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The European Association for Passive Fire Protection (EAPFP) launched a new business strategy and appointed a new board of principal officers at its general meeting in Antwerp on 28-29 November 2018.

Miroslav Smolka, of the Slovak Association for Passive Fire Protection (APPO) has been appointed as president for the next two years, taking over from Joric Witlox of Brandveilig Bouwen Nederland (BBN), the Association of Fireproof Building Netherlands, who held the position from 2016-18.

Niall Rowan of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) in the UK takes on the role of vice-president. This completes the board which comprises President, Vice President and Immediate Past President. Past president Vicente Mans stood down from the Board having served his full term.

Two new technical officers – Andrew Taylor of the UK and Kees Both of the Netherlands – were also appointed to assist the Board.

During his time as president, Mr Smolka aims is to further raise the profile of the Association, as it continues to develop awareness and understanding of the vital role that compartmentation and passive fire protection plays in the event of a fire.

The new EAPFP strategy highlights two key areas of operation for the Association: to help implement, influence and promote the use of European legislation and standards; and to inform, educate and promote the use of good and properly installed products. Key to this strategy will be a campaign to highlight the importance of ensuring the competence of installers.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Smolka said:

‘I would like to thank both Joric Witlox and Vincente Mans for their extensive work and clear commitment to the EAPFP over many years. They leave the Association in a very strong position for the future and I look forward to building on the strategy that they have helped to form.

‘Since its formation in 1988, the EAPFP has campaigned successfully within the European Commission to improve European test and product standards for a variety of passive fire protection products. At this time of change in the European regulatory and advocacy landscape the Association will continue to promote standards that guarantee a high degree of fire safety.

‘It is also clear that the quality of installation is now a key concern if we are to ensure that products can achieve the levels of performance for which they are designed. As a result, a major focus for the Association will be to campaign to improve installer training and qualification across Europe to ensure that installers are able to demonstrate their competency.

‘The Association is in a strong position to influence policy across Europe. By working through our network of national fire protection associations we are able to share best practice and work to ensure that European standards and rules are properly linked to local building and fire codes.’

For further information on the EAPFP, visit; tel: +44 (0)1420 471616; e-mail:

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