Brussels, 26 January 2018
The European Commission published the final report of its study to evaluate the need to regulate on the toxicity of smoke produced by construction products in fires. The conclusions of the report and its consultants, the BRE, state that “clear definition of terminology is lacking” and “the type and format of data collected varies across Member States, and, at present, statistics on smoke toxicity are not collected and therefore the effectiveness of potential measures cannot be assessed.”
FSEU commends the work done by the European Commission on this study, which must be a first step towards further work. FSEU urges the European Commission to seize this opportunity to put forward a clear work plan for smoke toxicity, starting with data collection, and stands ready to support this work. FSEU firmly maintains its conviction that once the missing data is available, a European system for testing and classification of the toxicity of smoke from construction products should be developed to ensure a step change in people’s fire safety in buildings.
The Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP), a new platform convened by the European Commission and launched in October has data collection as one of its five work streams. FSEU sees the FIEP as a great solution to collect data on smoke toxicity across EU countries and get a full picture of the issue. It will provide a solid basis for the European Commission to create, as suggested in the conclusions, “an agreed European system for testing and classification, with regulations and requirements at national level”.
Lastly, FSEU is happy to see that the study rightly identifies the danger of smoke being able to enter safe zones and/or escape routes, and looks forward to this issue being considered in new or amended regulations.