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MEPs pledge to ramp up EU fire protection rules for buildings

Date

09 May 2014

Sections

Health & Consumers
More than 50 candidates for the May European elections pledge to put fire safety first
More than 50 candidates to the European Parliament have pledged to work for a fire safe Europe if elected in this month’s European Parliamentary elections, as part of a call to action from the campaign FireSafetyFirst.
 
“It is essential for us to take action to improve fire safety in Europe, and all citizens should be equally protected. I look forward to continuing the good work on this important matter in the coming Parliament”, said Catherine Bearder, MEP. 
 
The campaign, which was launched in January, calls upon Members and candidate Members of the European Parliament to join frontline fire fighters and representatives from the building industry to work together to improve fire safety standards and practices for schools, hospitals, shops and homes: all the buildings where Europeans spend their lives across the EU.
 
“Up to 2.5 million building-related fires are reported in the EU every year, causing damage of around 126 billion Euros. Four out of five of these fires start in homes, yet until now the EU has not taken fire safety in buildings seriously’, said Juliette Albiac, Managing Director of Fire Safe Europe.
 
Rapid innovations in building materials and construction methods have outpaced the old regulations in place in many Member States. The EU’s own fire safety test methods, last revised in 2003, based on data from the collected between 1994 & 2002, are unable to provide a complete and accurate assessment of many products entering the market since then.
 
“Many people take it for granted that modern buildings are fire safe. We want buildings that make us comfortable, that keep us safe from intruders, and that use less energy. But whilst comfort, security and energy awareness are all high up on the list of priorities for our buildings, we risk forgetting about fire one of the oldest threats. We are delighted that Members and Candidates to the European Parliament have recognised the importance of fire safety through this campaign”, she added.
 
“Fire-fighters' and citizens' security is an issue which goes beyond our national borders. With the Greens in order to guaranty a maximal security against fire for our buildings, we think we have to harmonize European rules”, said Michèle Rivasi French MEP.
 
ENDS
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More information on the campaign can be found on:
 
About fire safety
Nowadays, the time it takes for a small fire in a room to turn into a full blaze is about 3 minutes, compared to 15 minutes in the 1950s. This is largely because our homes, as well as other buildings, now contain more flammable material than they used to. This risk is even greater because most tests and rules that apply to construction products were developed before modern building materials were introduced. Regrettably, these rules have not been updated to keep pace with newer materials and changing construction methods.
 
About the campaign FireSafetyFirst
FireSafetyFirst is a European campaign, which aims to improve fire safety in buildings for European citizens. The campaign asks Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and candidate MEPs to sign a pledge to work for a fire safe Europe during the next European Parliamentary term. This campaign is the first step toward a safer future for all. FireSafetyFirst is a broad based alliance of fire experts, fire-fighters, international companies and European associations. Our Vision: to have a fire safe Europe. Our Mission: to improve fire safety in buildings for European citizens.
 
Contacts:
Juliette Albiac
Managing Director
+32 476 64 19 24
 
Lena Esteves
Communications Manager
+32 479 138 528

 

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