The Modern Building Alliance represented at Elipyka’ International Conference

The Modern Building Alliance represented at Elipyka' International Conference

3 February 2020

 

For the first International Conference organised by the Hellenic Institute for the Fire Protection of Structures (ELIPYKA), the Modern Building Alliance will give an overview of EU and national regulatory frameworks. Based on the B.I.O. framework and the 7 layers for fire safety in buildings, this presentation will enhance a reflection on how to fully address fire safety in national and European legislations.

Other important topics to be addressed the conference: performance based design and approaches, Fire Safety Engineering competency, fire tests and protection, …

 

Information and agenda: https://elipyka.org/en/

 

 

 

The Commission stresses the role of the Fire Information Exchange Platform in a response to MEPs

The Commission stresses the role of the Fire Information Exchange Platform in a response to MEPs

31 January 2020

Today, the written answer from the European Commission to the Parliamentary question tabled by MEPs Pernille Weiss, Theresa Griffin and Sean Kelly has been officially published. In its response to MEPs, the European Commission stressed the importance of the role of the Fire Information Exchange Platform and the importance to prevent fires especially via its Recommendations of Building Renovation (Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/786).

 

Question

Question for written answer E-003627/2019 to the Commission Rule 138

Theresa Griffin, Seán Kelly, Pernille Weiss

Subject: Fire prevention and detection

Commission recommendation (EU) 2019/786 of 8 May 2019 on building renovation stressed the important role of fire prevention and detection.

The fire safety strategy in buildings is first to prevent fires, and second to avoid exposure to smoke. Residential smoke alarms detect fires as early as possible, give occupants sufficient time to react and have saved thousands of lives. Smoke alarms are Construction Products Regulation (CPR) products and are third-party certified to the EN146042 standard, a requirement for all products in the EU.

Correct installation and maintenance of residential smoke alarms can further improve their performance and specific installation and maintenance requirements exist in six Member States.

Currently, over 4 000 EU citizens die each year in residential fires and over 70 000 sustain smoke inhalation or burn injuries. But less than half of the Member States currently require smoke alarms to be installed in residential buildings.

  1. Can the Commission ensure that all EU citizens benefit from smoke alarms?
  2. Which technical means are in place to encourage Member States to ensure that alarm installation standards are adhered to?

 

Reply:

EN E-003627/2019

Answer given by Mr Breton on behalf of the European Commission (30.1.2020)

  1. Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, fire safety (including fire detection) in buildings falls under exclusive competence of the Member States. This is in line with the subsidiarity principle.
  2. Under the regulatory landscape described above the Commission is not in a position to propose legislative initiatives about the installation and use of smoke detection alarms and about their installation.

However, the Commission has found two paths through which it informally promoted fire safety, which encompasses the issue of smoke alarms and their installation:

- In order to facilitate the exchange of experience and the best practices in the area of fire safety the Commission has set up the Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP). The participation to FIEP is from Member States’ authorities, construction industry, rescue services and non-governmental oganisations, and it covers almost 100 participants. After the creation of the FIEP (at the end of 2017) it has convened twice as a plenary meeting and three times in smaller more focused compositions (so-called project teams).

- In 2019 the Commission issued a Recommendation on building renovation (Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/786). The Recommendation emphasises the fact that the renovation of buildings aiming to improve their energy performance could be used as an opportunity to improve the fire safety of the existing building stock at the same time. This could include the installation of smoke alarms and detection equipment.

 

 

 

IFSS global consultation on Fire Safety launched

IFSS global consultation on Fire Safety launched

23 January 2020

Today, the International Fire Safety Standards coalition (IFSS) has launched a public consultation on a set of principles and best practices for fire safety that exist all around the world. This project aims to bring transparency and consistency across the dozens of differing standards being used around the world. The global consultation is open until the 23rd March.

The Modern Building Alliance, as member of the IFSS, fully supports this initiative. It correlates very well with the 7 layers of fire safety and B.I.O framework we suggested as basis for EU Member States.

 

“Getting consistency, sharing knowledge and best practices across the world on fire safety resonate with what the European Commission is doing with the Fire Information Exchange Platform. It proofs that the need is real to increase fire safety of buildings. We are proud to support the IFSS who developed draft common principles on fire safety that can be used as a reference around the world. It is essential to ensure that fire safety is correctly considered over the whole life time of any buildings. A focus is therefore also needed on enforcement of regulations and competency of the value chain”

 Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair of the Modern Building Alliance

Additional information:

IFSS has been created by a Standard Setting Committee with 25 independent industry fire safety experts. It pulls together the pockets of fire safety best practice that exist across the globe, considering issues such fire prevention, detection and communication, occupant’s protection, containment and extinguishment at each stage of the property life cycle. The coalition organisations spearheading the standards have already received support from the United Nations.

 IFSS Press Release: https://ifss-coalition.org/news/

Access the consultation: https://consultations.intstandards.org/consult.ti/IFSS/consultationHome

Pilot project on fire statistics: The public tender is now released

Pilot project on fire statistics: The public tender is now released

19th November 2019

Today, the European Commission launched the public tender related to the Pilot project on fire statistics initiated last year by 24 members of the EU Parliament and the ITRE committee.

The tender mentions: "The aim of the contract is to map the terminology used and the data collected by the EU Member States regarding fire events and to propose a common terminology and a method to collect the necessary data in each EU Member State with a view to obtain meaningful data sets (based on standardised terms and definitions). This in turn would allow for knowledge-based decisions regarding fire safety at MS and at EU level regarding buildings fires (i.e. houses, apartment blocks, office buildings, commercial buildings, hospitals, schools and kindergartens, elderly homes, etc.).  The pilot project could lead to a potential subsequent preparatory action to launch EU-level actions and initiatives to support Member States' efforts for fire safety and fire prevention, including in their building renovation efforts, thereby supporting safety for Europeans as well as sustainable growth and job creation in Europe."

The Modern Building Alliance fully supports this pilot project which will strengthen the EU commitment to fire safety and will give the EU and national governments the opportunity to better identify the most effective fire safety measures.

The pilot project will complement and support the newly established Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) by the European Commission, to which the Modern Building Alliance is also contributing.

Reach the tender

Three MEPs table a parliamentary question about fire prevention and smoke detection

Three MEPs table a parliamentary question about fire prevention and smoke detection

6th November 2019

MEPs Theresa Griffin (S&D), Pernille Weiss (EPP) and Seán Kelly (EPP) co-signed a parliamentary question about fire safety measures of prevention and detection.

Extending the use of smoke alarms was one of the recommendation that the Modern Building Alliance presented in the EU Fire Safety Guide .

It has also been discussed during our Breakfast Roundtable held in the European Parliament beginning of October.

The Modern Building Alliance positively welcomes this initiative to push the Commission to take action to harmonise the use of smoke detectors all around the EU.

This is the “low hanging fruit” to decrease the number victims and damage due to fire.

Link

 

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Phase 1 Report issued

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Phase 1 Report issued

30 October 2019

 

This report aims to understand what happened on the night of the 14 June in the Grenfell Tower: how the fire started, how it escaped from the flat where it began and how it spread across the whole building.

A key conclusion at this stage is that the façade failed to comply with building regulations.

Phase 2 of the Inquiry is focusing on the outstanding issues and hearings are expected to begin in early 2020, following which the final report will be written and subsequently published.

 

All information

 

 

 

 

EuroFSA: All together for the European Fire Safety Week

EuroFSA: All together for the European Fire Safety Week

31st October 2019

PDF version

Original 

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

PDF version here

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.