Fire Safe Europe: Defining moment in Europe as European Parliament holds first debate on Fire Safety in buildings

13 Sep 2017
Strasbourg, 13 September 2017: Members of the European Parliament will debate fire safety for the first time today in response to growing concerns about the suitability of Europe’s fire safety regulations.

The European Commission and the Council are expected to respond to questions and give statements at this public debate.

As the elected representatives of European citizens, it is the fundamental duty of Members of the European Parliament to ensure that Europeans are safe in their homes. Several Members of the European Parliament are expected to take the floor to question the European Commission on its lack of progress to date and to ask for concrete actions in areas such as the smoke toxicity of construction products, the harmonized testing regime for building facades and an EU level initiative to promote fire safety.

Juliette Albiac, Managing Director of Fire Safe Europe, has welcomed the debate but says the European Commission now needs to take concrete steps. “Fire Safe Europe has been calling on the European Commission to take action on fire safety in buildings since 2011. Unfortunately, a European response is very often propelled by a major incident or a global accord, so despite having many examples of recent fires from across Europe, we have struggled to gain significant traction with this Commission. Until now. We hope that Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska will now take on board the concerns of Members of the European Parliament. We will continue to work with MEPs until we achieve our objectives of the establishment of a EU fire safety strategy, testing and labelling of smoke toxicity of construction products, and a robust testing method for building facades that reflects real-life fire conditions.”

Fires in buildings are now bigger, unpredictable and more dangerous than ever before. Many of the current laws at European and national level do not adequately protect European citizens. Smoke is the biggest killer in fires: 41% of fire victims are killed by gas, smoke and toxic fumes alone, and another 20% are killed by a combination of smoke and burns. It is time for coordinated action to tackle the issue of fire safety in buildings at EU level.


About Fire Safe Europe
Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) was founded in 2011 as a broad and unique alliance of fire experts, fire fighters, international companies and European associations. Fires in buildings are now bigger, unpredictable and more dangerous than ever before. Together with our partners, we are campaigning for the European Parliament to show political leadership and demand action at European level to improve fire safety in Europe’s buildings.