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Join BSEF at the European Fire Safety Week 2021


29 Nov 2021 to 02 Dec 2021




Health & Consumers

Event Description

The EU Fire Safety Week aims to raise awareness on fires safety toward EU policy makers, engage stakeholders to share best practices within EU Member States, and formulate recommendations to solve gaps in knowledge, data, legislation and standards related to fire and electrical safety.

On day 2 - Tuesday November 30th, 10h00 – 12h30 (CET) Kasturirangan Kannah and Patrick Fox from BSEF will be speaking at the “The dangerous reduction in escape times” session where they will speak about Fire safety of upholstered furniture and the opportunity to address flammability hazards in the New general product safety regulation.

It is estimated that around 5,000 people die in the EU annually due to fire, the vast majority in their homes. It is well known that upholstered furniture is the major fire hazard. As a result, they contribute to a large share of the fatalities in house fires. In the UK and Ireland, flame retardants are used to reduce their flammability and there are safe substances on the market. Therefore the EU should consider a harmonised standard for the flammability of upholstered furniture.

Take home message

Continental EU fire fatality rates are nearly double those of the UK and Ireland, where fire safety standards are higher Flame retardants are typically employed in foam and fabrics to reduce the flammability of furniture and safe formulations are widely available Harmonised flammability standards for upholstered furniture in the EU will greatly reduce the number of people killed.

The general product safety directive provides an EU-wide “safety net” for non-food consumer products. Today there is a proposal to revise the directive and strengthen it by making it into a regulation. This presentation will explore the revision as an opportunity to address flammability hazards of products including furnishings and home appliances, and highlight why this could be an important step forward for fire safety at EU level.

Take home message

The proliferation of consumer goods in our homes has made the issue of fire safety of everyday products more important than ever New GPSR offers opportunity to include a reference to flammability hazards to remind manufacturers and market surveillance authorities of the importance of ensuring the fire safety of products Including such a reference will ensure products placed on the EU market comply with fire safety standards and do not contribute to the risk of fire.