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July 11, 2018

Global organizations unite to solve fire safety in buildings through industry standards


RICS has joined more than 30 organizations from around the world to develop landmark industry standards to address fire safety in buildings. The group, known as the International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition, was launched at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland this week.

The coalition consists of local and international professional bodies and standard-setting organizations committed to developing a shared set of standards for fire safety in buildings. The standards aim to set and reinforce the minimum requirements professionals should adhere to ensure building safety in the event of a fire.

As the property market has become increasingly international with investments flowing across national borders, the sector still lacks a consistent set of high-level global standards that will inform the design, construction, and management of buildings to address the risks associated with fire safety.

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Differences in materials testing and certification, national building regulations or codes, and standards on how to manage buildings in use cause confusion, uncertainty and risk to the public.

“All over the world we see the need for more high-rise structures, some residential, some commercial and some mixed-use buildings, particularly in cities. Our concern is not with the height of these buildings but with the risks they pose in the absence of a coherent and harmonised approach to setting global standards in fire safety. The effort by the IFSS Coalition aims to address this concern and bring together the design, construction and management aspects of ensuring fire safety of building assets.”  

–       Gary Strong, RICS Global Building Standards Director and Chair of the IFSS Coalition

Once the high-level standards are developed, the IFSS Coalition will work with professionals around the world to deliver the standards locally. As it’s first order of business, the IFSS Coalition will set up a Standards Setting Committee of international technical fire experts to develop and write the high-level standards. 

About RICS
RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the valuation, development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards – bringing confidence to markets and effecting positive change in the built and natural environments.