ASR A2.2 Measures against fires

ASR A2.2 Measures against fires

Overview

The revised version of the ASR A2.2 2018 Measures against fires  replaces the previous version Nov. 2012. Employers are now faced with these changes.

Why has a new version of ASR A2.2 been published?

A revised version of ASR A2.2 was published in May 2018. On the one hand, it is intended to take into account the changed circumstances since 2012, but also to further specify the increased fire hazard. In any case, it brings with it some changes that the employer has to deal with. The current May 2018 version replaces the previous version. It has been valid since its publication in May 2018 without a transitional period.

Thus, the fire protection measures taken so far may no longer fulfil the presumption of conformity. The employer can no longer assume that he meets the corresponding requirements of the ordinance. He must determine within the framework of a risk assessment whether the measures applied so far also fulfil the new requirements and are thus still suitable. The responsibility for this lies directly with the employer, even if he calls in his own specialists or external consultants to fulfil the requirements.

 

What is ASR A.2.2 Measures against fires?

Since 2012, the workplace guideline ASR A2.2 has been a basis of assessment for employers, operators, fire protection officers, fire protection managers and planners as well as facility managers. It specifies the regulations of the Workplace Ordinance with regard to the equipment of workplaces with fire detection and fire extinguishing systems as well as the associated organisational measures for their operation. It is published by the Committee for Workplaces of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health . If ASR A2.2 is implemented, the operator can claim the presumption of conformity. He can assume that he meets the requirements of the Workplace Ordinance. Deviating measures must at least provide the same safety and health protection for employees.

 

Overview of the most important changes to ASR A2.2 version May 2018

Division of the workplace into different fire hazard areas

"For the purpose of determining the type and number of fire extinguishers required, the workplace may be divided into sub-areas if this is reasonable or necessary because of the structural conditions or conditions of use. The sub-areas belonging to a workplace may be classified into different fire hazards."

Dispensing with wall hydrants

The handling of wall hydrants is also new. Previously, it was possible to reduce the fire extinguishers of the basic equipment if wall hydrants were available for fire fighting. Fire extinguishers according to DIN EN 3 are provided as fire extinguishing equipment for the basic equipment. The existing wall hydrants are no longer counted towards the basic equipment.

Exemption for the use of fire extinguishers with 2 extinguishing units

According to ASR A2.2, a fire extinguisher for basic equipment must have at least 6 extinguishing units. For the first time, the new ASR A2.2 version May 2018 opens up the possibility that fire extinguishers with at least 2 fire extinguishing units can also be included in the basic equipment for normal fire hazards, under the following conditions

  • this results in a simplification of operation, e.g. through at least 25% weight saving per fire extinguisher
  • the access time is reduced, e.g. by halving the maximum distance to the nearest fire extinguisher to a maximum of 10 m, and
  • at least double the number of fire protection assistants present.

Excursus: May extinguishing spray cans with 2 fire extinguishing units be used in the company?

The ASTA (Working Committee for Occupational Safety) of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has on 03.07.2018 in a recommendation announced that extinguishing spray cans are "manually operated devices for fighting incipient fires" in the sense of ASR A2.2 point 3.6 and not fire extinguishers according to DIN EN3-7:2007-10. Therefore, the above mentioned exemption does not apply to spray extinguishers, even if they have at least 2 fire extinguishing units. This means that they cannot be counted towards the basic equipment.

 

Nevertheless, it can be examined within a risk assessment whether extinguishing spray cans can be used as an additional measure in case of increased fire risk. This in turn is linked by ASTA to certain conditions.

 

This recommendation of ASTA reflects current state of the technology .

 

Furthermore, ecological aspects should be considered. After 3-5 years, depending on the manufacturer, the extinguishing spray cans not only have to be disposed of, but would also have to be purchased completely new. Fire extinguishers, on the other hand, usually have a service life of up to 25 years and are therefore ultimately more sustainable over the entire product life.

Marking of fire extinguisher locations

Whereas it was previously sufficient to mark fire extinguishers with the fire protection sign "Feuerlöscher" ("Fire extinguisher") in accordance with ASR A1.3 if they could not be set up or attached in a clearly visible position, now every location a fire extinguisher is set up must be marked accordingly.

It is also specified that the recognisability of the necessary fire protection signs on escape routes without safety lighting is maintained by using photoluminescent materials in accordance with ASR A1.3. (ASR A2.2 version May 2018 para. 5.3)

Extended catalogue of measures in case of increased fire hazard

The following measures were added or further specified: "Equipping areas with fire alarm systems for early detection of incipient fires, increasing the number of fire extinguishers and distributing them evenly in areas of increased fire risk in order to shorten the maximum distance to the nearest fire extinguisher and thus the time to start extinguishing incipient fires, fitting several fire extinguishers of the same type and design at one location in areas of increased fire risk, in order to achieve a greater extinguishing effect through the simultaneous use of several fire extinguishers when there are sufficient employees present to fight fires at the outset, the provision of additional fire extinguishing equipment suitable for the fire classes present on site in areas or workplaces with increased fire hazards in order to enable rapid and effective fire fighting at the outset, e.g. carbon dioxide extinguishers. e.g. carbon dioxide extinguishers in laboratories, grease fire extinguishers on deep fat fryers and grease baking equipment, mobile fire extinguishers with a higher throw distance and extinguishing capacity at tank farms with flammable liquids, wall hydrants in buildings where a high extinguishing capacity is required for fighting incipient fires or for cooling". (ASR A2.2 paragraph 6.2 point 1)

"The fire extinguishing equipment to be used due to the increased fire hazard shall be arranged in such a way that it can also be brought into action quickly. Therefore, fire extinguishing equipment shall be positioned in particular near the following points:

  • processing machines with increased risk of ignition,
  • increased fire loads or
  • rooms that are partitioned off for fire protection because of the increased fire risk.

It must be ensured that

  •  the extinguishing agent is adapted to the fire class
  • the quantity of extinguishing agent is sufficient to cover an incipient fire of this hazard, and
  • the fire extinguishing equipment is positioned in such a way that, in the event of a fire outbreak in areas with an increased fire hazard, it can still be reached quickly by the employee without any risk (as a rule, not more than 5 m, maximum 10 m actual walking distance). (ASR A2.2 paragraph 6.2 point 2)

"Fixed fire-fighting systems (e.g. sprinkler systems, water spray extinguishing systems, fine spray extinguishing systems, foam, powder or gas extinguishing systems) are additional fire protection measures that go beyond the basic equipment. They are primarily required, for example, when: 

  • fire-fighting with fire-extinguishing equipment is not possible because of the danger to oneself, or
  • the areas are not accessible". (ASR A2.2 paragraph 6.2 point 3)

Extensions of rules on organisational measures

This includes extensions of rules on organisational measures, in particular on rules of conduct in the event of fire (e.g. fire protection regulations (DIN 14096) or as part of the escape and rescue plan in accordance with ASR A1.3 "Safety and health protection signage"). (ASR A2.2 version May 2018 point 7.1)

The recommended repetition of practical extinguishing exercises for fire protection assistants at intervals of 3 to 5 years is also extended. (ASR A2.2 version May 2018 paragraph 7)

The fire safety officer is mentioned for the first time. His appointment by the employer may be appropriate in workplaces with an increased fire risk (ASR A2.2 version May 2018 paragraph 7.3).

The manufacturer's specifications must also be observed for the deadlines for fire extinguisher maintenance.

Concretisation of the term "increased fire hazard"

The term increased fire hazard is now defined as follows:

"Increased fire hazard is present when 

  •  flammable or oxidising substances or mixtures are present,
  • the local and operational conditions are likely to cause a fire,a rapid spread of fire or a large release of smoke is to be expected in the initial phase of a fire,
  •  work involving a fire hazard is carried out (e.g. welding, flame cutting, abrasive cutting, soldering) or processes are used which involve a fire hazard (e.g. paint spraying, flame work) or 
  • increased hazards are present, e.g. due to self-heating substances or mixtures, substances of fire classes D and F, combustible dusts, extremely or highly flammable liquids or flammable gases". (ASR A2.2 version May 2018 para. 3 item 3)

Concretisation of extinguishing agent units

ASR A2.2 has been supplemented with general information on determining the extinguishing agent units. (see ASR A2.2 version May 2018 Para. 4.2 Pkt.1)

Addition of practical examples in the appendix

ASR A2.2 contains a number of practical examples in the appendix.

 

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