Richard Hull highlighted the value of having all the fire safety professionals working together, from material’s scientists, fire scientists and toxicologists, to emergency medical teams for the protection of the public, to the medical specialists who had identified the causes of cancer clusters and other occupational diseases in firefighters.
It is clear that this group of experts should not work in isolation. As well as being a heroic rescue service, fire fighters also face greater health risks than the civilian population from repeated smoke exposure. The discussion continued by focusing on the need for robust data on the fire toxicity of materials, and the best way to make that information available. It was concluded that if the Construction Products Regulation were to require generation of smoke toxicity data, this would be very valuable for engineering calculations designed to ensure life safety. In the absence of toxicity labelling in the Construction Products Regulations, cooperation between competitor organisations, such as fire test laboratories and fire safety engineering consultancies, would be difficult to secure, in order to ensure the availability of toxicity data and hence improve life safety in the event of fires.