Fire protection means all measures that prevent (preventive fire protection or fire prevention) the emergence and spread of a fire (=fire and smoke) and enable the rescue of people and animals as well as effective extinguishing work in the event of a fire (defensive fire protection).
The German legislator prescribes the fulfilment of the fire protection standard in §19 of the Model Building Code, the Accommodation Code and the country-specific Assembly Place Regulations. The implementation of national to European standards and approvals began with the adoption of the European Construction Products Directive, which has since been converted into the Construction Products Ordinance (BauPVO).
The new European standard is intended to replace the numerous national standards of the member states. It remains to be seen whether the standard will be accepted by all.
Because: fire protection laws are a matter for the federal states
In the Federal Republic of Germany alone there are 16 fire protection laws, because the fire protection, at least from a legal point of view, is a matter for the federal states. Each federal state therefore has its own fire protection law. These laws replaced after the foundation of the BRD and the reunification the so-called fire extinguishing regulations, which partly took their beginnings in the Middle Ages. The fire protection laws mainly regulate the affairs of the fire brigade but also, which is of greater importance for occupational health and safety, together with other regulations such as building law standards, the regulations that have to be observed during construction and also during the maintenance of buildings in terms of fire protection law.
Here you will find an overview of the most common testing standards worldwide. However, these are difficult to compare, as the test methods differ greatly from country to country.
These regulations apply to ALL public buildings, i.e. ALL areas frequented by the public. These safety regulations serve to protect the people who are in the buildings. They minimise the risk of a fire developing and spreading. And in an emergency, when there is a fire, the time to flee is extended.
Fire protection must therefore be adhered to in the following buildings:
-in public buildings -in theatres, operas and cinemas, museums, etc.
-in schools, universities, technical colleges or training centres
-in hotels and restaurants, clubs and casinos
-in office buildings, public libraries and facilities (kindergartens, nursing homes)
-in trade fair halls and exhibition halls
-in event tents
Not only building materials should be considered, but also decorative materials and furniture.
According to DIN 4102 or DIN EN 13501-1, “decorative materials must be at least flame-retardant“, is what the New Munich Trade Fair Centre, for example, demands in its technical guidelines from exhibitors, organisers, service companies, stand construction companies and service providers. These technical guidelines are an integral part of the contract between the trade fair company and the contractual partners, who are responsible for adhering to them.
Decorative materials also include wall coverings, room dividers, displays, banners, flags and the like. Everyone is obliged to act responsibly so that no fire develops.
Technical fire protection belongs to preventive fire protection and aims to prevent, report or combat fires by means of technical systems.
Technical fire protection includes all technical systems that have a preventive or active effect against fires. These include
- Fire alarm and alarm systems (manual call points, smoke detectors, fire alarms),
- Ventilation systems (smoke aspiration and smoke extraction systems),
- Fire extinguishing systems and fire extinguishing agent storage (sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, hydrants),
- automatic fire protection doors and
- Emergency lighting for escape and rescue routes.
However, not all of these technical systems are suitable for private households, as automatic fire doors and ventilation systems, for example, are absolutely impracticable and not feasible for residential buildings. Smoke detectors, hand-held fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems, however, do make sense and are therefore already partly provided for by law.
Regular checks of heating, exhaust and ventilation systems as well as similar equipment for operational and fire safety are also part of preventive fire protection.
The same high requirements for fire protection apply to passenger transport in local and long-distance transport by bus, and even higher requirements for fire protection exist in the areas of aviation, shipping and rail transport.