Fire protection concept: The most important in a nutshell

  • The measures defined in the fire protection concept include preventive structural and technical fire protection, as well as organizational and defensive fire protection. 
  • From a certain company size and under certain conditions, a fire protection concept must be created.
  • The goal is to avoid personal injury and property damage.
  • If fire hazards, occupancy, type or size of buildings and facilities or operations require it, fire protection concepts and fire protection plans must be prepared at the request of the fire protection authority.
  • The fire protection concept must - throughout the life cycle - always be up to date. 
  • The costs may vary, as they are dependent on the building. 

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Why should a company bother with this?

Without a fire safety permit you can not move into the building. The fire safety permit comes from the authorities and contains various mandatory measures, one of which can also be the fire safety concept.

Legal basis fire protection concept

The Swiss VKF fire protection regulations consist of the VKF fire protection standard and the VKF fire protection guidelines. They have been declared binding and put into force by the Intercantonal Body Technical Barriers to Trade IOTH.

The Cantonal Fire Protection Authority carries out inspections in the event of changes to the building, accidents or fire incidents. As long as the building does not change, there are no regular inspections.

What is the goal of a fire protection concept?

The main goal is to protect people and property. Further, the goal is to prevent fires. If a fire should occur, the primary goal is to extinguish it as quickly as possible so that no personal injury or property damage occurs. The fire protection concept contains various measures to achieve these goals (e.g., emergency exits, fire detectors, etc.).

What does a fire protection concept include?

A fire protection concept includes all individual measures required to achieve the required protection goals (e.g. fire compartments, fire alarm systems, fire doors, escape and rescue routes, smoke and heat extraction systems).

  1. Object description: What type of object is it (e.g. gymnasium, hotel, etc.)?
  2. Fire protection measures, divided into:
    • Building fire protection: protective distances, supporting structures, fire compartments, escape routes
    • Technical fire protection: extinguishing equipment, fire alarm systems, explosion protection
    • Organizational fire protection: evacuation and emergency concept

All persons concerned have to ensure effective quality assurance in fire protection throughout the life cycle of the building or facility. The measures for quality assurance in fire protection shall be reviewed regularly and adjusted if necessary.

Who is allowed to create a fire protection concept?

The responsibility for the preparation of the fire protection concept depends on the quality assurance level. There are four levels in total, which are specified by the fire protection authority in the fire protection guideline. Depending on the level, a corresponding training/qualification must be met.

How is a fire protection concept created?

The first step usually forms to engage with the fire authority early in the building design process and obtain recommendations appropriate to the complexity of the project. Depending on the level of quality assurance specified by the fire authority, it may be possible to use in-house personnel or it may have to be subcontracted to an outside firm. The fire safety concept is taken into account from the very beginning of the design of the building (e.g. for escape routes). 

Who needs to deal with it?

All companies have to deal with it. Every owner who constructs a building must deal with the fire protection concept. All other entities involved in the construction of the building must implement this concept specified by the owner. It becomes more complex for industries that deal with explosion protection. There, there are several requirements and further instances that are added to the process. 

Who in the companies and/or organizations should deal with this?

The owner is legally responsible. However, he can delegate persons, so that he becomes his responsibility right. However, the responsibility as well as the liability can not be handed over by the owner. The delegated positions form more a help to be able to perceive the responsibility better.

How does SBIS support?

SBIS supports you in the following situations on the subject of fire protection concept:

  1. If no expertise or training is available in the company.
  2. If the fire protection authority specifies an external organization for quality assurance.
  3. Experience and appropriate training is available in the company, but in addition SBIS offers training on similar topics (eg safety officers fire protection).
  4. Training safety officers's: Fire protection concepts are usually created and planned together with the company and also implemented. 

It makes the most sense to approach SBIS as early as possible in the construction project. Thus, the fire protection concept can be planned from the beginning in a meaningful way. In this sense, the building is analyzed and a fire protection concept is planned in parallel, which complies with the regulations of the cantonal fire protection authority.

Make a non-binding request for fire protection concept