Fire Safety Concerns
Sheila Pantry, OBE
There are continuing concerns about the fire safety in workplaces, schools, the home and in the leisure industry where fires continue to cause death, injuries and thousands of pounds/dollars/euros in damages. The recent UK Annual Parliamentary seminar on European Union Fire Safety - Setting a Sensible Agenda, organised by the Fire Safety Development Group and sponsored by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety Group revealed the concerns from many angles. In the past European Union policy has been to leave fire issues to the Member States but discussion in the European Parliament and recent events are making a wider dimension to policy solutions far more significant.
Last September's terrorist assaults in the USA have affected virtually every branch of our fire safety community, most significantly the Fire Services, but also designers, insurers and manufacturers. Yet there are other cross boundary concerns to consider just as seriously such as building standards for hotels, structural safety in a range of building types, tunnel fires. The European Commission's Construction Products Directive may create part of the answer, but there is a lot of work yet to be done. This month's FOCUS article on Fire Worldwide will give you a valuable resource which will keep you up to date on fire information from around the world.
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Remind everyone to make 2002 a zero accident and incident-free year in your workplace.