intentional. Some others are caused by carelessness, and a few of them arise from natural causes (i.e. lightning strike).

CFPA-E is very concerned with the magnitude of this problem and thus launches the Guideline “Forest Fires”. This Guideline has been produced by the Spanish Fire Protection Association (CEPREVEN) in the Natural Hazards Group of CFPA-E Guidelines Commission.

 The purpose of this document is to establish good practice to prevent the occurrence of a forest fire, to describe the main mechanisms to combat it, and to give practical guidance to those living on the countryside or those who like to enjoy the woodlands as recreation places in order to limit the possibility that these activities can be source of a forest fire.

 The guideline is already available at CFPA-E website.

Forty years of intense activity of Cepreven the association celebrates its 40 Anniversary


In 1975 was conceived the idea of creating the Spanish Association of Investigation for the Safety of Life and Goods and in 1976 it began his first works.

After 40 years of efforts, CEPREVEN can present a very positive balance in technical assistance to partners, safety training and technical services, as well as edition of publications for technicians who develop their work in the Spanish-speaking world.

Since the satisfaction for this contribution to prevention and safety in Spain, we want to show our sincere thanks to the sponsors, partners, teachers of the training school and collaborators in technical services, as well as to our clients, who have trusted in us, by the possibility they have offered us to contribute modestly to the gradual lifting of security levels, as well as to the increase of culture in prevention of Spanish society.

And to celebrate our 40 anniversary with all those who have joined us throughout all this time, CEPREVEN will hold a special event with all of them.

Over 25 years of expertise in fire safety and security training: 25th Anniversary of the VdS-Training Centre


For loss prevention with its many diverse challenges, the know-how of those responsible and also people in official roles is of paramount importance. The VdS Training Centre imparts well founded knowledge with practical relevance in more than 90 training and advanced education courses – and now celebrates its 25th anniversary on February 1st 2016.

For hundreds of years fires were seen as natural disasters, against which one could hardly defend oneself. Time after time entire cities were destroyed by relatively small fires. This all changed with the invention of automatic fire protection systems. These complex techniques, however, can only function reliably, save lives and protect sites and locations if they are planned, installed and maintained by well trained specialists. In particular and especially preventive fire protection requires well-qualified personnel.

Therefore VdS, at that time the “Verband der Sachversicherer” (Association of Property Insurers), has since the seventies organised and staged symposia and conferences on the subject of fire protection technology. The growing interest of the fire safety and security market finally led in 1991 to the establishment of a separate training area on the VdS-site in Cologne and this resulted in a rapid expansion of our educational and training program.

The first milestone in 1993 was the introduction of the most important course to date  “Fire Prevention Manager”. Authorities and insurers demanded a well-informed and competent qualification. – VdS developed together with the Confederation of Fire Protection Associations Europe (CFPA Europe), an intensive training course extending over several weeks and can look back today on nearly 10,500 graduated participants. Also the twice yearly “Training Seminar for Fire Prevention Managers ” is one of the highest attended fire protection advanced training course in Germany.

Today the VdS Training Centre stages more than 90 courses and 25 symposia and conferences per year around the core areas of fire safety and security. Head of Training Ingeborg Schlosser declares: “Most of all we are pleased and proud to consistently have “good to very good” feedback evaluations from the participants, as well as enjoying a high level of confidence and trust from our many long-standing clients. Participants especially appreciate the appropriately qualified speakers and the high practical relevance of the training. “

These events mainly take place in Cologne, however also in other German cities. Furthermore the training centre is developing more and more its international programs. “It is important to us first and foremost the continual development and quality of our educational programs,” says Schlosser, “that means, always adapt the knowledge that is teached to new standards, technologies and situations of hazards.”

In addition to a comprehensive program for preventative fire protection, the education and training centre offers numerous courses, conferences and customised corporate seminars on security topics, electrical facilities, health and safety and IT information security, and is therefore for 25 years regarded as “The” training institute in terms of fire safety, security and loss prevention in Germany.

More information on the anniversary can be found at and about the VdS training program at

Fire in many languages


“Fireproof housing” is a brochure that provides basic knowledge about fire under Norwegian conditions in 32 languages. It also created a short information film based on the brochure, available in 13 languages.

Target: People with foreign language residing permanently or temporarily in Norway, as well as residents at reception centers.

The brochure is available only in electronic version for download, intended for printing and display. The brochure was created by Norwegian Fire Protection Association, with support from Finance Norway (FNO). Translations: Samtext Norway. Illustration and design: Commando Group. The film is made by Novemberfilm for Norwegian Fire Protection Association, with support from the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) and Finance Norway (FNO).

Right click and select “Save As …” on the links below to download the movie in WMV format (NB 55-60 Mb per movie)







 »Kurdish Kurmanji

 »Kurdish Sorani






 Conditions for use of files: The film and the brochure must be used as they are. Changes / edits are not allowed without prior agreement.

Fire test will help pave the way for greener shipping industry


Full-scale tests of FRP, aluminium and steel partitions at DBI will help create simpler documentation of fire safety for ships with lightweight superstructures.

When the steel ship, Norman Atlantic, caught fire in the Mediterranean in January 2015, wind conditions made it extremely difficult for the rescue helicopters to evacuate the ship. As a consequence, the rescue operation took 24 hours, during which time the passengers had to wait on the sun deck while the interior of the ship was destroyed by the fire. Despite this, the vessels stability and load-bearing capacity were not in immediate danger.

This example underlines the impressive robustness of steel ships in the event of a fire. Nevertheless, the research and development project, Compass (COMposites for PASSenger ships) is working to replace steel with FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Plastic), which, as a rule, has nowhere near as good fire technical properties as steel. On the other hand, FRP structures are considerably lighter than similar steel structures.

Compass is being carried out by DBI in collaboration with DTU Department of Civil Engineering and DTU Mechanical Engineering, while the Danish Maritime Foundation is providing financial support for the project.

Comprehensive series of tests
More recently, Compass has performed a series of major fire tests in DBI’s fire laboratory in order to resolve the dilemma between lightweight structures and fire safety, which will make it easier to design ships with FRP. Thus, in October 2015, six full-scale fire tests were conducted, during which the fire properties of three types of ship partitions (bulkheads), of steel, aluminium and FRP respectively, were tested.

It took over a week to conduct the six full-scale tests and each type of partition was subjected to two fires. Firstly, with a standard fire curve in accordance with ISO 834-1 and, secondly, a calculated fire curve corresponding to a fire in the cafeteria of a ship. The partitions were constructed as realistic ship structures (bulkheads) and were subject to a vertical fire loading in each test. The steel and aluminium partitions were fire-insulated to A-60, the FRP partitions to FRD-60.

Each test continued to the point of physical collapse or until the temperature in the furnace had decreased to a point that was irrelevant to the test.

Ships with lower fuel consumption
But, why perform tests with materials that are less fireproof than steel in the first place? The answer lies in the shipping industry’s fuel consumption and consequent impact on the environment. With lighter materials like FRP, it will be possible to build ships with a lower fuel consumption. Moreover, maintenance costs will be lower as plastic is resistant to corrosion.

However, the challenge is considerable. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) prioritises safety extremely highly and therefore prescribes steel and other non-inflammable materials in the prescriptive set of rules, SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea).

FRP is not excluded – however, it requires extraordinary documentation of safety in accordance with a specific section, SOLAS 17, which, in practice, has been almost impossible to establish up to now.

Expectations confirmed
The voluminous data from the fire tests has not yet been fully analysed. But, overall, expectations were confirmed. FRP partitions lose their load-bearing capacity after little more than an hour in a standard fire, aluminium partitions (bulkheads) can hold out for several hours while the steel partition has an “infinite” load-bearing capacity in the event of a fire due to very little utilisation of the steel’s load-bearing capacity.

– The results were as we had expected. The tests underline the fact that it requires achieving adequate levels of safety and robustness when using FRP in ships requires a great deal of forethought. But, on the other hand, the results give rise to no reason whatsoever for dismissing the possibility of using FRP. In all probability, it could be done, as long as the challenges are tackled in the right way, says fire technical consultant Anders Dragsted from DBI.

The challenge for SOLAS ships is – unlike buildings on dry land – that the ship is expected to “be its own lifeboat” and be capable of a “safe return to port”. Therefore, Compass focuses on how you can achieve the same level of safety on board a FRP ship as you would on board a ship with a traditional prescriptive design.

During the tests, DTU took 3D photographs of the surface of the partitions in order to be able to detect fairly small physical deformations. This information can be used, for example, to verify fire simulations of the partitions’ reaction to fire which, in the long term, can make it easier to document safety.

In addition, at DTU a series of smaller tests will be conducted to determine FRP’s strength and structure in the event of a fire.

Conversion of ferries
In specific terms, Compass is seeking to make easier to build or convert large passenger ships with a new lightweight superstructure in which the load-bearing steel is replaced with a structure that contains carbon and/or glass fibre composites.

The project will take as its point of departure a conversion of a the superstructure on a Danish passenger ferry, Prinsesse Benedikte, which sails between Denmark and Germany, to FRP. The aim is to develop an alternative design with at least the same level of safety as a design executed in accordance with the prescriptive regulations described in SOLAS II-2.

Compass is also to develop procedures that document the interplay between the fire properties of the structure and the level of safety achieved in the event of a fire.

Multilingual instructions on fire safety for refugee homes

In refugee accommodation, as well as in any residential building, fire may occur. The causes of fire are generally varied and in most cases due to failure in the electrical installation, defects of electrical devices or human error. Therefore, fire protection experts of the German Insurance Association (GDV) have developed a multilingual information leaflet for people in refugee accommodation, in addition to the building and occupancy permit of local authorities with inspection of structural conditions including fire protection measures and to precautions of accommodation operator.

The experts in GDV know from their longstanding work on loss prevention that many fires can be prevented if a few simple rules are observed. In order to inform people who come from different countries to Germany on fire protection and proper behavior in the event of fire, the GDV has summarized this information and translated this into four languages: English, French, Arabic and Farsi. Easy understandable pictograms should illustrate the instructions and support their understanding in addition.









Link to download the leaflet:

New Director of CFPA Europe


In order to expand and profit more from CFPA’s activities, CFPA Europe has appointed a Director to push activities forward. The new Director has four decades of experience within fire protection.

In the summer of 2016, Swedish Tommy Arvidsson will join CFPA Europe as new Director of the organization. And he is, indeed, a man with fire-DNA in his bones.

With a Master degree in Chemical Engineering, he started his fire safety career with Research Labaratory and then on to the Swedish OSHA. From 1983, he has worked with the Swedish Fire Protection Association (SFPA) and the related fire organization BRANDFORSK, in positions ranging from head of the technical department of SFPA, Director of BRANDFORSK, and the last 15 years as the Deputy Managing Director of SFPA. Since 2014, he has been the chairman of BRANDFORSK in Sweden.

– It has taken a while to find the absolute right Director candidate for CFPA Europe but we are very happy to welcome Tommy Arvidsson onboard the CFPA organization, says Jesper Ditlev, who is Chairman of CFPA Europe and CEO of Danish DBI.

A man of CFPA
Having worked for CFPA Europe for several years on top of his fire protection career in Sweden, Tommy Arvidsson represents a perfect profile for the new-established director position. Among other achievements, he was the one to start up the Guidelines Commission in 2001, of which he was the chairman until 2012. Moreover, he was the chairman of the work with CFPA Europe Natural Hazards from 2011 to 2013.

– Tommy Arvidsson knows CFPA from the very inside and also knows the CFPA professionals. Furthermore, he has the right spirit, is respected within the organization and will easily be able to adapt to the tasks related to the position, Jesper Ditlev says.

Goals of CFPA
According to Jesper Ditlev, the goals of CFPA Europe are clear: To professionalize the organization, expand activities, obtain more member organizations, and profit more from the activities. And that is, of course, exactly what Tommy Arvidsson will focus on in his new position.

– My work will connect to the strategy that the Management Committee presented at the CFPA Europe General Assembly in 2014, he says, and goes on to explain:

– We are now 16 CFPA member countries in Europe but within the coming years we would like to increase the number to more than 20 members. In addition, I would like more members to use the many guidelines and training courses produced by CFPA Europe more frequently. Besides, CFPA should have more collaboration with other organizations such as CTIF and FEU whom I want to endorse our guidelines and courses, he says.

Since 2014, Tommy Arvidsson has lived in Bangkok with his family where he has spent his time producing pineapples and helping two poor schools in the northeastern part of Thailand. In June 2016, he will move to Chester in England.