Fire Safe Europe’s 10-year anniversary
2021 is an important year for Fire Safe Europe (FSEU). It marks our 10th year of existence. Ten years dedicated to improving fire safety in buildings for people and society. Ten years striving to materialise a vision in which people and communities across Europe should be safe from fire in every building they spend time in.
FSEU was set up in 2011 with three founding Members. Its membership quickly expended. Today, Fire Safe Europe has six Full (Board) Members: FROCC, Hilti, Knauf Insulation, Owens Corning Group-PAROC, ETEX-Promat, ROCKWOOL, and two paying Community Members: ECP and SILMA. Since the end of 2019, FSEU has been powering a vibrant European Fire Safety Community of over 600 individual members keen on improving fire safety in the European Union (EU). The Community gathers individuals such as fire engineers, academics, firefighters, industry representatives, associations etc. We are proud that we succeeded in providing fire safety stakeholders with a permanent platform to exchange information, network and work on concrete solutions.
We are grateful for all the stakeholders that worked with us along the way and enabled significant improvements for European fire safety. To celebrate this ten-year anniversary with you, we are preparing a number of activities, which will soon be revealed. Until then, we can recall a few key achievements from the past ten years:
• A First European “Fire Safety First” Election Pledge Campaign which gathered the pledges of 75 candidates to work for fire safety – out of which 39 were elected.
• A series of European Parliament Roundtable co-hosted by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that led to the European Commission launching two studies in 2016: a study on the need to regulate on the smoke toxicity from burning construction products, and a study on developing a European approach to the fire assessment of facades.
• Successful awareness-raising efforts after the Grenfell tower fire in London, with a significant mobilisation from MEPs. Their concerns triggered the first-ever debate on fire safety in buildings at a plenary session in the European Parliament on 13 September 2017. 26 MEPs took the floor, and 2 MEPs submitted contributions in writing. This encouraged the European Commission to create the Fire Information Exchange Platform, which aims at empowering EU countries to share experiences and best practices and collect data on fire safety.
• The inclusion of fire safety into two articles of the 2018 revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which resulted from a fruitful collaboration between FSEU and several MEPs that submitted amendments on fire safety.
• Our 2019 #Together4FireSafety European Election pledge campaign that secured the pledges of 100 candidates, among which 39 were elected, ensuring support for fire safety during their mandate. 49 individuals from firefighters to researchers also supported the campaign.
• The mobilisation of 18 EU Member States and 13 MEPs to support the “alternative” method for the development of a European approach to the fire assessment of facades. This alternative method was selected by the European Commission as the basis for the “Finalisation of the European approach to assess the fire performance of facades”.
• The inclusion of amendments on fire safety in the INI report on “Maximising the energy efficiency potential of the EU building stock”.
• The launch of a coalition to develop a Fire Safety rating scheme for buildings.
• The creation of the European Fire Safety Community, which gathers over 600 fire safety stakeholders working together to improve fire safety.
In 2021, we are delighted to celebrate these past successes together, and we look forward to many more in the future!