(Published by Fire Safe Europe)
Fire safety experts, fire fighters, EU policy makers, and representatives from the industry and associations met yesterday at the European Parliament to discuss the path towards a better regulation for fire safety in buildings. The high-level discussion was organised by MEP Catherine Stihler and Fire Safe Europe.
Fire Safety standards for buildings products in the EU are shaped by the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which sets a number of essential requirements. However, testing methods called on by the CPR do not always reflect real life fire behaviour of buildings materials. Moreover, they have not been revised since 2002 and are based on data from the 90s.
“This event was a unique opportunity to discuss fire safety of construction products with all relevant stakeholders around one table”, said MEP Catherine Stihler, who was the European Parliament Rapporteur on the Construction Products Regulation file. She added: “Our world is changing, and construction is part of that change. We as policy makers must make sure fire safety regulations and standards keep up-to-date with the developments in the industry.”
“Keeping the link between the fire classification system and the actual fire behaviour of construction materials is key. For reaction to fire the tests must show how a product will perform in a realistic reference scenario” urged Björn Sundstrøm, Head of the Fire Research Department at SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden.
“We must strive to ensure the correct products are installed, and also installed correctly,” added David McCarrey, Station Manager and Deputy Fire Safety Enforcement at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. “If fire fighters can not predict how a building will perform in a fire situation, how are they supposed to save lives and buildings effectively?”
The event was the occasion for the launch of a position paper presenting Fire Safe Europe’s proposal for future proofing the Construction Products Regulation.