International Code Council applauds publication of international fire safety standard
The International Code Council is one of more than 80 fire safety leadership organizations that participated in a global coalition to develop and launch an internationally consistent approach to the safety and management of buildings to prevent the loss of life from fires. The International Fire Safety Standards: Common Principles document, which was published in October and adopted as a United Nations standard on Nov. 13, 2020, was the result of extensive work to bring public confidence around the regulation and control of fire safety measures.
The International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) is an industry-led global response to addressing differing or, in some cases, non-existent requirements in countries across the world to fire safety. Contrasting approaches have resulted in significant variations in the design, approval, construction methods and operation of buildings, impacting fire risk and sometimes resulting in disastrous consequences.
The Code Council’s Senior Staff Engineer Beth Tubbs, P.E., FSFPE, serves on the IFSS Standards Setting Committee. Tubbs commented about the process and outcome, “The Common Principles document is an excellent reference that can be used by jurisdictions around the world to plan and build the capacity needed to ensure that building and fire code regulations are effective and address the life cycle of buildings.”
Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO, added, “The International Codes, particularly the International Building Code and International Fire Code, offer a strong compliance pathway for jurisdictions looking to implement the IFSS Common Principles. Additionally, the training, certification, digital tools, product testing and evaluation, and accreditation services that comprise the growing Code Council family of solutions can aid jurisdictions in the hard work of effective code implementation and enforcement.”
Gary Strong, global building standards director for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and chair of the IFSS Coalition, said, “Our coalition has worked hard to produce this globally applicable way to bring consistency in fire safety to buildings new and old, and reduce the risk to lives. The new standard is unprecedented, being the first agreement on fire safety principles on this international scale, with its development supported by the United Nations in line with its own sustainable development goals. It is the outcome of two years of work and worldwide expertise on fire safety from over 80 coalition organizations and will bring reassurance that the construction and management of buildings uphold appropriate fire safety standards.”
The International Fire Safety Standards: Common Principles document is available as a free download from the IFSS website.