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40 Years of Fostering Fire Science and Improving Fire Safety

Fire Safe Europe

15 Oct 2019

From July 1st to July 3rd, the fire safety community convened in London to celebrate the 40th edition of Interflam. Fire Safe Europe partook in the conference and attended inspiring presentations ranging from facades’ fire safety to fire safety engineering etc.

This 40th edition kept up with the tradition by bringing together a diversity of stakeholders: academics, research institutes, engineers, industries, regulators and associations. As in 1979, the conference’s aim remained to connect this crowd to exchange on the latest fire safety research and ultimately build on it to develop a safer build environment. Nonetheless, over the last 40 years, Interflam has expanded tremendously, and as it went from a 2-day event with a single session to a 3-day event packed with sessions on a variety of themes, its reach and impact have been multiplied.

Among the speakers, Patrick van Hesse’s contribution stressed the necessity for a holistic approach for facades’ fire safety and design and the need for a lot of harmonisation. Additionally, Anja Hofmann presented on a “European Approach to Assess the Fire Performance of Facades”. Her intervention provided a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of both assessment approaches put forward in the European Commission study.

Fire prevention and safety was also a topic of focus. Birgitte Messerchmidt’s presentation, for instance, introduced the NFPA’s Fire and Life Ecosystem, which emphasises the need for a holistic approach to fire safety.

The NFPA Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem highlights that adequate citizens’ protection requires each of the Ecosystem’s eight interdependent components to be properly functioning: from government responsibility to code compliance.

From Interflam, Fire Safe Europe would like to draw attention to 3 take-aways:

  • Clearly identifying the risks factors to address is a mandatory step before legislating or regulating on fire safety;

  • Learning from fires is key to improve fire safety;

  • Safety is taken for granted and the fire problem is considered solved.

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