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

Real-Time Data Portal for U.N. Sustainable Development Goals ~ Key To Effective Implementation !

2020-07-23:  Time is fast running out.  You have to ask yourself: “Do I feel lucky ?  Am I a GreenWasher – do I enjoy playing with numbers, relaxing with estimates having tenuous links to reality, cheating the ‘system’ (just like Germany’s Dieselgate), or convincing myself (and everybody else) that progress is being made when the evidence clearly shows that things are getting worse … “or an Implementor ??” – establishing meaningful Benchmarks, setting (and iteratively re-setting) ambitious Performance Targets using reliable, up-to-date data and statistics, then closely monitoring Positive Progress, and reporting Real Verifiable Results …


Are you a GreenWasher … or an Implementor ????


In 2015 … 193 World Leaders, representing all of the United Nations’ Member States, adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) … placing our world, i.e. its people, environment and limited resources, on a path towards a more sustainable future … more specifically, aiming to ‘free humanity from poverty, secure a healthy planet for future generations, and build peaceful, inclusive societies as a foundation for ensuring lives of dignity for all’.

To properly track the implementation of these consensus goals … reliable, quality, and timely data is vital.  Yet, five years later too much of the data is still out-of-date or unavailable, and too many people are being left behind in the numbers.  Half of the data used to measure the SDG Target Performance Indicators are missing.  Two-thirds of poverty data from Sub-Saharan Africa and global deforestation figures are five years out-of-date.  Only 100 countries in the world have nationally-representative data on violence against women, and more than 25 million refugees around the world go uncounted in national statistics.


Colour image showing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (#SDG’s) unanimously adopted in U.N. Resolution A/RES/70/1: Transforming Our World – 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015.  Click image to enlarge.


With only 10 years left to achieve the SDG Targets, there is a critical need NOW for a Data Platform which makes quality and timely data for the SDG’s Accessible to All, improves knowledge of geospatial tools and Geographic Information Systems (#GIS), and builds capacity to use these tools to support global policy and decision making …

SDG’s Today: Global Portal for Real-Time Data

In partnership with the Environmental Systems Research Institute (#ESRI) and National Geographic … SDG’s Today: Global Portal for Real-Time Data … is a platform developed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (#SDSN).  This one-of-a-kind open access data platform has the potential to revolutionize how we understand and communicate the urgency of the SDG’s and how solutions are developed, by providing a much-needed virtual space where key stakeholders from around the world can access and engage with timely data (updated annually or in more frequent intervals) on the SDG’s, and learn how to use the data effectively to push Agenda 2030 forward.  The platform also houses GIS training and education resources and supports countries and other institutions to produce, share, and engage with the data to help ensure that, together, we meet the global goals by 2030.


Using Data To Effectively Implement The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development …

2020 Research Paper: Towards Nexus-Based Governance – Defining Interactions Between Economic Activities and Sustainable Development Goals   (Download PDF File, 2.56 MB)


Using Data To Check The Status of Claimed Progress Within The European Union …

European Court of Auditors – Special Report 11 – April 2020

EU Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Greater Focus on Cost-Effectiveness Still Needed   (Download PDF File, 4.52 MB)

The Court of Auditors assessed whether EU co-funded energy efficiency investments in buildings had cost-effectively helped the EU towards meeting its 2020 energy saving target.  The Auditors concluded that operational programmes and project selection were not driven by a cost-effectiveness rationale.  While Member States required buildings to be renovated to save a minimum of energy and improve their energy rating, this sometimes happened at a high cost.  Because of a lack of comparative assessment of project merits and of minimum/maximum thresholds for cost-effectiveness, projects delivering higher energy savings or other benefits at lower cost were not prioritised.  In overly-polite language, they recommend improving the planning, selection and monitoring of investments to improve the cost-effectiveness of spending.

With all of the Hot Air and Ridiculous Hoopla about improving Energy Conservation and Efficiency in New Buildings (Green, BREEAM, PassivHaus, LEED, nZEB, etc., etc.) … by far the biggest Energy Problem is with Europe’s Existing Building Stock.  This Auditor’s Report shows that Progress in Meeting Agreed EU Targets is dismal, and there is still a cynical approach in Member States to the use of EU Funding …

Coloured Image / Graph showing distance by the EU-27 to Agreed 2020 and 2030 Targets for primary energy consumption.  Click image to enlarge.


Coloured Image / Pie Chart showing final energy consumption by EU Sector for 2017.  Click image to enlarge.


Coloured Image / Graph showing how EU Funds were used merely to substitute national funding in Ireland’s Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme.  Consequently, there was no scale-up in Energy Efficiency Projects.  Click image to enlarge.


Coloured Image / Graph showing 2018 Actual Achievements and 2023 Targets for the number of EU Households with an improved energy consumption classification.  Progress is worse than dismal !  Click image to enlarge.


Coloured Image / Graph showing 2018 Actual Achievements and 2023 Targets for the number of EU Public Buildings with decreased primary energy consumption.  Progress is abysmal !  Click image to enlarge.




#Twitter … @walshcj69 …

#Sustainability #SustainableDevelopmentGoals #SDG’s #SDGimplementation #SDGtargets #SDGperformanceIndicators #HumanRights #ResponsibleNeeds #RealTimeData #EffectiveImplementation #Governance #GreenWashing #Implementor #EU #EnergyEfficiency #EUcourtOfAuditors

French Term ‘Développement Durable’ – A Critical Error

Happy New Year (2010) !   Buona Fortuna a Tutti e Tutte !!

Time to get serious again.  Does anything about this next little anecdote sound familiar ?

The country is France … a critical error is discovered … there follows much beating of breasts, many tears are shed, apologies all over the place … but …. everyone keeps going forward, exactly as before.  No … not the infamous Thierry Henry Handball Incident.  Something different … something technical … something which continues, day after day, to add to the international confusion about the meaning of Sustainable Development, or to be more precise Sustainable Human & Social Development !


In January 2009, the French Sénat considered a Proposed Amendment to the Grenelle de l’Environnement Legislation

From the Official Record (No 631 – 22 Janvier 2009) … Article 1ER

I.   A la deuxième phrase du premier alinéa de cet article, remplacer les mots:

développement durable

par les mots:

développement soutenable

II.  En conséquence, procéder à la même substitution dans l’ensemble de ce projet de loi.

The purpose of this Amendment … Objet

Cet amendement a pour but de revenir aux sources du concept de développement soutenable telles qu’énoncées dans le Rapport Brundtland de 1987 et par le Sommet de Rio de 1992.  C’est «un modèle de développement qui satisfait aux besoins de la génération présente, a commencé par ceux des plus démunis, sans compromettre la capacité des générations suivantes à satisfaire les leurs».  Cette définition de la soutenabilité du développement s’oppose radicalement à celle de la durabilité du développement qui peut être prônée par toutes et tous, notamment les grands groupes industriels et financiers, sans que soit pour autant mise en œuvre une réelle politique de protection de l’environnement.

The Proposed Amendment was defeated.


What happened was later explained by Yann Cohignac … on the French WebSite (!!!) …

Le «développement durable» est un oxymore: un développement perpétuel ne peut en aucun cas être durable.  Il vaudrait donc mieux parler de «développement soutenable».  Cette opinion, défendue par certains sénateurs, a agité les premiers débats autour de l’examen de la Loi 1 du Grenelle de l’Environnement.  Mm Muller et Desessard, ainsi que Mmes Blandin, Boumediene-Thiery et Voynet avaient ainsi déposé un amendement pour opérer un changement sémantique dans l’ensemble du texte.

Objectif: rétablir le sens des mots.  Car, selon Jacques Muller (PS, Haut-Rhin), «notre modèle de civilisation est insoutenable au sens physique et biologique, car nous n’avons pas de planète de rechange, mais également au plan éthique.  Le développement industriel productiviste, qui n’est ni durable, ni généraliste, est la négation de la solidarité avec les générations futures et entre les habitants du village planétaire».  Et de dénoncer les entreprises qui pratiquent le greenwashing, «se contentant de spots publicitaires et de campagnes de communication mâtinés de développement durable sans rien changer à leur politique exclusivement orientée vers le profit à courts termes».

Ce qui fait dire au sénateur que «dans un monde aux ressources limitées, c’est une aberration de parler de croissance durable du PIB.  Par respect pour ceux qui aspirent simplement au développement, nous préférons parler de développement soutenable, écologiquement et éthiquement».

Trop Tard Pour Changer

Au Sénat, on a reconnu que l’expression «développement durable», tirée de l’anglais «sustainable development», était très mal traduite.  «Toutefois, l’article 6 de la Charte de l’environnement, adossé à la Constitution, fait référence au développement durable», répond Bruno Sido, rapporteur de la Commission des affaires économiques du Sénat (sans parler du ministère même du «développement durable»).

Et surtout: «les Français se sont appropriés l’expression, quelque fausse qu’elle soit.  Comme la bataille contre l’usage incorrect de l’expression “bien achalandé”, c’est une cause perdue.  Mettons plutôt notre énergie à défendre les idées qu’à changer les termes.  Avis défavorable».  Amendement refusé, donc.  La traduction impropre de l’expression sera ainsi durablement utilisée dans l’Hexagone.  Une exception culturelle française de plus.

Les Raisons de la Confusion Sémantique

En 1992 a lieu le second Sommet de la Terre, à Rio de Janeiro (Brésil).  L’expression «sustainable development» est alors concrétisée grâce au Rapport Brundtland: elle est largement médiatisée auprès du grand public, et traduite en français «développement durable».  Dans une première traduction des travaux de la Commission Mondiale sur l’Environnement et le Développement, c’est en effet le terme «développement durable» qui est retenu.  Une seconde traduction, par les Editions du Fleuve, préférera «développement soutenable», adaptation littérale de l’anglais «sustainable development».  Mais il est trop tard: l’expression est entrée dans les mœurs et déjà défendue par les tenants de la «durabilité».

Toutefois, certains relèvent régulièrement l’erreur de traduction.  De nombreuses ONG utilisent ainsi de préférence le terme de «développement soutenable» pour insister sur les dangers qui pèsent sur la biosphère face aux activités humaines.  Les adeptes de la décroissance, eux, considèrent que l’expression «développement durable» est un oxymore: les deux mots révèleraient une contradiction, puisque les ressources naturelles sont finies et non infinies.