Specific fire safety conditions for electric vehicles, which should also be an implementation of the European Union directive, are not specified in Czech legal regulations. The management of the fire brigade would like to legally anchor the so-called active and passive elements of fire protection. Active include the need for a specific electrical fire alarm system, an active extinguishing system, such as built-in water extinguishers and smoke and heat extraction devices. The passive ones include sufficient fire resistance of building structures. Today they are only recommended by the created methodology.
“As part of the pending amendment to the Ministry of the Interior’s legal regulation, the amendment process was suspended and a working group was established, which is managed by the Directorate General of Health and Safety. The members of the strategic working group are selected ministries. Another meeting of the working group will follow in October, and at the turn of October and November there will be a meeting at the ministerial level,” said Jiří Fröhlich, the spokesman for DG HZS.
The measures recommended by the methodology are already being implemented by developers in their projects today. At the same time, they also place electric charging stations away from escape routes and can be switched off remotely in the event of a fire. Parking spaces reserved for electric cars are then located close to the exits so that in the event of a fire, the firemen can take them out in a simpler way and sink them in water tanks.
“Parking spaces for electric cars are starting to be the standard of all modern office buildings today, and their share is gradually growing at the same time as the share of electric cars, especially in company fleets, is growing. In the Czech Republic, electric cars now make up less than two percent of the vehicle fleet, but we have to think in terms of tens of years when constructing buildings,” said Penta Real Estate spokesperson Martin Lánský. Penta built in the recommended fire protection measures in the new Masaryček office and in the Nová Waltrovka residential project.
Lánský added that the number of reserved spaces in their garages currently makes up one third. According to him, the safety requirement to extend parking spaces to 3.5 meters, i.e. the same as is the case with parking spaces for the disabled, is also problematic. These and other measures will then be reflected in the selling prices of parking spaces.
“The demand for parking spaces is huge and is definitely not decreasing, on the contrary. The expansion of parking spaces will logically lead to their lower number and higher price,” said Lánský. According to him, the current average price of a regular parking space in new commercial buildings in Prague is between 100 and 200 euros (2,500 and 5,000 crowns) per month, depending on the distance from the center.
Developer Crestyl, which is building the Semerínka residential project with almost 200 apartments in Prague 5, is also taking similar measures. “When solving our project, we teamed up with leading experts in building fire protection and co-authors of standards to find the optimal technical solution for the specific parameters of garages. Other recommended fire measures, which appear in the drafts of new legislative regulations, already significantly increase construction costs,” said Crestyl’s project manager Pavel Tošovský.
The current wording of the decree on technical requirements for construction mandates the construction of one parking space for an apartment of up to 100 square meters and two parking spaces for apartments of larger dimensions. The Ministry for Regional Development (MMR) is preparing a new version of the law, according to which the developer would be obliged to build one parking space for one apartment or family house up to 70 square meters, and two spaces for larger apartments. The change was criticized by a number of developers and experts, according to whom the forced construction of more parking spaces will lead to an increase in apartment prices. However, according to the MMR, the new decree only states the recommended maximum number of parking spaces, which each municipality can subsequently set to a lower limit. The ministry said in July this year that it would change the proposal based on comments.