Fire protection regulations - Part 3

New and amended regulations 2021 in timber construction, on fine spray extinguishing systems and the fire extinguishing exercise.

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25 October 2021 Fire Safety

Changes to fire protection regulations 2021

In hardly any other area do the regulations change as often as in fire protection. To help you keep an overview, we have once again filtered out practice-relevant changes for you.

New Model Timber Construction Guideline (M-HolzBauRL)

The German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt) has published a new model timber construction guideline, M-HolzBauRL for short (version October 2020). It replaces a previous version from 2004. The updated version describes, among other things, requirements for fire-resistant solid wood components for building classes 4 and 5 as well as for parts for timber frame and timber panel construction. In addition, requirements for external wall cladding made of wood and wood-based materials for houses in building classes 4 and 5 were included: A declaration of conformity by the user of the construction type is required in accordance with §16 a paragraph 2 5 of the Model Building Code (MBO) or state law. 

The bottom line is that the specifications include possibilities that can come into play especially in multi-storey timber buildings. For example, the installation of a fire alarm system can make parts of the otherwise prescribed fire protection cladding superfluous.

The model timber construction guideline can be applied in those federal states whose state building regulations allow this. Further details regarding building regulations are still being prepared. Learn more about fire protection in timber construction here.

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New standard for fine spray extinguishing systems (DIN EN 14972-1:2020)

The requirements for all types of fixed fine spray extinguishing systems are now regulated in the new standard DIN EN 14972 Part 1 and specify what must be taken into account during planning, installation, inspection and maintenance. This specification applies to fine spray systems with automatic and open nozzles that are supplied by an independent (pump) system. Water mist systems involving explosion protection and/or use inside vehicles are excluded. Learn more about water mist extinguishing systems here.

Wassernebel-Löschanlage Vernebelung einer Halle

Practical fire-fighting exercise for fire protection assistants (DGUV)

Fire protection assistants should be able to extinguish an incipient fire. Therefore, in addition to theory, a practical extinguishing exercise is an obligatory part of the training for fire protection assistants. Employers are obliged to have at least 5 % of the workforce trained as fire protection assistants. This is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (§10), the Technical Rules for Workplaces (ASR A2.2) as well as the guidelines of the employers' liability insurance associations and the statutory accident insurance (DGUV). The DGUV has published a handout on the safe execution of practical fire-fighting exercises. This is aimed at employers as well as training providers such as CWS Fire-Safety.

The instructions found under "Fachbereich Aktuell FBFHB-026" describe, for example, when and how often extinguishing exercises should take place: For the first time as part of initial training (ASR A2.2), then knowledge should be refreshed every two to five. The employer determines the interval on the basis of a risk assessment. According to the DGUV, it has proven useful to survey the level of knowledge of the fire protection assistants. Depending on the results, a refresher course may be due after only two years. In the course of the practical fire-fighting exercise, the fire protection assistants must be taught how to use fire extinguishers (and wall hydrants if available in the company) and the correct extinguishing tactics. They should also be given information on the effectiveness and efficiency of the extinguishing equipment. Learn more about fire safety training here.

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