Members of the European Parliament say fire risks of green buildings and renovation must be addressed.
Željana Zovko, MEP, said the energy transition must be safe. Green buildings have more electrical installations, increasing fire risk. The European Parliament has called to include fire safety aspects in the EU ‘Renovation Wave’ (see pinfa Newsletter n°118).
Maria da Graça Carvalho, MEP, considered that the ‘Renovation Wave’ must ensure fire safety with fire resistant materials, fire safety design and urban planning. She noted the possible fire risks from DIY energy renovation. Better fire data can support design to reduce fire propagation and increase escape time.
Carlos Zorrinho, MEP, underlined the need to better integrate fire safety into building codes, and to ensure progress in all Member States despite different contexts and methods. An EU-level survey of national fire safety practices, knowledge and competence is needed.
Krzysztof Biskup, European Fire Safety Alliance, noted that electrical installations cause around a quarter of home fires, showing a 10% increase in a decade. Home electrical energy storage and DC/AC conversion will increase risks. The link between energy and fire risk is recognised in the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD, 2010/31/EU recast by 2018/844/EU) articles 2a(7) and 7 (see pinfa Newsletter n°. 103).
Adamantia Athanasopoulou, European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), provides support to DG GROW for the Construction Products Regulation. An EU Fire Safety Expert Network on construction is being established, with firefighters, researchers and industry, with the objective to incorporate fire safety engineering into standards, map roles, define training and harmonise qualifications for fire safety engineering.
Quentin de Hults, Modern Building Alliance and BASF, presented results of a survey of over 800 architects across Europe. This shows that they involve fire safety experts in only a third of projects. In some countries, responsibility for fire safety shows to be very unclear. Today, regulation requires an energy expert in building projects, but not a fire safety expert.
European Fire Safety Week 2020, webinar #5: The stake of the energy transition for buildings – fire safety competency, 19th November 2020: https://www.europeanfiresafetyalliance.org/european-fire-safety-week-2020/