Theresa Griffin MEP: Fire in Bolton highlights the need for effective fire safety legislation

The 18th – 21st November marks EU Fire Safety Week, a collaboration between the European Fire Safety Alliance, the EU Fire Officers’ Association, the Modern Building Alliance and hosted by Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP for the North West of England. The first day saw the launch of a new photography exhibition celebrating survivors of fires and their amazing journeys. The exhibition is entitled Marks of Pride and Beauty and is available at [https://www.fotostudioxl.nl/marks-of-pride-and-beauty].

The first fire safety award went to Frederiksborg Fire & Rescue Service of Denmark’s project ‘Firefighers Plus’, which offers high-quality training and support to firefighters across the world on how to use their position as role models to promote fire safety and prevention among the most vulnerable groups. The trophy was awarded to the service by Theresa Griffin MEP. (See Note 1 and attached images)

The second day saw speeches and presentations on improving the fire safety of buildings and improving the education given about fire safety. After the events of the weekend involving a student building in Bolton, The Cube, this is more necessary than ever.

The third day will see discussions on electrical safety & energy transition measures, along with expert guidance on improving safety standards and education internationally. The fourth and final day is primarily concerned with furniture fire safety and dealing with the spread of smoke in residential buildings.

North West of England MEP, Theresa Griffin, said: 

“After the loss of 72 lives at Grenfell Tower in 2017, I knew we had to take action to prevent this sort of tragedy ever happening again. That’s why during the passage of the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive last year, I inserted clauses requiring all new buildings to have adequate fire safety measures.”

“In the face of the events in Bolton on the 16th, where a block of students flats called ‘The Cube’ had to be evacuated and hundreds of students had to be accounted for, it is clear that EU Fire Safety Week is more necessary than ever.”

“It is appalling that even two and a half years after Grenfell, the UK government has left 80% of noted buildings still covered in the same type of cladding. Although people were injured in Bolton, we were lucky that there were no fatalities, but it is clear that the lessons of Grenfell have not been learned. In the European Parliament, Labour MEPs will continue to fight for fire safety regulations on the use of combustible materials, effective means of warning and escape, and sprinkler systems as standard.”


Notes for Editors

Note 1 – More information on the winning proposal:

https://www.europeanfiresafetyalliance.org/news/press-release-firefighters-plus-from-denmark-winner-of-the-first-european-fire-safety-award/

Note 2 – Theresa has previously spoken on fire safety. See here:

http://www.modernbuildingalliance.eu/our-roundtable-in-the-european-parliament-november-2018