Fire Safe Europe brings together firefighters, top politicians and experts

27 Feb 2015
People spend 90% of their time inside buildings – and 90% of fires happen within these buildings. To bring more attention to fire safety Fire Safe Europe, an international cross-sectorial alliance, brought together firefighters, MEPs, building industry experts, and NGOs to brainstorm ways to improve the fire safety in European buildings and to bring fire safety to the top of the EU’s agenda. The high-level discussion, concerning the inconsistent and out-of-date fire safety regulations in Europe, was held in Brussels on February 25th.

According to Fire Safe Europe, current regulations vary greatly from country to country. In Germany, fire exits in schools need to be placed so that they are always within 10 meters, while in Italy, 60 meters is currently enough.

Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in building fires, and has been linked to cancer among firefighters. Despite this, EU regulations and standards currently ignore smoke toxicity in construction products.

Modern life and the materials – such as electronics – used inside buildings also bring new considerations to fire safety: 50 years ago, a room could be engulfed by fire within 25 minutes, when today the corresponding time is only three minutes. Modern housing uses more flammable materials, but fire regulations have failed to keep up with them.

These are some of the reasons Fire Safe Europe calls for fire regulations throughout Europe to be standardized and modernized. This would mean, for example, the renewal of fire safety test methods and the incorporation of smoke toxicity in EU standards and regulations for construction products. 

Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) is a Brussels-based broad and unique cross-sectorial alliance of fire experts, firefighters, European associations, and international companies, including construction manufacturers and material suppliers of insulation, cable, concrete, ceiling, and fire protection equipment. Fire Safe Europe’s mission is to improve fire safety in buildings for European citizens. Paroc is a member of the alliance.