Press Release: Members of the European Parliament have great ambition for fire safety in buildings
8th October 2019
TUESDAY 8th OCTOBER – Today, in the European Parliament, the Modern Building Alliance, together with MEP Theresa Griffin (S&D, UK) and MEP Pernille Weiss (EPP, DK), organised a roundtable discussion on fire safety in buildings. Seven members of the European Parliament, the European Commission (DG GROW - DG JUST) and key stakeholders representing fire services, academics and industries discussed the role and actions of the EU in this area. This event gives the preamble of the discussions that will take place during the very first European Fire Safety Week organised by the European Fire Safety Alliance from the 18th to the 21st November 2019.
Based on the 7 layers of fire safety in buildings presented in the EU Fire Safety Guide, discussions acknowledged that any fire safety strategy should holistically consider the role of prevention, detection, early suppression, evacuation, compartmentation, structural safety and fire-fighting. It is estimated that, in Europe, an amount of 5000 people a year are killed due to fires. As most fire fatalities happen in residential fires and are preventable, the EU has a key role to play, including collecting comparable data, supporting research and prevention, and ensuring product safety.
“Fire Safety touches all European citizens. Therefore, it is important that we share knowledge and best practice across the EU. Even if fire safety is a national competence, I want all Europeans from children to elderly to learn how they have to behave to avoid any fire. This is something in which the European Union has a key role to play.”
MEP Pernille Weiss, host of the event, EPP, Denmark
“ Improving the awareness on fire safety by organising a roundtable is very positive as it gives the opportunity for all backgrounds to listen to each other and draft action plans. It is imperative that regulators, scientists, fire services and industry collaborate to improve fire safety for the citizen in Europe That’s why we initiated the European Fire Safety Week.”
Elie Van Strien, Chairman of the European Fire Safety Alliance
“Two years after the launch of the Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) by the European Commission, we see that the interest and the ambition of the FIEP have slowed down. We are fully committed to play our part and support the FIEP, which is the right platform to look at fire safety holistically, beyond construction products. The tool is on the table, financial means unlocked with the pilot project initiated by the European Parliament in 2019; let’s make it work and become an essential tool for national ministries that want to improve fire safety in buildings.”
Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair of the Modern Building Alliance
The European Commission is currently running initiatives to address fire safety in buildings. The Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) aims to enhance knowledge and share best practices between Members States. At the end of 2018, the Parliament voted for a pilot project proposal submitted by 24 MEPs and by the Industry (ITRE) Committee asking the European Commission to address the gap on fire statistics and support pan-European fire safety efforts. Recently, the European Commission also launched a tender for the finalisation of an EU test method for fire safety of facades.
Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair
t: +32 486 03 29 21
About the Modern Building Alliance
We are an alliance of trade associations and companies representing the plastics industry in the construction sector. Plastics are increasingly used in building and construction applications to make our buildings more sustainable, from window frames and durable pipes to state-of-the-art insulation solutions. An essential pillar of our cause is the ambition for greater fire safety across the construction industry. It is a key driver of our product design and manufacturing: improving the fire safety in buildings is a joint responsibility of the whole value chain involved in building and construction. That’s why, by engaging with policy makers and stakeholders, we are committed to supporting the EU in ensuring safe and sustainable construction for people across Europe.
 EU Fire Safety Guide, July 2019, Modern Building Alliance available on https://www.modernbuildingalliance.eu/EU-fire-safety-guide