Latest regulations don’t address all fire-safety design issues, expert warns
17 June 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019339
THE newly released 2020 version of SANS 10400-T, ‘The application of the National Building Regulations - Fire Protection’, still does not adequately address all the issues related to fire-safety designs.
This caution comes from ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk, who noted that informal settlements and wildland urban fire interfaces, to mention a few, are not addressed. The acute lack of water and effective options to deal with it are also not included.
“Our latest sprinkler code is in draft format and is currently in circulation for comment. However, that is also not, to the best of my knowledge, a comprehensive standard like the American NFPA 13 standard for sprinklers,” Van Niekerk said.
Meanwhile, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has collaborated with a coalition of over 70 international organisations to develop a new fire safety global standard. The project aims to bring reassurance to people across the world that the buildings and infrastructure they use follows the best worldwide expertise on fire safety, RICS reported in a statement.
“I believe that international collaboration makes perfect sense, because unlike politics or cultural differences, fire burns everywhere in pretty much the same manner. The development of a standard that includes knowledge, experience and skills from across the globe can only be of benefit to all,” Van Niekerk said.
The International Fire Safety Standards were open for global consultation until 23 March 2020, with the final international standard to be published later this year. The project brought together wide-ranging global expertise and attracted the support of the United Nations and World Bank.
“Fire knows no geographical or political boundaries,” said Gary Strong, Chair of the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition and Global Building Standards Director at RICS. “Along with this, the differing approaches to building fire safety across the globe can be inconsistent, ineffective and, in some cases, non-existent. There is an urgent need to deliver better safety for people’s homes, communities and workplaces.”