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New ISO standard to help assess fire risks

by Sandrine Tranchard on
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Fires have many potential causes and many damaging effects. There are many technologies and strategies to prevent or mitigate harm from fires. A new ISO standard intended for use by fire safety practitioners will help them better assess fire risks in all types of scenarios, in order to select effective and cost-effective technologies and strategies, and compare alternatives.
ISO 16732-1, Fire safety engineering – Fire risk assessment – Part 1: General, is for use by fire safety practitioners, such as fire safety engineers, public authorities, fire service personnel, code developers and enforcers, insurers, fire safety managers, and risk managers.

Fire risk assessment can be used to:

  • Support any decisions about fire prevention or fire protection of new or existing built environments
  • Establish safety conformity to a code
  • Assess the balance between the cost and the risk reduction benefit of a proposal
  • Examine acceptable risk specifically for severe events
  • Provide general guidance or support choices in the selection of scenarios and other elements.

The principles and concepts in ISO 16732-1:2012 can be applied to any fire safety objectives, including:

  • Safety of life
  • Conservation of property
  • Continuity of business and safety operations
  • Protection of the environment
  • Preservation of heritage.

Fires are the source of severe or fatal injuries, costly physical damage, and even building collapse. ISO 16732-1 provides an overview of fire risk management, the steps involved in fire risk estimation – the estimation of the frequency and consequences of a risk, and the steps involved in fire risk evaluation against regulations, costs, or alternative approaches.

This first edition of ISO 16732-1 was developed by ISO technical committee, ISO/TC 92, Fire safety, subcommittee SC 4, Fire safety engineering. It cancels and replaces ISO/TS 16732:2005, which has been technically revised.

ISO 16732-1, Fire safety engineering – Fire risk assessment – Part 1: General, is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 98 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.