Fifteen industry, consumer and fire fighter organisations have published a policy paper calling for “a fire safety strategy for Europe”.
The paper centres on building fire safety. 5 000 fire incidents occur every day in the EU, leading to around 70 000 hospitalisations, and costing around 1% of GDP. The paper also points to the dangers of smoke and soot from accidental fires, both cancer risks for fire fighters, and particle emissions*. The increasing use of combustible materials in furniture and other building content is underlined as leading to fires in buildings which develop faster, aggravated by energy efficient (highly insulated, air-tight) buildings and use of combustible materials in the building itself, with sustainability objectives playing a major role in these changes in buildings. The paper calls on the European Commission to “set up an expert group on fire safety ensuring participation of a wide array of stakeholders … to map the issues, identify potential solutions, and draft a roadmap to achieve them.” Coherence of data collection, statistics and sharing of best practice are considered important. The paper calls for coordinated action across European Commission services (DGGROW, DG ENVI, DG JUST, DG ENER, Civil Protection, CNECT, Consumers, EMPL, education EAC and SANTE)
“Call to Action: The EU Needs A Fire Safety Strategy”, November 2016, 26 pages, FireSafeEurope and other organisation http://firesafeeurope.eu/campaign-the-big-picture/ and http://firesafeeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Fire-Safe-Paper-Final-web.pdf * a 2002 SP Sweden study is cited as indicating that building fires generate particle emissions equivalent to commercial road transport.