1Do I have to update the hazard assessment of my industrial site subject to authorisation (non-Seveso) when a modification is made?

A new authorisation application may be filed for any industrial site with a Seveso Upper Tier, Seveso Lower Tier classification or subject to simple authorisation, registration or declaration when a modification is made or an extension planned. This will depend on the nature of the modification or extension.

In the first instance, an official notification known as a Porter A Connaissance (PAC) must be addressed to the Prefect to inform the authorities of the new installation and its characteristic features.

If the Regional Environment, Planning and Housing Agency (DREAL) then estimates that the modification being made on the site subject to authorisation represents a potential danger to the environment or is a substantial modification*, you will indeed be required to file a new application for what is now called an Autorisation Environnementale Unique (single environmental authorisation).

On the other hand, if it is established on notification that the new activity does not create any further danger or represent a substantial change, the procedure will not call for a public enquiry. An additional permit will simply be issued.

Regulatory basis of the answer > French Environment Code – Article L512-15
“Any modification made by the operator to the facility, to its mode of operation or to its surroundings that is liable to lead to a notable change in the elements of the authorisation or registration application or the declaration must be brought to the attention of the Prefect before said alteration is implemented.”

Substantial modification* Modification to the activity generating an increase in the products stocked and exceeding the thresholds and criteria established by the new decree of 8 July 2010. Even if the danger remains unchanged, a new authorisation application must be filed.


1I plan to install a sprinkler system in my factory which measures 12,000 m². Would it be better to approach an installation firm directly or go through an engineering consultancy?

Changes to the purchasing process in fire safety are currently a burning issue. Taking the lead from the oil sector five years ago, industrial groups stopped working directly with installation firms for projects involving investment in excess of €250,000.

Decision makers prefer to go through an engineering consultancy who will provide support from the design phase through to assistance with acceptance operations and who will help them to select the right installer (in conjunction with Purchasing) rather than opting for a turnkey project directly from an installation company with the risk that they may not be completely impartial.

2Can a brokerage firm call on the services of CYRUS INDUSTRIE?
We have remarked that insurance professionals are often asked by their clients to assist them with their fire safety projects and cannot always respond to every need. In such cases, Cyrus Industrie welcomes one-off consultancy assignments to advise on fire safety and provide dimensional design and hydraulic calculations, or for technical assistance missions for the installation of a new sprinkler system.
3I work for a Departmental Fire & Rescue Service (SDIS) or as a Regional Environment, Planning and Housing Agency (DREAL) engineer. A local industrial site has asked me for a fire safety audit to find out my requirements. I don’t have the time (or the skills) to help them with their request for fire safety advice. Which of the various fire safety agencies can I turn to?

We have noticed that fire services/DREAL engineers are often asked by their industrial contacts for support (or a diagnostic) on fire safety projects and cannot manage to satisfy everyone.

We recommend that you give them the name of independent fire safety experts firms so that the client receives clear advice from a fire safety specialist with no vested interest in the installation stage.

4For my sprinkler system installation project or to audit my water source, would it be preferable to go through an independent company or through an engineering firm like Cyrus Industrie?

To help you choose your fire safety assessors, the DREAL will give far more credit to the fact that you have opted for fire safety engineering consultants involved in a MASE (Company Safety Improvement Manual) approach. MASE is a management system aimed at the permanent, continuous improvement of companies’ Health, Safety & Environment performance levels. It is also a system of certification which is awarded by a regional steering committee following an audit conducted by a selected outside body.

A good starting point when choosing the firm that will assist you with your plans to install a sprinkler system is to look at engineering consultants’ OFQIBI qualifications. The purpose of this qualification is to recognise the competence and professionalism of companies providing engineering services: consulting engineers, design offices and engineering companies. It reflects a structure’s ability to provide a specific service to its customers’ satisfaction.

Finally, for your fire safety study, we recommend that you work with a member of GEESPI, an association of engineering firms specialising in fire safety that is itself affiliated to the FFMI (French Federation of Fire Professions).

With such an array of accreditation, the selected fire safety specialists will hold more weight in your dealings with the authorities and/or insurance companies.

5How do I find out whether my industrial site requires sprinklers?

There are three ways of identifying whether your industrial site requires a sprinkler system. Firstly, examine whether the legislation in your country demands it. In France, certain classified facilities (known as ICPEs) are subject to specific environmental legislation.

In this case, we recommend referring to sections 1510 and 4341. Secondly, find out what your insurers require. They may suggest installing a sprinkler system to reduce your premium.

Finally, either conduct your own risk analysis or go through a consultancy like Cyrus Industrie to determine whether you need to protect all or just a part of your factory.

6How long does it take to install a sprinkler system in a building?
This depends on several factors. To prepare the timing of your project, we recommend conducting a sprinkler feasibility study to determine the type of system to be installed, the time scale required and obtain a budget estimate.
7How do I write particular technical specifications for a sprinkler system?

This is the contractual document that stipulates the technical requirements of the project.

It is accompanied by drawings, design calculations and any other document necessary to understand the project.

During the bidding phase, it is the main component of the tender documentation package. It then becomes the contractual reference for the transaction between the project owner and the contractor. And in the event of a dispute relating to technical aspects of the contract, this document will be used to determine who is in the right.

The greatest care must be taken when writing the particular technical specifications, which cannot be shared across several projects.

8How do I obtain certificate N1?
To obtain N1 certification under APSAD regulation R1, you must contract a CNPP-certified installer. You can arrange a competitive bidding procedure between several certified installers by working with an independent fire safety consultancy such as Cyrus Industrie to optimise your budget.
9What is the best way of choosing my fire protection system?

By conducting a feasibility study. The purpose of this service is to determine the technical scope and budget of your fire protection project, in line with the company’s master plan.

You will receive a list of all services and work peripheral to the actual fire protection system and a budget range for the whole package, including a comparison of the advantages and drawbacks of the various fire protection solutions (sprinkler, water mist, gas extinguishers, etc.).

10How do I keep a tight rein on my sprinkler system installation budget?
The best way of controlling the cost of a sprinkler installation is to go through a consultancy specialising in fire safety and the design of automatic fire extinguishing systems. The consultant will carry out a preliminary design phase before preparing the specifications on which several installers can issue competitive bids.
11My insurer FM Global is asking for a sprinkler system. How do I approach the project?
If you have received such a request from your insurer, we urge you to send the recommendations to a consultancy who will work with you from designing a sprinkler system in line with the technical specifications of the relevant standard (FM Global in this case) through to assisting with system acceptance operations.