FSEU European Parliament Roundtable on assessing Smoke Toxicity

Nov 5, 2020 | Events, News, Smoke Toxicity

Mark 19 November 2020 on your calendar, Fire Safe Europe is organising a European Parliament Roundtable on Improving fire safety by assessing the toxicity of smoke from burning construction products. The event will be hosted by MEP Pietikäinen and take place from (11:30 to 13:00) CET online.


  • 11:30 – 11:45 – Keynote by Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP;
  • 11:45 – 12:00 – Presentation by Ms Fulvia Raffaelli, Head of DG GROW Unit ‘Circular Economy and Construction’, on updates following the 2018 smoke toxicity study;
  • 12:05 – 12:15 – Presentation by Mr Andrei Corches, Fire Safe Europe technical expert, and Ms Sarah Debbiche Krichen, Fire Safe Europe Public Affairs Manager, on a testing and classification proposal for smoke toxicity;
  • 12:15 – 12:30 – Presentation by Mr Peter Woodburn, Director at Arup, on developing engineering approaches to integrate smoke toxicity;
  • 12:30- 12:45 – Presentation by Mr Brian Martin, UK Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, on the United Kingdom’s work regarding smoke toxicity;
  • 12:45 – 13:00 – Q&A discussion with presenters.

To join the roundtable, register below.

Who are our speakers?

MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen speaker at FSEU digital roundtable on smoke toxicityMEP Sirpa Pietikäinen

Member of the European Parliament, Group of the European People’s Party, Finland

MEP Pietikäinen has been an active supporter of fire safety since the beginning of her mandate and supported the #Together4FireSafety campaign in 2019.


Fulvia Raffaelli speaker of FSEU digital roundtable on smokeMs Fulvia Raffaelli

European Commission DG GROW Unit ‘Circular Economy and Construction’

Fulvia Raffaelli is the Head of GROW Unit ‘Circular Economy and Construction’. She joined the Commission in 2002 as responsible for Waste management and Recycling related issues in DGENTR. From March 2005, she worked on REACH first as a policy advisor on the legislative process, then as responsible for the implementation of the Authorisation and Restriction processes and for the first REACH review. In 2012, she became Deputy Head of GROW Strategic Policy Unit in particular in charge of Relations with the Council and implementation of COSME (SMEs supporting programme). Since 2015, she is leading the Commission’s unit in charge of the competitiveness aspects of Circular Economy, Energy Efficiency and Climate-related policies. The implementation of the Ecodesign Directive, the Construction Products Regulation and the Construction 2020 strategy are also part of her portfolio.


Mr Andrei Corches

Fire Safe Europe

Andrei Corches is a is a Member of Fire Safe Europe’s Technical Task Force and a Fire Safety Expert (Group Regulatory Affairs) at ROCKWOOL Group. He spent his entire career working with fire safety strategies, design solutions, standards and regulations for fire safety in buildings. Andrei has an MSc in Civil Engineering from DTU.


Sarah Debbiche Krichen speaker at FSEU digital roundtable on smokeMs Sarah Debbiche Krichen

Fire Safe Europe

Sarah joined Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) in 2016. She is dedicated to FSEU’s mission: to improve fire safety in buildings for people and communities across Europe. Sarah’s work in public affairs aims at fulfilling this mission by bringing stakeholders of the fire safety sector and policy-makers to exchange, discuss, and find solutions for the burning issue that is fire safety. As a Community Manager of the European Fire Safety Community, Sarah focuses on the work of the Facades and Smoke Toxicity Advisory Panels.


Peter Woodburn speakers at FSEU Digital ROundtable on smoke toxicityMr Peter Woodburn


Peter Woodburn is a Director in the Fire Safety Practice at Arup. He has more than 25 years’ experience in fire safety engineering across infrastructure and buildings. Peter leads Arup Fire UK technology and innovation portfolio, which includes fundamental research on fires as well as the development of tools and techniques. He has been involved in Arup recent work to develop tools to bring toxicity assessment within the reach of designers.


Brian Martin speakers of FSEU Digital ROundtable on smoke toxicityMr Brian Martin C Build E, FCABE, FIFireE

United Kingdom Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government

Brian leads a small team of specialists and policy officials at the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government which has responsibility for building regulations technical policy for England. Brian joined the British Civil Service in 2008 and has over 35 years’ experience in construction, construction research and technical policy.


Why is this an important Roundtable?

In countries where data is collected on the cause of fire casualties, statistics show that smoke is the leading cause of fire deaths[1], [2].

Fire smoke can be produced both by the content of the building and its construction materials. For the latter, at EU level, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) establishes in its basic requirement on safety in case of fire that construction works must be designed and built in such a way that in the event of a fire the generation and spread of fire and smoke will be limited and occupants can leave the construction works or be rescued by other means[3].

To fulfil this objective, the CPR put in place a classification system to assess the reaction to fire of construction products. This system includes an assessment of smoke production, but one essential component is lacking, and that is the assessment of smoke toxicity.

To fulfil this objective, the CPR put in place a classification system to assess the reaction to fire of construction products. This system includes an assessment of smoke production, but one essential component is lacking, and that is the assessment of smoke toxicity.

A 2018 study by the European Commission on the need to regulate on smoke toxicity[4] had concluded that clear terminology and data was lacking on this issue, and therefore the effectiveness of potential measures could not be assessed. Since then, the European parliament has enabled the European Commission to launch a project to collect data on smoke toxicity[5].

The European Commission study also rightfully recognised the importance of considering the “potential dangers of smoke in general, including toxic smoke, leaking into or being generated in areas that are considered to be safe zones and/or escape routes”.

Today, as the CPR is being reviewed, it is crucial to put in place within the framework of this regulation a robust system to assess smoke toxicity, so that the CPR can truly ensure a safe evacuation and rescue of all occupants.


[1] US statistics:

[2] UK statistics:

[3] See Annex I: