New UK Standards for Fire Protection in the Works

As the Building Safety Bill is moving closer towards the royal assent, the industry is preparing to update work methods and professional standards. UK’s National Standards Body (NSB), BSI, is developing standards which will meet the legal requirements for digital fire protection.

Today, designers and architects are adhering to standard BS 9999: Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings, which provides best practice for fire safety. However, as the Building Safety Bill is going through parliament and focusing heavenly on digital management of fire safety information, additional standards will be needed.

BS 8644-1 Digital management of fire safety information. Part 1: Design, construction, handover, asset management and emergency response – Code of practice is the industry response to the 2018 Hackitt’s Final Report, ‘Building a Safer Future. In her report, Dame Judith recommended: “A digital standard of record-keeping for the design, construction and during the occupation of new high-risk residential buildings.” Since then, legislators and industry professionals have taken to heart to find a standard which will; provide a safer built environment, reduce disruption to business operations and property loss from fire, and enable accurate fire safety information to the right people at the right time.

As of today, BS 8644-1 is still in development and the public comments received is currently being addressed. BS 8644-1 is expected to be published by summer 2022 or later.

With better use of digital models and data management the AEC sector in general, and fire engineering especially, can prepare to meet the requirements and standards that are being introduced.

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