IFSA Marks Four Decades of Developing Standards for Passive Fire Protection Systems

The association’s quarterly members’ meeting in May provided a suitable platform for the staging of IFSA’s 40th anniversary commemorations.

Attendees to the event included representatives from member companies; and guests who had made significant contributions to IFSA’s past activities, or who represented related trade associations involved in passive fire protection.

Chairman Jim Kelly opened the proceedings with a welcome to the guests and an acknowledging nod to IFSA’s formation: “The association has developed incredibly since the founding fathers, led by Pete Jackman, some 40 years ago started their investigations into intumescent products that are now critical to the fire safety of buildings throughout the world.”

Fire door specialist Rob Mann, and a founder participant, then provided an overview of the historical circumstances that led to the formation of the association in 1982.  At that time, there was a perceived need for a British Standard intumescent seal, increasingly being utilized as a solution to the more onerous positive pressure fire testing regime of BS 476 Pt 8, introduced a few years earlier.  At the request of BSI, a group of the leading manufacturers co-operated to address this objective, initially developing a performance based evaluation in the form of BS 476 Pt 23, rather than a prescriptive standard, and following on over the next 40 years with many other projects of importance to the passive fire protection industry.

Technical expert David Cooper brought matters up to date with a presentation on IFSA’s recent work: a study of smoke control of fire doors which highlighted the need for threshold seals to be employed as part of the elements, rather than summarily disregarding the contribution offered to smoke transmission by an unsealed threshold. This work has already resulted in a revision to standard BS 9991, which should then follow on to BS 9999 and BS8214. He concluded with the association’s proposals to extend the study to double door configurations and the study of warm smoke.

The formalities were closed by Jim Kelly, with a recognition of the importance of the work carried out by IFSA and a toast to the next 40 years of the association’s existence.

Summing up the event, Jim said “To commemorate the day in the presence of many of our current members, retired members, previous chairmen and guests from other supporting trade organisations made a truly memorable occasion for all concerned. IFSA would like to thank all of those who attended to show to support to the organisation and, hopefully, our paths will continue to cross in the future as we collaborate with other trade organisations in order to enhance the fire safety of the buildings we all frequent.”

IFSA is always keen to welcome new members to its ranks, to help steer our efforts in continuing the work in developing a fire safe future. Further information on our activities and membership application process may be obtained by contacting our Secretariat (telephone: +44 (0) 1844 276928; email: contactus@ifsa.org.uk; website: www.ifsa.org.uk).