Urgent Need For Harmonized European Fire Statistics & The ‘FIRESTAT’ White Elephant !

2023-08-21:  In an earlier Post here, dated 2022-12-19, I presented a Road Map for Sustainable Fire Engineering (#SFE) … which finished on an Urgent Call to Action targeting three specific, fundamental aspects of a Creative Fire Engineering which is capable of answering the challenges of our Complex Built Environment in the 21st Century … under severe threats from Global Climate Disruption, Climate Synergies leading to near-term Climate Tipping Points … and a startling lack of Global Resilience, refer to the CoVID-19 Pandemic, and Supply Chain Chaos initiated by an old-fashioned Cold War I Warrior in Washington’s White House.

      1. Mainstreaming a Transformed Fire Engineering
      2. Ethical Practice of Fire Research and Science
      3. Reliability of Fire Statistics …
Colour Image showing the #SFE Road Map’s Conclusion, Page 31 in a series of 36, from the updated (June 2022) Presentation on Sustainable Fire Engineering ~ its essential and critical role in realizing a Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Built Environment For ALL.  Click to enlarge.


From Any Point Of View … the Final Report of ‘EU FIRESTAT’, a project financed by the European Parliament and commissioned by European Commission Directorate-General DG GROW, is a white elephant … a plodding hippopotamus … a retrograde step … a bitter disappointment !!!  Completed in July 2022, it comes nowhere near outlining a viable system for the development of urgently needed Harmonized European Fire Statistics … which must be managed and co-ordinated by #Eurostat, in Luxembourg.

The #FIRESTAT Objectives were extremely limited …

‘ The review proceeds from the assumption that fire incident data can serve a number of important purposes – helping to reduce fires and losses, identifying opportunities for safety interventions and education programs, guiding the allocation of public resources to areas of greatest need and impact, and monitoring progress of safety initiatives.’

Nowhere, in this Report, is there any reference to Sustainable Human and Social Development.  Where there are references to ‘sustainability’, these are specifically concerning the long-term financial resourcing of statistical systems.

And nowhere is there even the faintest understanding that Fire Engineering has an essential and critical role in the realization of a Safe, Resilient & Sustainable Built Environment For ALLFire Engineering Performance Indicators, Targets and Benchmarks must be developed to facilitate that realization ; and Reliable Fire Statistics are their starting point and basic ingredient.

[ The European Standards Organization (#CEN) has a Webpage dedicated to its part in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (#SDG’s) at … ]

The Report’s Executive Summary (in English, French, and German) covers the limited range of the Project pretty well … and it is almost easy to read.  The ‘great and the good’ of Conventional Fire Engineering, both organizations and individuals, were involved in this Project …


Colour Image showing the cover of the EU Project ‘FIRESTAT’ Final Report, completed in July 2022, with the full title of the Project: ‘EU FIRESTAT – Closing Data Gaps & Paving The Way For Pan-European Fire Safety Efforts’ in the middle of the Page ; the European Commission Logo at the top of the Page ; and against a background of an EU Flag in the lower half of the Page, the list of 9 International Fire Safety Organizations in the Consortium which carried out the Project.  Click to enlarge.

EU ‘FIRESTAT’ – Closing Data Gaps & Paving The Way For Pan-European Fire Safety Efforts

(Download PDF File, 128 Pages, 2.56 MB)


The Final Report’s Boxed Recommendation 3, on Page 8, lists 8 Variables / Statistics to be collected as a Tier 1 / 1st Priority across Europe, from Ireland all the way down to Türkiye :

  •  Number of Fatalities ;
  •  Number of Injuries ;
  •  Age of Fatalities ;
  •  Primary Causal Factor ;
  •  Type of Building ;
  •  Incident Location ;
  •  Incident Date ;
  •  Incident Time.

So, for instance … the only Fire Statistic related to the Human Condition of Fatalities and Injured which would have been gathered after the 2017 Grenfell Tower Fire in #London was … Age of Fatalities … which, in the context of what actually happened on that tragic night and knowing the very large numbers of People with Activity Limitations (2001 WHO ICF) and other Vulnerable Building Users who died, or were injured, in the fire … is a very serious error, and entirely ridiculous !!??!!   FUBAR !!

Essential Variable / Statistic Correction: Age, Gender and Vulnerability of Victims (whether Fatality or Injured).  This is critical information and, whatever the resource implications, must be collected.

And if that wasn’t bad enough … this cack-handed approach to the development of Harmonized European Fire Statistics opens up the probability of another Morán with a computer, after a similar fire incident, again showing that a similar High-Rise Residential Tower could be evacuated down a single, narrow, badly designed staircase in 7 minutes.  Say no more !!!


J’Accuse / I Accuse the International Fire Engineering Community of being intentionally and maliciously Deaf, Dumb and Blind to the desperate Fire Safety Needs of People with Activity Limitations, including People with Disabilities, and other Vulnerable Building Users !


Concerning Incident Date … the Consortium appears to be completely unaware that the European Standard Short Format Date is … Year-Month-Day (YYYY-MM-DD) !!   See 4.2.2. in the Final Report.  Sloppy, Sloppy, Sloppy.

Generally concerning Tier 1 Statistics … where is there any serious consideration of the deep and substantial Green / Environmental / Climate Disruption Mitigation and Adaptation Measures being imposed on the Design and Operation of New and Existing Buildings … which are already causing serious fire safety problems ???   See many previous Posts on this Technical Blog.


Colour Image showing #IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report Figure 5a: ‘Limiting warming to 1.5 C and 2 C involves rapid, deep and in most cases immediate greenhouse gas emission reductions’ … from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report.  Current emission reduction policies will result in global warming of approximately 3.2 C, which is far off target.  Click to enlarge.


The Final Report’s Boxed Recommendation 3, on Pages 8 & 9, goes on to list 6 Extra Variables / Statistics to be collected as a Tier 2 / 2nd Priority across Europe, from Portugal all the way up to Finland :

  •  Number of Floors ;
  •  Area of Origin ;
  •  Heat Source ;
  •  Item First Ignited ;
  •  Articles Contributing to Fire Development ;
  •  Fire Safety Measures Present.

Concerning Fire Safety Measures Present … my patience is at an end !  I am heartily sick and tired of pointing out that there is no such thing as a ‘Fire Door’ ; it does not exist !!   It is ALWAYS a Fire Resisting Doorset !!!   See 4.4.3.


This EU ‘FIRESTAT’ Report properly belongs to the Twilight Zone of the last Century … and in today’s Recycling Bin !


And Even More Worrying …


Concerted Resistance to answering the Fire Safety Needs of Vulnerable Building Users ;

The mistaken view that ‘Sustainability’ is merely a graft-on / optional extra to Conventional Fire Engineering ;

Constraining Building Fire Safety Performance within the boundaries of Current Fire Codes ;


Is the EU ‘FIRESTAT’ Final Report another disturbing sign of the growing Trend towards #GREENWASHING in International Fire Engineering ?




#Twitter … @sfe2016dublin …

#RoadMap #SustainableFireEngineering #Reality #Reliability #Redundancy #Resilience #SustainableDevelopment #SDG #SustainableBuildings #GrenfellTowerFire #ClimateDisruption #ClimateSynergies #ClimateTippingPoints #Cities #FireCodes #Architecture #FireEngineering #SpatialPlanning #DesignTools #BIM #BeyondCodes #Ethics #CodeOfEthics #EthicalDesign #DefenceInDepth #FireSafety4ALL #VulnerableBuildingUsers #Firefighters #FFsafety #Creativity #Sustainability #SIA #SustainabilityImpactAssessment #SocialTransformation #SocialWellbeing4ALL #FireStatistics #PerformanceIndicators #Benchmarking #PerformanceTargeting #FireResearch #Green #Environmental #GreenWashing #ClimateAdaptation #GHG

Harmonized Indicators of Building GHG & Energy Performance

[ BER Certificates (VII) : UNFCCC COP-15 : CIB W108 – Climate Change and the Built Environment ]

2009-12-18:  Even before the gatherings of UNFCCC COP-15 & Kyoto Protocol MOP-5 began … some remarkably positive progress on difficult technical issues had already been made at international level.  Hot off the presses … comes an important document from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Sustainable Buildings & Construction Initiative (SBCI): ‘Common Carbon Metric’ (December 2009), which was specifically prepared for presentation at Copenhagen.

Leading experts from around the world have developed a standardized method of measuring a building’s carbon footprint … allowing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings anywhere in the world to be consistently assessed and compared.  In the case of existing buildings, improvements can also be measured.

This harmonized method for MRV (Measurable, Reportable & Verifiable) GHG Emissions and Energy Use provides the basis for establishing baselines, performance benchmarking, and monitoring building performance improvements.  These activities are, in turn, fundamental in informing international mechanisms for carbon trading, policy development and analysis, and progress reporting on the mitigation of GHG Emissions from buildings.  Policy and decision makers can produce reports from the data collected through these Metrics/Indicators for jurisdictions, regions, large building stock owners, cities or at a national level to form baselines that can be used to set targets and show improvements in carbon mitigation throughout the building sector.

I am pleased to say that Monsieur Jean-Luc Salagnac (CSTB France), Co-Ordinator of CIB Working Commission 108 : Climate Change and the Built Environment, was directly involved in its development …

Colour image showing the cover page of the UNEP-SBCI 'Common Carbon Metric', recently published in December 2009.  Click to enlarge.
Colour image showing the cover page of the UNEP-SBCI ‘Common Carbon Metric’, recently published in December 2009. Click to enlarge.

 UNEP-SBCI ‘Common Carbon Metric’ (December 2009)  for measuring, reporting and verifying (mrv) greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of buildings in use.

Click the Link above to read/download PDF File (1.97 MB)


Recommendations on Implementing the New Harmonized Approach

All research, design and teaching disciplines involved in the European Building Sector … extending right across to any person who works on a construction site or has any part to play in managing, maintaining, servicing or operating a building … should familiarize himself/herself/themselves with the contents of this document.

As soon as practicable … calculation methods, computer software packages, reports, BER Certificates, etc … and working practices generally … should all be revised and updated to take account of this newly harmonized approach.

Whatever the outcome from Copenhagen in December 2009 … in terms of the presentation of priorities … these should now be switched around … with a strong first emphasis being placed on ‘GHG Emissions’ from Buildings … followed by, and secondly, ‘Energy Consumption’ resulting from the Use/Occupation of Buildings.

What is Measured in the UNEP-SBCI ‘Common Carbon Metric’ ?

While all stages of a building’s life cycle produce GHG Emissions, building use accounts for 80-90% of these emissions … resulting from energy consumed mainly for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and electric/electronic appliances.  This, therefore, is the stage of the building’s life cycle that is the focus of the ‘Common Carbon Metric’.

The following Metrics/Indicators shall be used to compile consistent and comparable data:

1.  Energy Intensity = kWh/m2/year (kilo Watt hours per square metre per year)

Scope: Emissions associated with building energy end-use defined in Appendix 1 are included; purchased electricity, purchased ‘coolth'(opposite of warmth)/steam/heat, and/or on-site generated power used to support the building operations.  If available, emissions associated with fugitives and refrigerants used in building operations should be reported separately.

If available, occupancy data should be correlated with the building area to allow Energy Intensity per occupant (o) to be calculated = kWh/o/year.

GHG Emissions are calculated by multiplying the above Energy Intensity times the official GHG emission coefficients, for the year of reporting, for each fuel source used (see Appendix 3).

2.  Carbon Intensity = kgCO2e/m2/year or kgCO2e/o/year (kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per square metre or per occupant per year)

Note: GHG conversion factors for each fuel type shall be the same as those used under national reporting for flexible mechanisms for the Kyoto Protocol for the six GHG Gases (see Appendix 4).

Why Buildings ?

The environmental footprint of the Building Sector includes: 40% of energy use, 30% raw materials use, 25% of solid waste, 25% water use, and 12% of land use.  While this new document focuses on the scope of emissions related to energy use of building operations (see Appendix 1), future metrics are required to address these other impacts in addition to social and financial impacts.  At this time the UN’s top priority is climate change … and the building sector is responsible for more than one third of Global GHG Emissions and is, in most countries, the largest emissions source.  While 80-90% of the energy used by the building is consumed during the use (or operational) stage of a building’s life cycle (for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, appliances, etc.), the other 10-20% (figure varies according to the life of the building), is consumed during extraction and processing of raw materials, manufacturing of products, construction and de-construction.  Furthermore, significant energy is used in transporting occupants, goods and services to and from the building.

The UNEP-WMO Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report estimated that building-related GHG Emissions reached 8.6 billion metric tons (t) CO2equivalent (e) in 2004, and could nearly double by 2030, reaching 15.6 billion tCO2e under their high-growth scenario.  The report further concluded that the building sector has the largest potential for reducing GHG Emissions and is relatively independent of the price of carbon reduction (cost per tCO2e) applied.  With proven and commercially available technologies, the energy consumption in both new and existing buildings can be cut by an estimated 30-50% without significantly increasing investment costs.  Energy savings can be achieved through a range of measures including smart design, improved insulation, low-energy appliances, high efficiency ventilation and heating/cooling systems, and conservation behaviour by building occupants.




Enhanced by Zemanta