When equipping interiors in public buildings and purchasing work clothing, diverse aspects must be taken into account. Purchasers are faced with the question as to how they can reconcile the requirements with regard to environmental protection, health compatibility, fire protection and economic efficiency. Some flame retardants may have a negative impact on the environment and on health. Furthermore, the furnishing of products with flame retardants often results in a higher purchase price. Alternative solutions are sometimes not commonly known.
Moreover, time-consuming research is often necessary in order to determine which fire-protection requirements apply to a specific equipment situation. Whilst there are clear guidelines for building materials and components, the regulations regarding interior fittings are less unambiguous - partly because there are no specific regulations whatsoever for diverse scenarios. Whether and to what extent the flammability of the products, for example, plays a role, depends, amongst other things, on the type of product and the field of application. As an example: Escape routes, such as corridors, are subject to different fire-protection requirements than offices which are easy to evacuate. Furthermore, the geographical site of application is important, as the fire-protection requirements are laid down in the state building regulations and may therefore differ from one another.
With our project, we would like to achieve a situation in which purchasers are able, in the future, to utilize a guideline in order to quickly and easily determine which fire-protection requirements apply to their specific case and which possibilities exist for the fulfillment of these requirements. This will provide purchasers with more security and a greater scope for design.
Furthermore, through our project, we would like to contribute towards ensuring that the “Blue Angel” eco-label can also be awarded to flame-retardant interior products in the future. Purchasers would thereby have the possibility to obtain certified products which fulfill clearly defined requirements for fire protection, health and environmental compatibility. For manufacturers of equipment products and flame retardants, this would have the advantage that they could further develop their products in a targeted manner in order to obtain certification and to utilize the eco-label for their marketing.