Tuesday, 26 March 2019 at 16:21 Edited Monday, 6 May 2019 at 13:47
Together for Safety
With the upcoming European Elections, 2019 will be a year of change.
This manifesto is a call for citizens and their future representatives to act together to improve fire safety in buildings for people.
Fire is one of the earliest innovations and one of the oldest threats known to humanity. Every day in
Europe, there are 5000 fires in which 11 people die and 190 are hospitalized. Even though the number of
fires and deaths has decreased in the last century, new challenges arise today, and there is still much to
be done to improve fire safety in buildings.
90% of all fire victims are killed by fires in buildings. We have a lot to gain from ensuring that
the buildings in which we spend so much of our time are safe. On top of saving lives and avoiding
injuries, by improving fire safety we can:
• Minimize the disruptions to society caused by fires. To give an example, it is estimated that
in the UK alone, school fires disrupt the education of around 90000 children every year.
• Avoid negative economic impact: costs due to losses from fire are estimated at approximately
1% of global GDP per year. That is slightly less than the GDP of the Netherlands.
• Protect the environment: fires cause massive amounts of air pollution, depleting materials
and increasing carbon emissions.
In Sweden, the estimated emission of dioxins from fires approximately corresponds to the total emission from traffic or half the emissions from municipal waste combustion.
We all have a role to play to improve fire safety: policy-makers, the construction industry, architects, fire safety engineers, firefighters, building owners, and citizens. It’s up to all of us to act for fire safety in buildings.
In the past years, the Members of the European Parliament have embraced their responsibility to ensure people are safe from fire and have taken action on fire safety at EU level.
The European Parliament has included fire safety in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Members of the European
Parliament have pushed the European Commission to launch studies on smoke toxicity and facades fire safety, and to create a Fire Information Exchange Platform. Recently, Members of the European Parliament have proposed a project to collect data on fire safety and support EU countries’ efforts on fire safety.
There is more to be done. Many European policy areas would benefit from taking fire safety into
account, and we need to come together to look at fire safety from different perspectives and find
Together we can make Europe fire safe. Together we can save lives. #Together4FireSafety