EuroFSA: All together for the European Fire Safety Week

EuroFSA: All together for the European Fire Safety Week

31st October 2019

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31st October 2019 - For its very first edition, the European Fire Safety Week will gather, from the 18th to 21st November 2019, a myriad of activities related to fire safety. Under the umbrella of the European Fire Safety Alliance, a large range of stakeholders are organizing an international congress, education seminars, conferences and meetings with Members of the European Parliament. The European Fire Safety Week will start with the Award Ceremony and the launch of an Exhibition in the European Parliament.

Fire Safety touches all European citizens. 5,000 people die because of fire each year. Many more persons are injured. The European Fire Safety Alliance initiates the European Fire Safety Week to raise awareness among policy-makers and stakeholders on this issue.

 

"We believe that most of the European fire victims in the home are preventable! Many individuals, industry and organisations from the professional fire sector will share creative, pragmatic and successful initiatives to reduce fire risk during this first European Fire Safety Week. This first step to combine knowledge and best practices will lead to a European approach that will save lives.

Elie van Strien, Chair of the European Fire Safety Alliance

 

The European Fire Safety Week will start with the 12th International Congress Fire Safety & Science in Arnhem, followed by a large meeting of European Fire Officers associations in Copenhagen. From the 18th to the 21st, 4 days of high-level conferences will take place in Brussels. Days are shaped by 4 main themes: Community Fire Safety, Building Fire Safety, Electrical Safety & Energy Transition, Furniture Fire Safety & Smoke Spread in residential buildings. In parallel in Antwerp, the International Safety & Education Seminar will gather to exchange experiences concerning fire safety awareness. Themes like research, focus on target audiences, communication, innovation and behavioural change including overseas experiences will be presented and discussed.

The outcome of the European Fire Safety week will be consolidated into a report that will pave the way for the next two years. This major piece of work will be presented to the European Parliament in March 2020 to secure further progress in Fire Safety. The European Fire Safety Week and the report to be issued in March 2020 will contribute to the Fire Information Exchange Platform, initiated by the European Commission in 2017.

Partners of the Week:

Federation of the European Union Fire Officers Associations (FEU) - Dutch Fire Service Academy (IFV) - Dutch Burns Foundation - European Fire Safety Alliance - Organisation for Burns Scar Aftercare and Research (OSCARE) -  Antwerp Fire Service - Flame Retardants Europe (FRE) - Modern Building Alliance (MBA) - Europacable - European Aluminium - Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Protection (COgDEM) - European Copper Institute - European Fire Sprinkler Network - European Association of Electrical Contractors (AIE) - International Federation for the Safety of Electricity Users (Fisuel) - European Committee of Electrical Installation Equipment Manufacturers (CECAPI).

Additional information: www.firesafetyweek.eu

About EuroFSA:
The European Fire Safety Alliance (EuroFSA) shares national knowledge and innovations on international level. We form an independent alliance of fire professionals and preventions specialists that does not support any individual fire safety product, technology or commercial organization. EuroFSA is an authority on fire risk, based on a strong statistical evidence. We do research, support and encourage research, studies and reports that highlight the dangers from fire in the home and support their widespread availability. We focus on sharing knowledge and we deliver strong scientific relevant consistent messages on home fire safety.
www.europeanfiresafetyalliance.org

 

Press Contact:

Elie Van Strien

Phone number +31 62 24 36 934

Email address Evanstrien@eurofsa.org

Press Release: Members of the European Parliament have great ambition for fire safety in buildings

Press Release: Members of the European Parliament have great ambition for fire safety in buildings

8th October 2019

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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[1], 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.

More information is available concerning the FIEP, the pilot project and the European Fire Safety Week.

 

Press Contact:

Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair
@: quentin@modernbuildingalliance.eu

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.

@ModernBuildEU

modern-building-alliance

www.modernbuildingalliance.eu

[1] EU Fire Safety Guide, July 2019, Modern Building Alliance available on https://www.modernbuildingalliance.eu/EU-fire-safety-guide

Modern Building Alliance has presented its paper at Fire Safety Facade Conference

Modern Building Alliance has presented its paper at Fire Safety Facade Conference

30 September 2019

During the 3rd International Symposium – Fire Safety Façade 2019 organised by the CSTB in France, Quentin de Hults, the Executive Chair of the Modern Building Alliance, has presented its paper titled: “A European Framework to ensure fire safety in taller buildings”.

This framework aims to structure and facilitate exchange of information between Member States about their national regulations for fire safety of building. It will help identify gaps and best practices. The paper is structured around the original three-tiered framework (Building, Installation, Organisation - B.I.O. framework) of national requirements backed by EU standards. It ensures fire safety to be considered from the design, construction, maintenance and renovation of buildings.

The paper mentions the role and responsibility of the value chain and also stresses the crucial role of Member States in the enforcement of existing regulations.

The conference was the occasion to gather feedback of participating academics, engineers and experts.

The B.I.O. framework will also serve as structure of the European Fire Safety Week’s building day on the 19th November.

Read the paper

EU method to assess the fire performance of façades: call for tender launched

EU method to assess the fire performance of façades: call for tender launched

18 September 2019

A study published by the European Commission in September 2018 presented two options for a European approach to assessing the fire performance of building façades.

The call for tender for the next step is now released. This call gives the mandate to finalise the “alternative method” so that it can be directly used for harmonised products standards (CEN) and European Assessment Documents (EOTA) for construction products and kits. It also includes round robin test. The development of the new method is expected to be finalised by the end of 2021.

The fire performance of façades is an important element for fire safety of taller buildings. It must be tested as a system and not only as individual component. It is one element of our B.I.O framework for fire safe buildings.

Currently, some Member States have a national standard for fire performance of façades while others refer to standards from other countries. However, some countries are not using any façade testing standard at all. An EU method is essential in this matter as it will help provide a clear assessment and communication about façade system performance and would allow regulators to set application specific façade system performance requirements.

Modern Building Alliance welcomes this development and will follow the project.

Modern Building Alliance joins the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition (IFSS)

Modern Building Alliance joins the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition (IFSS)

23 August 2019

The Modern Building Alliance recently joins the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition.

The Coalition was launched with the support of United Nations Economic Commission in July 2018; it brought together a growing list of professional and non-profit organisations from around the world dealing with fire safety of buildings with the purpose of discussing the development of landmark industry standards to address fire safety in buildings.

The Coalition  committed in developing and supporting a shared set of standards for fire safety aimed at delivering greater consistency of minimum levels of fire safety and professionalism in buildings across the world.

Modern Building Alliance sponsors Fire Safety Façade 2019

Modern Building Alliance sponsors Fire Safety Façade 2019

13 August 2019

As sponsor of Fire Safety Façade 2019, Modern Building Alliance confirms its commitment to support sciences and researches on fire safety in buildings.

The 3rd International Fire Safety of Facade (FSF 2019) is held in Paris, from the 25th to the 27th September.
Organised by CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment), the French Building Research Institute, FSF2019 is a three-days event that fosters dialogue among scientists, academics and professionals from around the world related to the research and development in the field of facade fire safety.
FSF2019 promotes the cooperation between manufacturers and researchers.

Quentin de Hults and Mohamad El Houssami, both from the Modern Building Alliance, will present the paper "A European Framework to ensure fire safety in taller buildings". This paper proposes a comprehensive and structured list of elements for consideration by Member States in their regulatory approach to ensure fire safety in high and mid-rise buildings.

More information about FSF2019

 

 

 

Modern Building Alliance presents the EU Fire Safety Guide

Modern Building Alliance presents the EU Fire Safety Guide

1 July 2019

Modern Building Alliance officially launches the European Fire safety Guide. Written for policy makers, this guide presents a holistic approach of how fire safety in buildings can be improved and what can be done at EU level.

Read More

EU fire safety research needed in Horizon Europe – Joint letter to Commissioner Carlos Moedas

EU fire safety research needed in Horizon Europe - Joint letter to Commissioner Carlos Moedas

EU fire safety research needed in Horizon Europe - Joint letter to Commissioner Carlos Moedas

4 June 2019

A wide range of stakeholders, including Modern Building Alliance, addressed a letter to Commissioner Carlos Moedas asking for fire safety science to be considered within Horizon Europe, the new research and innovation framework programme.

As demonstrated by recent initiatives likes the Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) and the pilot project on fire statistics, the EU has a role to play for fire safety in buildings. Fire safety research is an additional area where many stakeholders consider that EU actions would be beneficial.

Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair of the Modern Building Alliance commented:

“We firmly believe that fire safety science is essential for industry and for society:

  • it allows adequate product development and innovation,
  • it guarantees safe performance and benefits (quality of life, environment…),
  • it improves safety levels in buildings with the most effective solutions, and
  • it informs policies (performance requirements) and prevention measures.”

Read the joint letter

Modern Building Alliance sponsors Interflam 2019

Modern Building Alliance sponsors Interflam 2019

The Modern Building Alliance is proud to sponsor Interflam 2019, the 15th International Conference and Exhibition on Fire Science and Engineering that will take place in London on July 1-3. This three-day conference, which is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, brings together engineers, scientists, practitioners and regulators from around the globe. There will be multiple sessions supported by posters, exhibitions, demonstrations, networking sessions and workshops. Aimed at harnessing fire science to provide a safer built environment, Interflam 2019 will look at issues like fire prevention and safety, facades or human behaviour in fire.

We firmly believe that fire safety science is essential for industry and for society:

  • it allows adequate product development and innovation,
  • it guarantees safe performance and benefits (quality of life, environment…),
  • it improves safety levels in buildings with the most effective solutions, and
  • it informs policies (performance requirements) and prevention measures.

Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair of the Modern Building Alliance says “as representatives of the plastics industry, we are committed to playing our part in making buildings safer and more sustainable. We are proud to sponsor an event such as Interflam which help bridging the gap between science, regulations and construction industry”.

The Modern Building Alliance hopes to meet you at their booth in London!

 

 

Progress of the Fire Information Exchange Platform: only a more active contribution from Member States will make it successful

Progress of the Fire Information Exchange Platform: only a more active contribution from Member States will make it successful

On 27 February, the Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) met for a plenary meeting to present progress since its establishment in October 2017.

During the meeting, the European Commission called on Member States to actively contribute to the platform. The Modern Building Alliance, which is also a member of this FIEP, fully supports this call, as exchange of information on fire safety is crucial to understand the impacts of regulatory choices and improve fire safety for European citizens.

Out of the five priorities identified in 2017, three dedicated project teams presented their progress. While lots of information was exchanged on fire prevention, the European Commission identified a lack of input from Member States on the other two priorities namely lessons learned from fire accidents and regulatory approach for new products and high-rise buildings. In June 2018, the Modern Building Alliance proposed a framework for structuring the exchange of information on the necessary regulatory approach for high rise buildings and we invited again the FIEP to consider using it. With regard to the fourth work stream on fire statistics, the European Commission announced that it will benefit from the pilot project on fire safety statistics voted by the European Parliament last September. This will help complement the pioneering work already done by the European Fire Safety Alliance in gathering EU-wide data. Finally, the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) announced that the last work stream on fire safety engineering will be led by its own Joint Research Centre, showing an interest from the European Commission to have a more horizontal approach to fire safety.

This meeting was also the opportunity to report on the progress of a possible harmonised European approach to regulating the fire performance of façades following the publication of the European Commission’s study last September. While many Member States have expressed a preference for the ‘alternative’ approach on the long term, proposing a new testing and classification method, we encourage the Commission to organise additional and dedicated discussions with Member States and stakeholders to further clarify short and middle-term solutions. We believe that the “proposed approach” – relying on existing testing methods – is most able to deliver quick and impactful results. You can find additional information on our position here.

We would like to also congratulate Estonia and Sweden who shared additional information on their recent successful initiatives on fire safety, demonstrating the large potential for improvements thanks to well-targeted prevention measures focusing on the benefits of smoke detectors, the risk of smoking and open fires, and the danger of obstructing escape routes.

Finally, the Commission presented the outcome of a questionnaire sent to all Member States and to which 17 of them responded. The results showed that national fire safety regulations are constantly being revised to consider developments and take stock of learnings, which shows the benefits of sharing information within the FIEP.

Commenting on this meeting MBA Executive Chair Quentin de Hults said “The FIEP is now fully setup and we welcome the initial progress. Several Member States are sharing very relevant information particularly on their successful prevention efforts, we encourage all of them to actively contribute to the different work streams. As representative of the plastic industry in the construction sector, we are committed to supporting the FIEP in making Europe’s buildings safer and more sustainable”.

To learn more about the FIEP and its goals, please see our dedicated page here.