Fire National Regulations 2020 by countries
The building codes in Austria are specified by the governments of 9 federal states. These building codes are subsequently referring to guidelines of the Austrian Institute of construction engineering (OIB guidelines).
The OIB Guidelines serve to harmonise the construction engineering regulations in Austria. The federal states may declare OIB Guidelines as binding in their building codes- in fact- all federal states did so by now.
The OIB Guidelines are organised according to basic requirements for construction works of the EU Construction Products Directive.
The OIB Guidelines are designed and handled as prescriptive fire safety design rules, but it is also possible to use performance based approaches. This means that the guidelines are designed as prescriptive fire safety design rules, which should be followed to show the applicability and approvability of a fire safety design to the local building authorities. But in any case, it is possible to deviate from the prescriptive rules, if it is demonstrated by comprehensible and conclusive arguments that the required level of safety is achieved. The required level of safety is derived from comparison with a solution, which follows the OIB guidelines.
The possibility to deviate from prescriptive rules is intended to ensure the necessary flexibility for innovative architectural and technical solutions.
Austria has adopted the EU harmonized system for classification of resistance to fire and reaction to fire. A list of adopted product standards for CE marking is given in the Austrian “building products catalogue ÖE”:
A second building material list (ÖA) serves to establish usage regulations for construction products for which no harmonised technical specifications exist and which therefore cannot bear the CE mark.
Note that a CE mark is not considered as an approval for the use of a given product in a specific application. It is just a declaration of selected properties described in the product standard.
The guidelines are the same as for prescriptive fire safety design. The reason is, that the bundle of OIB-guidelines are mainly focused on prescriptive fire safety design. But the OIB-guidelines offer the possibility to deviate from prescriptive rules if comprehensible and conclusive arguments are used to verify that the planned solution offers the same level of safety (as compared to a prescriptive solution).
Within Belgium, the federal authorities, the communities, the regions and even the municipal authorities are responsible in various capacities for the prevention of and protection against fire.
The main aspects of the Belgian regulations:
• buildings according to their height and their construction date;
• the functions and uses of buildings;
• land-use planning and the environment;
Apart from Federal Regulations, the Communities and the Regions are responsible for personal services. Depending on the case, several legislations may apply, so it is important to always consider all the regulatory aspects involved in a building and its use.
Determine the minimum conditions to be met by the design, construction and layout of buildings in order to:
(a) prevent the birth, development and spread of a fire;
(b) ensure the safety of persons;
(c) facilitate the intervention of the fire department.
The technical regulations are based on functional requirements of fire safety concerning safety of occupants, load-bearing elements, generation and spread of fire and smoke and safety and operation for the rescue department. The Danish building regulation consists of app. 560 paragraphs divided into 37 chapters. The building regulation consists of performance based requirements, only for fire safety installations it is prescribed when a building or fire compartment need different systems.
Buildings in Denmark are categorized based on the use of the building, occupancy, risk, complexity and method of documentation. With introduction of Building Regulation 2018 fire and risk classes are introduced. If a building is placed in fire class 2-4 a certified fire safety engineer is responsible for the fire safety design of the building. The fire classes depend on the risk class and the method of documentation, where fire class 4 is the highest class.
The building regulation is supplemented with a set of guidelines. The main guideline describes the overall frame to fulfil the performance based requirements. For traditional buildings a set of prescriptive solutions for different building types are available. These solutions give the acceptable level of safety determined by the society.
If the building design is more complex and the prescriptive solution does not apply the fire safety can be documented using comparative analysis, fire safety engineering methods or fire tests. The method of documentation can also be a combination of the mentioned methods. Often the majority of the fire safety design is based on prescriptive solutions. Hence if the building is too complex and the prescriptive solutions do no apply larger part of the fire safety design is based on performance based design.
Besides the overall guideline for fire safety new guidelines concerning fire safety installations, operation and maintenance, documentation of fire safety means, and the responsibilities and role for the certified fire safety consultant is introduced with Building Regulation 2018
In the current scheme the contractor hands in a complete building design to the local building authorities. The building design includes drawings, descriptions and calculations. The fire safety design must be documented in a fire strategy report and in drawings (fire plans) illustrating the location of all fire safety measures. If the building is placed in fire class 2-4 a certified fire safety engineer is responsible for the fire safety design and as a part of the building application the certified fire safety engineer shall fill out a “Declaration of commencement”.
The authorities will then deem whether the building is placed in the correct risk and fire class. If the documentation is sufficient a building permit is given.
When the building is ready for commissioning the certified fire safety engineer shall prepare “as build” documentation for the fire safety design, including declaration of completion, fire plans, fire strategy report, check report and a plan for operation, inspection and maintenance.
Generally, Denmark has adopted the EU harmonized system for classification of resistance and reaction to fire. Though, some specific product standards and levels of classifications are not referred to in the Danish building regulation or the related guidelines.
A list of adopted product standards for CE marking can be generated from the Danish “product contact point for construction”: http://danishcprcontactpoint.dk/about_pkb
In terms of fire, the regulations essentially aim to ensure that people are protected. It is important to:
– evacuate all people present quickly or defer their evacuation under maximum security conditions,
– restrict the spread of the fire inside and outside buildings,
– enable access and intervention by the emergency and fire services.
The regulatory texts will therefore lay down protective measures with a view to reducing or containing the effects of the fire. The regulations relating to the prevention of fire risks are substantial and often complex.
In fact, premises which come under the Code du travail [French employment law], ICPE-classified facilities (Installations Classées pour la Protection de l’Environnement – Facilities Classified for Environmental Protection), ERP buildings (Établissements Recevant du Public – Public Access Buildings), IGH buildings (Immeubles de Grande Hauteur – High-Rise Buildings) and residential premises are all establishments that are governed by different regulatory texts.
It is up to employers to choose solutions which enable them to respect all of the texts to which they are subject.
In lot of cases, a building permit is required. In general, it concerns large-scale construction work. However, it also applies to several other cases (enlargements, transformation of use of the construction …). The application for a building permit must be sent or deposited at the town hall.
Fire behavior in case of fire of a component is appreciated according to its resistance to fire but also by the fire reaction of its constituent materials.
The reaction to fire of a material characterizes, among other things, its ability to be combustible and its ability to ignite. Seven criteria define the European classification (Euroclasses) for building materials. The “fl” (floor) index is added specifically for soil materials.
Fire resistance is the time during which building elements can play their role. 3 criteria (Eurocodes) are used to determine it: bearing capacity or resistance (R), flame tightness and absence of gas emission (E) and thermal insulation (I).
Code de la construction et de l’habitation (CCH) – Titre II – Chapitre II : Dispositions de sécurité relatives aux immeubles de grande hauteur.
https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCode.do;jsessionid=157F1553D6E4A2DE8C34DFDDFF643786.tplgfr41s_3?idSectionTA=LEGISCTA000006143515 &cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006074096& dateTexte=20180701
Code de la construction et de l’habitation (CCH) – Titre II – Chapitre III : Protection contre les risques d’incendie et de panique dans les immeubles recevant du public.
Guide pratique relatif à la sécurité incendie dans les parcs de stationnement couverts ouverts au public.
Guide pratique relatif à la sécurité incendie dans les magasins de vente et les centres commerciaux
The building fire regulations in Germany consist of three levels:
− Building code of the 16 federal states, which are based on the national model building code as national framework and but may consist different provisions in detail, e.g. permissible area of fire compartment or minimum required size of opening in the external wall as part of the second escape routes
− Additional regulations for special type of buildings or building with special using, e.g. high rise and industrial buildings (see part D)
− selected standards as technical building regulations that are bindingly implemented by the building authority of federal states, e.g. Euro-codes
Note: In the course of building permission, recommendations of the insurers are often and in individual cases used for the design of fire protection systems. e. g. for sprinkler and other fire suppression systems.
A building permission is still required for special type of buildings or buildings with special using, also in case of possible constructional modification and change of the using.
The Buildings permission must be granted if a building meets all requirements of building code and additional building regulations.
In case of some deviations from the existing fire regulations, a fire protection verification or fire protection concept is required, established by a fire protection expert and checked by the local construction supervisory authorities or by an approved fire protection expert. In addition, the local fire department should be also heard and involved in course of the building permission.
The requirements on building components are defined in the
− administrative technical building regulations of the federal states that are based on the national model administrative technical building regulations as national framework and
− mandated European standards for building componentsIn administrative technical building regulations of the federal states, building- and construction-related requirements are defined.
For marketing and using of European construction components, declaration of the performance must be carried out in accordance with European regulations, e.g. with the CE mark.
Musterverwaltungsvorschriften Technische Baubestimmungen (MVV TB)
Verordnung über Bau von Betriebsräumen für eletrische Analgen
Richtlinie über den Bau und Betrieb von Hochhäusern
Richtlinie über den Brandschutz bei der Lagerung von Sekundärstoffen aus Kunststoff
Richtlinie zur Bemessung von Löschwasser-Rückhalteanlagen beim Lagern wassergefährdenderStoffe
Other relevant documents regarding general fire safety regulations
Richtlinie über brandschutztechnische Anforderungen an hochfeuer-hemmende Bauteile in Holzbauweise
Richtlinie über brandschutztechnische Anforderungen an Systemböden
Richtlinie über automatische Schiebetüren in Rettungswegen
Richtlinie über elektrische Verriegelunbgssysteme von Türen in Rettungswegen
Richtlinie über Flächen für die Feuerwehr
The Legislation related to the Fire Protection of Buildings in Greece consists of:
The New Regulation for the Fire Protection of Buildings incorporates:
Active and passive fire protection study and drawings is a subfile part of the complete file of documents needed for obtaining the building permission prior to any building works.
After completion of the works, a “building inspector” randomly assigned by the competent authority (named “POLEODOMIA”) makes the final inspection for the implementation of studies and drawings. This is the necessary final (prerequisite) step for applying to the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO) and getting a connection with the electricity network.
CE marking and Declaration of Performance, in accordance with CPR 305/2011
Regulation for the Fire Protection of Buildings (Presidential Decree 41/2018)
HELLENIC FIRE DEPARTMENT CIRCULARS
In Italy Fire fighters are a National Corp, part of the Ministery of Interior Affairs. The National Corp has two main tasks: extinguishing interventions and fire prevention.
Italian law DPR 1/08/2011 no. 151 contains a list of 80 activities which are subject to Fire fighters’ control for fire prevention.
All of these activities are considered as having a higher fire risk, and normally have a threshold: for example, commercial activities over 400 sqm, car parks over 300 sqm, hotels over 25 beds, civil buildings higher than 24 m.
If an activity is under the threshold, it’s not subject to Fire fighters’ control and it only has to apply the safety at work rules, which include also a part about fire safety, with less requirements.
If an activity is subject to Fire fighters’ control, various technical Codes contain the technical requirements, which can vary depending on the precise activity. The total number of codes is unknown, certainly hundreds, but the main Codes are about 20/30 (see list below).
In 2015 the so-called “Fire Safety Code” (“Codice di prevenzione incendi”, Ministerial Decree 3.8.2015) has been released. Based on the BS 9999, it’s a general code and applies to all activities. Presently the fire engineer can choose whether to apply the new Code or the “old” codes, when existing; if an activity does not have its own technical code, the new “Fire Safety Code” has to be applied.
Fire Safety Engineering is allowed in Italy starting from 2007 but it’s still not widely used. If a fire engineer wants to use the FSE, there is a procedure to follow, but for technical requirements the FSE is alternative to the various Codes.
In Italy the fire engineers must be a qualified technician (Engineers, Architects, Junior Engineers, System technicians) inscribed in a professional register; then he/she must attend a 120 hours professional training organized by the Ministery of Interior Affairs and, after passing the final exam, he/she is inscribed in a list of fire engineers at the Ministery of Interior. Then periodic training is required in order to remain inside the list.
The manager of one (or more) of activities subject to Fire fighters’ control must follow a precise procedure:
1) Submitting to Fire fighters’ Command of the province (Italy is divided in 87 provinces) a project which demonstrated the compliance to the applicable Code (or, in case of use of FSE, the compliance to the fire simulation).
2) At the end of the works, submitting to Fire fighters a number of documents (certifications, declarations, etc.), the SCIA – Segnalazione Certificata di Inizio Attività (Certified segnalation of activity beginning, signed by the activity manager), with a certification (“Asseverazione”) signed by a technician who declares that the activity has been built according to the fire safety project and to the applicable fire safety codes.The SCIA submitted to Fire fighters is the document which allows an activity to operate.
3) Later, Fire fighters can make inspections and, if positive, they release the Fire certificate (CPI – Certificato di prevenzione incendi) or, sometimes, an equivalent certificate named Verbale di visita tecnica.
4) If the inspection is negative, various solutions are possible, including the closure of activity and/or the opening of a criminal charge.
5) Every 5 years, the manager has to proceed with the renewal of fire safety conformity.
6) If relevant changes are needed in the activity (dimensions, combustible materials, change in the activity, etc), a new project must be submitted
When a SCIA has to be submitted, D.M. 7.8.2012 regulates which documents have to be attached, depending on the activity. Normally a SCIA requires documents regarding:
DPR 1 agosto 2011 n° 151
This link contains most of Italian fire safety codes.The book Tutte le norme di prevenzione incendi, EPC Libri, Rome 2007, containing all codes (past and current) is about 3000 pages.
Circolare M.I. DCPREV 5043 del 15 aprile 2013
Circolare 2/2018 del 15 novembre 2018
No guideline available. Performance based design can proceed only according with national law D.M. 9.5.2007.
In Portugal the fire safety framework for buildings is homogeneously applicable throughout the national territory.
The main aspects of the Portuguese regulations:
GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE PORTUGUESE FIRE REGULATION FRAMEWORK FOR BUILDINGS:
Determine the minimum conditions to be met by the design, construction and layout of buildings in order to:
(a) prevent the birth, development and spread of a fire;
(b) ensure the safety of persons;
(c) facilitate the intervention of the fire department
Licensing of buildings is a competence of city councils.
Requirements for performance declaration for building components
Fire behaviour of construction elements for which Portuguese legislation requires a particular fire performance shall be proved by a classification report issued by a notified body.
Portuguese fire safety legislation defines clearly the fire resistance classes that construction elements of a building need to comply with, depending on the type of building and risk category. Similarly, Portuguese legislation defines also the fire reaction classes that constructions materials of a building need to comply with.
In Portugal, fire performance of construction products is based on the corresponding European Classification.
Regime Jurídico de Segurança contra Incêndio em Edifícios – Building Fire Safety Legal Regime, published by Decreto-Lei nº 220/2008, de 12 de novembro, Decreto-Lei nº 224/2015, de 9 de outubro, Decreto-Lei nº 224/2015, de 9 de outubro, Decreto-Lei nº 95/2019, de 18 de Julho, Lei nº 123/2019, de 18 de outubro
Regulamento Técnico de Segurança contra Incêndio em Edifícios – Building Fire Safety Technical Regime, published by
Critérios para a determinação da carga de incêndio modificada – Criteria for the determination of modified fire load, published by Despacho nº 2074/2009, de 15 de janeiro
Registo de entidade na Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil – Registration of trade, installation and maintenance of fire safety systems and equipment’s companies, published by Portaria nº 773/2209, de 21 de julho
Regulamento de Acreditação dos Técnicos Responsáveis das entidades registadas na ANEPC – Accreditation regulation of Responsible Technicians of fire safety companies, published by Despacho nº 10738/2011, de 30 de agosto
Regulamento Técnico de Segurança contra Incêndio em Edifícios – Building Fire Safety Technical Regime, published by Portaria nº 1532/2008, de 29 de dezembro
Technical Guidelines of the Portuguese national fire safety authority (Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil – ANEPC)
The national fire safety regulations are based on requirements of fire safety of occupants (people and animals), premises and environment. In Fire Protection Act, issued by Ministry of Defence, there are listed requirements, that Building regulation requirements (Building Act, published by Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning in 2017) shall be fulfilled: appliances, equipment, installations, elements and assemblies of structures shall be constructed and designed in the manner and from materials so as to ensure fire safety in compliance with the building regulations and technical requirements for building materials (according to EN standards). During the reconstruction and maintenance, fire safety of buildings must not be reduced. There are two ways to design a building that satisfies the requirements; prescribed design and performance based design. Both methods are equally valid.
Prescribed design is used more frequently, according to Technical guideline TSG 1-001, Fire safety in buildings, which is published by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning.
Remark: Slovenian Fire Protection Association is preparing the basis of TSG 1-001 since 2007. The last version (No. 4.1) was published in 2020.
In the current scheme the investor hands in a complete building design (prepared by registered engineering company) to the national building authorities, located in (58) offices in larger municipalities. The building design includes drawings, descriptions, calculations. The fire safety design must be documented in a fire strategy document and in drawings illustrating the location of all fire safety measures. The document is called Nacrt pozarne varnosti and it has to be made by “fire engineers”, members of The Slovenian Chamber of Engineers, Section of Engineers of Technology and Other Engineers.
Remark: In practice, the local building authorities usually don’t have experts who could check the design and are not able to approve the design or not, so they give the building permission if formal conditions are met.
Slovenia has adopted the EU harmonized system for classification of resistance to fire and reaction to fire. A list of adopted product standards is published regularly in the Slovenian Official Journal.
Building Act / Gradbeni zakon
Guidelines regarding prescriptive fire safety design
Tehnična smernica za graditev TSG-1-001:2019 Požarna varnost v stavbah
Zakon o varstvu pred požarom
A buildings fire protection shall be designed with adequate robustness to ensure all or large parts of the protection are not knocked out by individual events or stresses. There are two ways to design a building that satisfies the requirements; prescribed design and performance based design. Both methods are equally valid. Often the fire safety design of a building is based on a combination of both methods.
Prescriptive design: Prescriptive design means that the builder meets the requirements through the solutions and methods specified in the general recommendations in Sections 5:2-5:7 in the building regulations.
Performance based (analytical) design: Analytical design means that the developer meets one or more of the provisions in this section througha way other than prescriptive design.
Verification of the building’s fire protection shall be performed through
– qualitative assessment,
– scenario analysis,
– quantitative risk analysis,
or equivalent methods. The methods can also be combined.The verification method shall be chosen for the specific object in view of the complexity of the fire protection.
Regarding buildings with high hazard storage or production, there is an extra “layer” of fire safety legislation. These regulations are prescriptive only.
A qualitative assessment may be used as a verification method if the deviations from the prescriptive design are limited. The same applies if the impact of the design on fire safety is well known and if the design satisfies the provisions with a large safety margin.
To ensure that buildings are designed and constructed in accordance with relevant regulations, the developer of the building should at an early stage consider the need for the relevant competency for the respective tasks which together with the conditions for the design and construction are presented to local authorities to form the basis of the inspection plan.
Fire protection documentation shall be prepared. This shall include information about the preconditions for the fire protection and how the constructed building’s fire protection is designed, along with verification that the fire protection complies with the requirements in Boverket ́s mandatory provisions and general recommendations on the application of European construction standards (Eurocodes), EKS.
Generally, Sweden has adopted the EU harmonized system for classification of resistance to fire and reaction to fire.
Note that a CE mark is not considered as an approval for the use of a given product in a specific application. It is just a declaration of selected properties described in the product standard. The person who is going to use a building component must obtain the information in the performance declaration and the CE marking to determine if the product can be used to meet the country’s building rules.
Boverkets föreskrifter och allmänna råd om tillämpning av europeiska konstruktionsstandarder (eurokoder)
Boverkets allmänna råd om analytisk dimensionering av byggnaders brandskydd
Plan och byggförordning
Plan och bygglag
Spain has two main types of regulation of fire protection: for industrial buildings and for non-industrial buildings.
These regulations establish the provision of fire safety means in each type of building, both in the field of construction and in the field of installations.
There are also requirements to be fulfilled by the fire protection products, installations, installers and maintainers, stated in a different regulation. In essence, this regulation indicates that the products to be installed must have some kind of quality certification, that the facilities must be designed according to the appropiate UNE standard, and that installers and maintainers must be specifically authorized to develop said functions. This regulation only states requirements in the field of active fire protection.
The scope of passive protection, except as regards the quality requirements of elements or products, is not regulated.
There are for the industrial field complementary regulations for petrol-oil installations, storage facilities for chemical products, thermal installations in buildings, high voltage networks, low voltage networks … that among the security requirements to be considered, incorporate fire safety requirements.
In any case, all legislation revolves around three major objectives, in this order:
– Guarantee the safety of lives.
– Minimize damage to third parties.
– Minimize own property damages.
Spain has adopted the Eurocodes and Euroclasses to classify the fire resistance and fire reaction of the products.
For the components of fire protection installations, the CE mark, a mark of conformity to a non-harmonized standard, or a favorable technical evaluation of the product made by an accredited body, are accepted.
Regulation for the provision of fire protection means: • Buildings with Industrial Use: Reglamento de Seguridad contra Incendios en Establecimientos Industriales, RD 2267/2004.
Regulation for products, installation, installers and maintainers of active fire protection systems:
All the regulations mentioned in the previous section are mandatory and prescriptive, although both RD 2267/2004 and RD 314/2006 give the possibility to justify an equivalent safety level based on performance.
In Spain, the SFPE Engineering Guide for Performance Based Fire Protection, and the UNE-ISO 23932, Fire safety engineering, General principles, are used as reference for performance based fire safety design.
Other regulations on Industrial safety that include important prescriptions in the field of fire:
In the UK there is a 2 strand approach. Building Regulations 2010 is the law and regulates the way people and companies build. This regulation is assisted by “guidance” for particular types of buildings, such as Approved Documents and various BS standards. Building regulations are mandatory, but the guidance is considered “best practice” Meaning of “general fire precautions” 1) In this Order “general fire precautions” in relation to premises means, subject to paragraph (2)— (a)measures to reduce the risk of fire on the premises and the risk of the spread of fire on the premises; (b)measures in relation to the means of escape from the premises; (c)measures for securing that, at all material times, the means of escape can be safely and effectively used; (d)measures in relation to the means for fighting fires on the premises; (e)measures in relation to the means for detecting fire on the premises and giving warning in case of fire on the premises; and (f)measures in relation to the arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire on the premises, including— (i)measures relating to the instruction and training of employees; and (ii)measures to mitigate the effects of the fire. (2) The precautions referred to in paragraph (1) do not include special, technical or organisational measures required to be taken or observed in any workplace in connection with the carrying on of any work process, where those measures — (a)are designed to prevent or reduce the likelihood of fire arising from such a work process or reduce its intensity; and (b)are required to be taken or observed to ensure compliance with any requirement of the relevant statutory provisions within the meaning given by section 53(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc 1974(1). (3) In paragraph (2) “work process” means all aspects of work involving, or in connection with— (a)the use of plant or machinery; or (b)the use or storage of any dangerous substance.
Regional authorities are in charge of regulations related to planning and building permits. Local authorities manage the building permits through the LABC local Authority Building Control.
The reaction to fire of a material characterizes, among other things, its ability to be combustible and its ability to ignite. Seven criteria define the European classification (Euroclasses) for building materials.
Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005
Part A – Structure
Part B – Fire Safety
Part C – Site preparation
Part D – Toxic substances
Part E – Resistance to the passage of Sound
Part F – Ventilation
Part G – Sanitation
Part H – Drainage and Waste Disposal
Part J – Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
Part K – Protection from falling collision and impact
Part L – Conservation of fuel and power
Part M – Access to and use of buildings
Part N – Glazing Safety [withdrawn]
Part P – Electrical Safety
Part Q – Security
Part R – Physical infrastructure for high speed electronic communications network
Regulation 7 – Materials and workmanship
NFCC – Specialized Housing Guidance
BS 9999 Code of Practice for Fire Safety in the design management and use of buildings
BS 9990 Non-automatic fire fighting systems in buildings
BS 9991 Firesafety in the design management and use of residential buildings
BSEN 12845 Sprinkler Rules
Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government Guidance documents on Fire Risk Assessments
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