MEPs take another step toward increased fire safety in Europe

MEPs take another step toward increased fire safety in Europe

25 September 2018

Today, the European Parliament’s Committee on Budget (BUDG) adopted an amendment for a pilot project on fire safety to be included in the EU’s 2019 budget. The Modern Building Alliance would like to congratulate the BUDG Committee and all the MEPs that have supported this initiative which will strengthen the EU commitment to fire safety and support a breakthrough in fire statistics and prevention. The pilot project was first proposed by the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), led by MEP Bendt Bendtsen and supported by 23 other MEPs across most political groups and aim to mend the data gaps on fire statistics and implement pan-European awareness fire safety campaign.

Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair of the Modern Building Alliance said: “Understanding the key risk factors is essential to identify effective actions. This pilot project can help Member States in their fire prevention efforts and make sure the rate of fire fatalities in Europe keeps going down”.

We currently experience a lack of EU-wide statistics about fire safety while data are essential to identify risk factors and most effective prevention measures. Efforts to prevent the development and consequences of fires require building occupants to understand which safety precautions or emergency actions need to be taken and in which circumstances. The pilot project will start by gathering better statistics and would recommend EU-level actions to support fire safety and fire prevention efforts of Member States, turning into a possible pan-European fire safety awareness campaign.

The 2019 EU budget will be voted by the European Parliament plenary in October and should be agreed between the Council and the European Parliament later this year. Once approved, the Commission will be responsible for implementing this two-year project and report every year to the European Parliament on the progress made.

To learn more about the pilot project and its aims, please check our news post here.

European Parliament’s Committee on Budget (BUDG) meeting. Votes.




New Commission study on fire performance of façades shows continued progress on fire safety

New Commission study on fire performance of façades shows continued progress on fire safety

14 September 2018

On 3 September, the Commission published a study on the development of a European approach to assess the fire performance of facades of buildings. The Modern Building Alliance welcomes these efforts to strengthen fire safety in Europe and is ready to engage further with the Commission and regulators to discuss and clarify identified gaps.

The study, commissioned by DG GROW, aims to provide Member States’ regulators with a harmonised European approach to regulating the fire performance of façade systems. It presents two options:

  • The first option, the so-called “proposed test method”, is a classification methodology based on existing testing standards for fire performance and fire behaviour of external facade systems.
  • The second option, or “alternative method” proposed by the consortium is based on a new testing and classification approach combining two tests.

The Modern Building Alliance sees numerous benefits in developing harmonised EU standards and believes that the “proposed test method” put forward in the study, and preferred by the European Commission services, is most able to deliver quick and impactful results. Firstly, an approach based on existing standards will capitalise on the historical experience of laboratories, regulators and manufacturers and will rely on valuable existing data. This will also enable a faster implementation which is essential for reinforcing fire safety in the EU and protect citizens.

As Member States are planning to review their national regulation, the Modern Building Alliance shares the sense of urgency in ensuring a swift implementation of this methodology. We also encourage the Commission and regulators to organise additional discussions with stakeholders to further clarify some points highlighted in the study, such as the development of a clear definition of facades.