Posted on 01/12/2015 in News 32 2015
Netherlands WODC / SEO assessment

A report by SEO Economic Research for the Netherlands Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Ministry of Security and Justice estimates that home fires cause over 30 fatalities per year in the Netherlands, and assesses possible regulatory safety requirements. Home sprinklers are considered not cost-effective, using currently standard technologies, but they are potentially interesting if technologies using tap water supply pressure only (no additional pumps) can be implemented.

Regarding fire safety requirements for domestic furniture, the report considers that there are health concerns concerning some flame retardants used in the past (1), but that impacts are not the same for different FR chemicals. Available information concerning health and environmental impacts of flame retardants is considered incomplete. In particular, REACH does not fully address hormone disruption, biodegradability or environmental accumulation. The report therefore recommends to continue discussion of fire safety requirements for upholstered furniture, taking into account both possible impacts of flame retardants and alternative technologies. Consequently, the Netherlands Government indicated in June 2014 that it would not make obligatory home fire sprinklers or fire safety requirements in domestic furniture.

“Social cost-benefit analysis fire safety in homes”, SEO Economic Research MKBA n° 2014-16, B. Hof et al. (136 pages in Dutch, inc. 4 page English summary)

See also: “Fatale woningbranden 2008 t/m 2012”, Instituut Fysieke Veiligheid, 16/7/2013 and Brandweeracademie “Jaaroverzicht fatale woningbranden 2013

(1) Opinion Gezondheidsraad (Netherlands Health Council), 19/3/2014.

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