A meeting hosted in the European Parliament heard that toxic smoke causes around 2/3 of fatalities in home fires and that fumes are becoming more toxic. Speakers called for EU regulation to reduce building materials and consumer products smoke production. The meeting was organised by Fire Safety First www.firesafetyfirst.eu and hosted by MEP’s Pavel Poc and Christel Schaldemose, June 30th 2015. Richard Hull, University of Lancashire, UK, showed that smoke casualties are decreasing more slowly in the UK than other fire deaths, despite national efforts on product fire safety and smoke alarm systems, showing that smoke toxicity danger is increasng.
Marc Sabbe, Leuven Emergency Medicine Clinic, Belgium, explained that smoke can kill by heat (lung burn), short term toxic gases which can immobilise (preventing escape) or kill, or by long-term toxicity. Tommy Kjaer, Danish firefighter and Chair of the European Fire Fighters’ Union, called for regulations to limit smoke production and toxicity. Gwenole Cozigou, DG GROW European Commission, emphasised the difficulty of regulating smoke emissions from building materials, given the need to take into account how and where they are installed.
“Fire fighters and fire experts call the EU to action on toxic fire smoke”, International Fire Protection Magazine, 6/7/2015 http://ifpmag.mdmpublishing.com/stop-fatal-fire-fumes/
Initiative primarily funded by Fire Safe Europe http://www.firesafeeurope.eu/