The Standards

Information regarding the production of this global set of fire safety principles, including the consultation phase, will be posted on this website in due course.

What’s the challenge?

The complex interrelationships between fire and mankind transcend international borders and disciplinary boundaries. Climate change brings one of the greatest threats to our built environment and societies need to become more resilient to change and disruption.

As the growth in global population drives towards greater urbanisation more and more people are living in higher density, high rise developments containing a multitude of uses and occupancy types.

Urbanisation and innovation are inevitable and the emergence of modern methods of construction ensure products and processes continue to evolve. They aim to improve business efficiency, quality, customer satisfaction, environmental performance, sustainability and the predictability of delivery timescales, but bring with them new fire safety challenges. There is considerable knowledge of the phenomena and effects of fire and of the reaction and behaviour of people to fire, to protect people, property and the environment from the destructive effects of fire.

However, this knowledge is not shared as effectively as it could be. A joined up approach could yield considerable benefits and improve our ability to:

  1. Respond to events
  2. Monitor ongoing developments
  3. Anticipate future threats & opportunities
  4. Learn from past failures and successes

At present, the many contrasting standards across the world have resulted in significant variations in the design, approval, construction methods, products and operation of buildings.
The development of a common understanding of building design, construction and management will help to build trust and confidence amongst the many and varied actors including the public and the banks, ultimately underpinning improved quality of life and increased investment.

Sharing knowledge of the principles of fire safety which have been adopted around the globe represents an important opportunity to improve protection for people and buildings from the risk of fire and could help drive improvements in safety in both developed and developing economies.

Aims and objectives

  1. The International Fire Safety Standards Coalition (IFSSC) Standard Setting Committee (SSC) will map existing relevant fire safety standards and create a taxonomy of Fire Codes for Buildings to identify best practice and to understand market needs.
  2. Further to the research undertaken the IFSSC will first draft a Conceptual Framework which will guide the drafting and understanding of fire safety principles into the future. The Conceptual Framework will include the following key items:
  • IFSSC will establish a common set of internationally accepted performance-based principles for fire safety aspects of design, engineering and construction, occupation and ongoing management. It will be relevant to all property classes and all regions and nations regardless of the differing political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal differences between nations.
  • IFSS will be primarily concerned with life safety though future editions of the principles may also deal with property protection, recognising the impact on society of the loss of a building (eg contents, operations).
  • IFSS creates a framework that will allow comparisons to be made on a like -for- like basis across countries.

IFSS must link to International Ethical Standards and other relevant international standards that exist.

Features

IFSS will:

  • allow for harmonisation of fire safety principles & best practice;
  • be as simple as possible, commensurate with allowing robust comparisons to be made;
  • complement local & regional standards wherever possible;
  • accommodate the need for periodic innovation, refinement, updating and change;
  • recommend a standard reporting format, where appropriate;
  • support the development of consistent language and terminologies for the worldwide, and increasingly mobile, professions involved in fire safety;
  • allow global comparisons and benchmarking and provide a system benchmark for international best practice.