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News announcement13 January 2023

The status and needs for implementation of Fire Safety Engineering approach in Europe

A new JRC Technical Report has been published in January 2023

Fire safety in the built environment remains a major societal issue, despite improvements achieved over the past decades thanks to the continuous adjustments and implementation of fire safety strategies in the European countries. Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) deals with the application of engineering methods to the development or assessment of designs in the built environment, through the analysis of specific fire scenarios or through the quantification of risk for a group of fire scenarios. Even though fire safety is a national competence, the European Commission plays an important role with complementary activities to regulatory fire safety at the EU level. The Eurocodes address the structural fire design, making possible the application of fire safety engineering approach, but providing still no data to perform advanced modelling.

The JRC Technical Report “The status and needs for implementation of Fire Safety Engineering approach in Europe” presents the results of an enquiry, organised and coordinated by the European Commission, namely the JRC after consultation with DG GROW, in the period November 2020-October 2021. The enquiry was performed through a questionnaire addressed to the principal fire regulators of all 27 EU MS, 3 EFTA MS (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and 2 countries with National Standardisation Bodies members of CEN - European Standardisation Committee (United Kingdom and Serbia). The enquiry aimed to collect and assess the information necessary to facilitate the provision of guidance to the EU/EFTA MS for a wider application of the fire safety engineering approach and its possible incorporation in the national regulatory framework and/or national practices.

It is concluded that the FSE approach is not fully implemented at the current state, even in case of recently issued or updated national regulations. In principle, the need to implement the performance-based approach in the future is widely acknowledged in the countries. Work has to be done to ensure the availability of performance-based methods for fire design, the feasibility of FSE-based fire design, especially for innovative buildings, and the standardisation supporting the definition of design scenarios, design fire and safety criteria. The comparison with other studies (enquiries by ISO/TC 92, CEN/TC 127/WG 8 and Modern Building Alliance) conducted on partially similar country bases, has partly confirmed the results of the present enquiry.

This report aims to provide a sound and helpful basis for discussions related to the harmonisation and incorporation of the Fire Safety Engineering approach in the regulatory frameworks of the EU Member States.


Publication date
13 January 2023
Not associated with a specific Eurocode
Not associated with a specific Eurocode

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