Challenges like climate change, an increasing world population, the depletion of resources, etc., push people and society to strive for a more sustainable way of living. To reach environmental, social and economic sustainability, improving our building stock is crucial. Increasing buildings’ sustainability often implies using greener technologies, construction materials and systems. These innovative solutions can substantially contribute to greening our buildings. Yet, introducing new variables can significantly impact the fire performance of buildings, and building fires can negatively affect the environment, society and economy. That’s why it is essential to consider a building’s fire safety and its fire resilience to boost its sustainability, elements that are often forgotten so far.
To Fire Safe Europe (FSEU), national and European authorities should acknowledge that fire safety and sustainability reinforce one another by making sure that fire safety and fire resilience are considered in the relevant policies and regulations.
At the EU level, the European Green Deal and the revision of key directives on renovation and energy-efficiency present a unique opportunity to take a holistic approach to sustainability by building safety in and making our buildings fit for the future by integrating fire resilience. Fire safety is an essential concern for the European Union in order to ensure the safety of its citizens and the sustainability of its built environment. Structurally integrating fire safety into the EU's sustainability policies and indicators will help ensure that adequate resources are allocated to fire safety and that the EU is able to respond effectively to potential fire-related hazards. Integrating fire safety into the EU's sustainability policies and indicators will also help ensure that fire safety is taken into consideration during the planning of new infrastructure projects and that existing infrastructure is kept in a state of good repair. This will help reduce the risk of fire-related disasters and help ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to protect people and property.
Given these challenges, it is clear that fire safety considerations need to be properly included in all life stages of a building in order to support, facilitate and accelerate European goals on the sustainability of the built environment. For this reason, Fire Safe Europe carries out projects and initiatives with the aim of quantifying the impact of fire safety on environmental, economic, and social sustainability and propose concrete solutions to better link the concepts in European policies and indicators.