With a number of European Commission consultations underway regarding the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) many of the discussions at the European Association for Passive Fire Protection (EAPFP) general meeting, held in Prague, Czech Republic on 16-17 November 2017, focused on the potential impact of changes under consideration for the CPR.
EAPFP members at the event expressed continued support for further harmonisation of standards by approving a position paper to be sent to the European Commission (EC). This highlighted the role of the CPR in removing barriers to trade in Europe and stated that that either repealing the CPR or degrading its requirements is not supported by the passive fire protection industry.
The EAPFP has also welcomed the production of a draft Standardisation Request from the European Commission to CEN, the European standards writing body. The introduction of the Standardisation Request will lead to a suite of harmonised product standards to mandate CE marking for reactive (intumescent) coatings for ferrous substrates; fire stopping and fire sealing products for penetration seals, linear joint seals, and other fire protective products: boards / slabs, mats, renderings
While calling for EC/CEN to accelerate the harmonisation process, EAPFP also defended the continuation of EOTA due to the many differing technical solutions on offer in the passive fire protection sector.
EAPFP members also discussed an ongoing consultation on regulating for smoke toxicity. The Association completed a questionnaire which formed the basis of an EC study aimed at evaluating the need for and the impact of such a move. While agreeing that smoke toxicity is a concern, the Association suggested that regulating for it would be complex and that other measures and actions, such as detection, could be more effectively applied.
A further position paper was developed on Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP) levels as they relate to CE marking of fire resistive materials and systems (including intumescent coatings, sprays, boards and mats). The EAPFP recommended that fire resistive materials and systems should be required to carry AVCP 1 or 1+ Levels, since it believes that only third party fire laboratories can provide the evidence needed to show compliance to building regulations. It also declared that continuous third party monitoring of fire resistive materials and systems is key to ensuring that they will show the same fire resistance performance as tested if properly installed and maintained.
The EAPFP is a participant in the Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) established by the EC to bring stakeholders together to enhance the exchange of information on fire events and fire safety good practice. The Association has also produced a position paper calling for fire safety research and development to be included in the next generation of EC financial programming for the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework and took part in the recent public consultation on such proposals.
Commenting on the Associationâ€™s activities, EAPFP President Joric Witlox declared:
â€œThe EAPFP was originally formed to act as a “European” voice on behalf of national associations representing manufacturers, contractors and other institutions and to provide views on technical issues affecting its members. The Association continues to play an important role on CEN Technical Committees and will continue to offer technical input on key areas of concern while campaigning for further harmonisation of standards for fire protective products.â€