The API is proud to announce the release of the International Fires Safety Standards: Common Principles Consultation document on 23 January 2020.

Robert Hecek, LFAPI, Chair of APIV, and founding member of the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition (IFFSC) said

After almost two (2) years of hard work since the first meeting of the IFSS Coalition in Geneva in July 2018, we have produced an outstanding result, a draft global standard which has already been accepted by numerous international organisations and is now released for public consultation.

IFSS Press Release, 23 January 2020

A new global industry standard for fire safety is being launched for consultation today by a coalition of over 70 international organisations with support from the United Nations and the World Bank.  The International Fire Safety Standard project aims to bring transparency  and consistency across the dozens of differing standards being used around the world by creating a uniform set of principles.

Fire safety standards underpin the construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure, but they have historically been local market specific, out of kilter with technology and research developments, and in some countries, non-existent. This has resulted in inefficient and inconsistent approaches to managing risk to life and property and encouraged a loss of confidence in the fire safety of buildings. The coalition of organisations is urging experts to engage with the development of these new standards to bring people reassurance that their environments are adhering to the best worldwide expertise on fire safety.

The standards launched for global consultation today have been created by a Standard Setting Committee with 25 independent industry fire safety experts. It pulls together the pockets of fire safety best practice that exist across the globe, considering issues such fire prevention, detection and communication, occupants protection, containment and extinguishment at each stage of the property life cycle. The coalition organisations spearheading the development of the standards have already received support from the United Nations and it is hoped governments across the world will adopt the standards and support efforts to bring transparency and harmonise international best practice.

The consultation will be open for a period of two months with the final international standards to be published later in 2020. Interested parties should respond here by 23:59 23 March 2020.

For more information, on the International Fire Safety Standards consultation, please contact Helvi Cranfield at hcranfield@rics.org

Notes:

  • The International Fire Safety Standards consultation paper and questions can be viewed here. Interested parties should respond by 23:59 23 March 2020.
  • The IFSS Coalition (IFSSC) was formed at a meeting hosted by the United Nations in Geneva in July 2018. A full list of all the coalition organisations and partners can be viewed here.
  • The Coalition came together to address the need for better and consistent global standards in fire safety, in the light of some quite tragic fires in recent years. The aim is to improve fire safety both during the design and construction phase and the maintenance and management of existing buildings and infrastructure in the public interest, sharing best practice knowledge and expertise.
  • All coalition organisations have committed to adopting and implementing the new standard through their own guidance to professional practitioners.

Robert Hecek added “Dr Tony Enright and Greg Payne are the Australian Members of the Standards Setting Committee (SSC) which includes 25 independent fire safety experts, and from different countries.  This group of experts are world leaders in their field and have been appointed by the Coalition to consult and draft the principles of fire safety.  Another adopted Australian, Dr Johnathon Barnett, who API Members will know from the ‘Cladding Update Essentials’ webinar in October 2019, provides an advisory role to the Coalition.”

After the consultation period, the SSC consider any feedback and comments, and are looking to produce the final document for approval and release by the Coalition.  The IFSSC are planning to  publish, the final document in June/July 2020 at the UN Headquarters in Geneva.  The process of implementation, acceptance and adoption of the standards by UN Member Nations will begin in July 2020 following publication of the final paper.  Adoption and implementation is not going to happen overnight, with the Coalition having drafted a ten (10) year plan which will be presented to the UN and has the support of the World Bank.

As noted in the IFSSC press release the IFSSC is seeking comments/feedback from interested persons/entities.  API Members are encouraged to review the consultation document, available here and can also provide comments/feedback directly to the IFSSC.  There are instructions and links on the consultation page relating to provide responses.

The consultation period closes on 23 March 2020.

For any enquiries please email standards@api.org.au.