DENIOS Ltd
Audley Ave Enterprise Park
Nova House, Suite 1
Newport, Shropshire
TF10 7DW

Tel.: +44 1952 811991
Email: info@denios.co.uk
Internet: www.denios.co.uk

Risk Assessment - Fire Protection

For all companies in which activities are carried out with flammable or oxidizing hazardous substances, TRGS 800 specifies the requirements for a risk assessment specifically with regard to fire hazards and the fire protection measures to be derived from this. This guide explains what you need to bear in mind.

Definition and important terms

Fire protection refers to the measures put in place to (a) prevent the emergence and spread of a fire (b) to ensure the safety of people and animals and (c) the measures put in place to ensure effective fire extinguishing in the event of a fire.

When planning a hazardous goods warehouse, preventive fire protection must be taken into account, in order to minimise possible fire hazards due to the stored substances in advance or to prepare measures for effective fire fighting in the event of an emergency. It is divided into structural, technical and organisational measures:

Structural Fire Protection

  • Division into fire sections*

  • Requirements for building materials and components

  • Fire resistance

  • Safety distances

Technical Fire Protection

  • Fire alarm systems

  • Automatic extinguishing systems

  • Fire water supply

  • Smoke and heat exhaust systems

Organisational Fire Protection

  • Alarm Plans

  • Fire Safety Regulations

  • Escape and rescue plans

  • Identification

  • Drills 

*In order to define and implement suitable fire protection measures, you should first know the dangers that can be expected in your company. Is there any risk of fire due to dangerous substances in the company? If such a fire hazard exists, how high is this? All this should be determined in your risk assessment.

Laws and standards

Particularly strict safety regulations apply to highly flammable stored goods and liquids. To safeguard people and the environment, legislators require strict fire protection regulations to be observed. You should get information in good time on the various requirements and define the measures which will give the best possible protection from the risks of fire. These are the most important laws and standards you should be familiar with concerning fire protection and we also take a look at internationally applicable regulations.

Legal requirements in Germany

When fire protection is combined with the storage of hazardous substances, particular hazards need to be considered which could be caused by the stored substances. In addition to the individual risk assessment, companies may also take specific information on fire protection measures from various regulations which cover the safe storage and handling of hazardous substances. For example the German dangerous substance directive (GefStoffV), in particular Appendix I Number 1, which contains special regulations for hazardous substances with a risk of fire and explosion. As part of the Technical rules for hazardous materials TRGS 510 (in particular Paragraph 6) sets out the requirements for fire protection in a hazmat store depending on the type and quantity of substances to be stored. The Technical rules in the 700 and 800 series deal with the specific aspects of fire and explosion protection when handling hazardous materials.

WARNING:

You must also observe the legal guidelines on Ex protection!

As part of his obligations under §5 ArbSchG the employer must determine the risk to his workers from explosion, evaluate this risk and take the necessary protective measures. An explosion protection document must be produced, in which zones are laid down and the required explosion protection measures are determined. Depending on the zone, various safety precautions must be taken to prevent explosions, e.g. the use of Ex-proof working equipment and components.

European standards and classifications

Following the progressive harmonisation of standards across Europe, an extensive unified classification system for fire protection was introduced and has gradually been enshrined in the national legislation of several EU states. The basis for this is the European EN 13501-1 and -2 series of standards. These deal with the classification of building product fire behaviours and fire resistance durations. Significant requirements include the load capacity of the design as well as the spread of fire. These are met through proof of fire resistance for the load-bearing and / or room-enclosing components over a certain time frame. This is evidenced by fire tests. After successfully completing a fire resistance test, the complete system is given a classification, indicated as REI tt, e.g. REI 120:

R = Résistance (Resistance)

The capacity for withstanding a fire load under set mechanical influences without losing stability.

É = Étanchéité (Integrity)

The capacity of a component with a room-separating function to withstand the passage of fire to the side not exposed to the flames.

I = Isolation (Insulation)

The capacity to prevent heat transfer for a single-sided fire load so that on the side not exposed to the fire no surfaces or materials catch fire (ΔT < 180 K).

120 = Duration in minutes

The time during which all criteria (R, E and I) are met.

The European system has put together detailed possible classification times of 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180 and 240 minutes for fire-rated stores, however the usual classifications are REI 30, 60, 90 and 120, which are taken from previous standards amongst other things. In the same way, fire protection doors are classified as EI 30 to EI 120.

National regulations and laws have different classification times in some areas, regardless of the Europe-wide unified classification system. For example in Germany, Austria and Switzerland classification to F 90 / REI 90 is considered to be state of the art, in other countries REI 120 is more important. Currently, this is the case for France, Spain, Italy and Poland. For our DENIOS fire-rated stores, we have the required classification times checked by independent institutions and confirmed by official approvals or official classification reports.

Following the progressive harmonisation of standards across Europe, an extensive unified classification system for fire protection was introduced and has gradually been enshrined in the national legislation of several EU states. The basis for this is the European EN 13501-1 and -2 series of standards. These deal with the classification of building product fire behaviours and fire resistance durations. Significant requirements include the load capacity of the design as well as the spread of fire. These are met through proof of fire resistance for the load-bearing and / or room-enclosing components over a certain time frame. This is evidenced by fire tests. After successfully completing a fire resistance test, the complete system is given a classification, indicated as REI tt, e.g. REI 120:

R = Résistance (Resistance)

The capacity for withstanding a fire load under set mechanical influences without losing stability.

É = Étanchéité (Integrity)

The capacity of a component with a room-separating function to withstand the passage of fire to the side not exposed to the flames.

I = Isolation (Insulation)

The capacity to prevent heat transfer for a single-sided fire load so that on the side not exposed to the fire no surfaces or materials catch fire (ΔT < 180 K).

120 = Duration in minutes

The time during which all criteria (R, E and I) are met.

The European system has put together detailed possible classification times of 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180 and 240 minutes for fire-rated stores, however the usual classifications are REI 30, 60, 90 and 120, which are taken from previous standards amongst other things. In the same way, fire protection doors are classified as EI 30 to EI 120.

REI 30 / EI 30

Fire resistant

REI 60 / EI 60

Highly fire resistant

REI 90 / EI 90

Fire resistant

REI 120 / EI 120

High fire resistant

National regulations and laws have different classification times in some areas, regardless of the Europe-wide unified classification system. For example in Germany, Austria and Switzerland classification to F 90 / REI 90 is considered to be state of the art, in other countries REI 120 is more important. Currently, this is the case for France, Spain, Italy and Poland. For our DENIOS fire-rated stores, we have the required classification times checked by independent institutions and confirmed by official approvals or official classification reports.

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In addition to fire resistance, there are also different requirements and local specific features to be observed internationally in other areas. For example, water protection, where various requirements are given for the containment volume of spill pallets. We would be pleased to provide you with advice.

Certifications for fire-rated storage containers

Our promise as a developer and manufacturer of technical room systems is to offer you internationally legally-compliant safety when it comes to fire protection. We therefore offer technical room systems for all the required fire protection classes in Europe. The conformity of our fire-rated storage containers is confirmed by accredited, independent test institutes.

Tested and certified as a complete system

A fire-rated storage container must be reliable as a whole and able to withstand the effects of fire in various ways. Therefore, we are not just satisfied with having individual components of our fire-rated stores inspected and certified. DENIOS fire-rated stores are always tested as a complete system. For you, this means the best possible safety in terms of corporate values, employee protection and insurance cover. Building approvals are also noticeably shortened if the fire-rated stores already meet all the necessary standards and do not have to be individually verified.

DIBt – General Technical Approval with 90 minute fire protection

In accordance with German building law a room system with fire protection is classed as a so-called unregulated building product. General Technical Approval must be obtained for this type of building product. This is given by the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt). General Technical Approval gives reliable proof of the suitability of DENIOS products for storing hazardous substances in accordance with the applicable regulations. The approval is based on tested structural analysis. These points are all benefits, which show that you are choosing a tested system which has been recognised by the authorities. The approval process is handled quickly and efficiently, so that you can start using your fire-rated storage container as soon as possible. To gain General Technical Approval the building over the spill pallet must meet the strict DIBt requirements for fire protection. Proof is obtained from both theoretical and actual fire tests.

iBS Linz – REI 90 classification

The Institut für Brandschutztechnik und Sicherheitsforschung in Linz, is an independent test and certification body for building products and technical fire protection equipment. The iBS as the Notified Body determines the fire resistance of building products to European standards and test methods using fire resistance and fire behaviour tests. The load capacity, integrity and thermal insulation of the room system are determined in accordance with EN 13501-2 and a classification provided for the complete system. An official test report certifies the fire resistance determined and serves as proof for approval authorities and insurers. DENIOS fire-rated stores are classified as REI 90 by iBS Linz and are therefore suitable for use in all European countries which specify REI 90 fire protection or lower.

Efectis France – REI 120 classification

To classify a fire protection system as REI 120, it must withstand a minimum of 120 minutes of fire for load capacity, integrity and thermal insulation. DENIOS fire-rated stores have passed the strictest Efectis fire tests in accordance with EN 13501-2. With a laboratory which has been accredited for over 40 years, Efectis France is a recognised body for certifying and testing fire protection products. An official test report certifies the REI 120 classification of our room system in countries with particularly strict fire protection requirements. Ensuring your safety at all times: even in countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Poland, where REI 120 fire protection is currently required, DENIOS fire-rated stores have been proven to meet the legal requirements.

Fire protection across the world

There are still varied fire protection requirements in individual European countries, despite a unified classification system. No wonder then that regulations for this area are anything but unified in the rest of the world. DENIOS customers can benefit from our many years’ experience in international markets. Our worldwide customers also receive safe fire-rated stores which meet their country-specific legislation. For example in the USA and China:

USA: Fire protection record - 4 hours

In the USA the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is the main body concerned with fire protection. The NFPA is similar to the Vereinigung zur Förderung des Deutschen Brandschutzes (Association for the promotion of German fire protection) in Germany. In addition the requirements of FM global also apply - the world’s largest commercial and industrial insurer. Depending on the decision of the local authorities in each case, fire-rated systems in the USA must provide either two or four hours fire protection. However, proof of fire resistance is based on different test procedures than in Europe: according to American regulations, the primary factor is integrity, i.e. the fire must not leave the inner room of the fire-rated storage container during the defined time period. FM global has also described how the systems must be constructed to meet the requirements. When developing and producing fire-rated storage containers for the US American market we work strictly to these requirements.

China: regional requirements are the rule

In China there are no universal regulations for room systems to our knowledge. The Chinese laws cover fixed constructions and buildings. When classifying a room system, DENIOS is guided by a general understanding that for fire-rated stores, they are seen as building products or “buildings”. Our Chinese customers therefore generally tend to use the requirements of the country where the system manufacturer is based. In a similar way to the Netherlands, there is a type of collective regulations GB 15603/1995. GHS and REACH are included and form the basis for hazardous materials storage. For issues concerning fire protection, decree 591 is also consulted. You can find a case study here.

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The specialist information on this page has been compiled carefully and to the best of our knowledge and belief. Nevertheless, DENIOS Ltd cannot assume any warranty or liability of any kind, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, for the topicality, completeness and correctness either towards the reader or towards third parties. The use of the information and content for your own or third party purposes is therefore at your own risk. In any case, please observe the locally and currently applicable legislation.

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