British businesses lose £3.5bn in fire damage costs every year, according to a whitepaper published by Pilkington.
The report, which examines the latest developments in fire-resistant glazing and its role in creating a safe built environment, raises questions concerning fire regulations in the UK, specifically relating to Approved Document B.
‘The burning issue: is fire-resistant glazing up to the challenge?’ questions if Approved Document B is up-to-date in terms of protecting both building occupants and their structure and contents.
Whilst the number of recorded fires has fallen since the introduction of AD B, the average losses per fire have risen, with evidence suggesting that as a result there has been very little reduction in the overall cost to the economy.
Tim Kempster, the managing director of Wrightstyle, has commented that fire regulations must deal with more than just protecting human safety. He said:
“Even in the best-case scenario, any fire will be disruptive. Often it can shut down a business, perhaps permanently, or destroy information vital to continued operations. A robust fire risk assessment should therefore be about more than the practicalities of regulatory compliance.
Businesses must look beyond the letter of the regulations to consider all possible hazards facing a building’s occupants, structure, resources and continuity of operations.”
Pilkington’s customer support manager for fire protection, Steve Bond, added greater consideration toward the specification fire-resistant glazing could greatly reduce the cost of fire damage for businesses:
“As architects look to maximise the light and sense of space inside buildings, the use of glass, both inside and out, has increased to the point where it is one of the most ubiquitous materials in the modern built environment.
A result of this is that the ability of glass to provide protection against the spread of fire has become increasingly important.
It is clear that fire regulations are a hot topic for those working across the built environment and with fire-resistant glazing having such an important role to play, the industry will be paying close attention to future developments in this area.”
Pilkington United Kingdom Limited,
WA9 5 DZ
Phone: 01744 692000
Fax: 01744 692569
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