PREVENTION OF COOKING RELATED FIRES,
NEW EU STANDARD
I am writing to seek a view from the Commission on developing an EU Safety Standard for new cookers (electric and gas appliances) to make these products fire safer.
As a first step, I should perhaps explain that I am the Chair of the EU Fire Safety Network. The membership of the Network comprises one representative per Member State, the objective being to exchange knowledge and foster cooperation between nations to help improve fire safety, particularly in domestic dwellings.
The Network has previously made representations to the Commission about the number of deaths and casualties caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes, asking that consideration be given to developing an EU Safety Standard and test method for Fire Safer Cigarettes. To that end, we have been very pleased with progress on this matter, and look forward to the Reference Standard for Fire Safer Cigarettes being published in the Official Journal on 17 November 2011.
We now see cooking related fire deaths and injuries as the next major fire safety challenge. The majority of cooking fires are preventable, and tend to be as a result of cooking appliances being left unattended by the householder.
Fire statistics from Network Members States show that cooking related fires in the EU cause the greatest number of injuries, and the second highest amount of fire deaths. In my own country of Finland, in 2010 cooking fires accounted for 22% of all dwelling fires, resulting in 7% of all fire deaths, and 20% of all fire related injuries. In England in 2009710, cooking appliance fires (fat pan and grill fires) were responsible for 28 accidental dwelling fire deaths (13% of all deaths), and 2373 injuries(41%of all injuries)-
We are aware of emerging market technology -
EU Fire Safety Network 2(3) There are already a variety of products in the European market and especially in the Nordic countries. However, as a recent Norwegian study noted, different operating principles and lack of reliable data on how successful the devices are makes it difficult for consumers to choose between products and in some cases may result in false sense of safety.
At present there is no European or international standard for these fire safety devices. Nor are we aware of any national legislation requiring their use with the exception of Norway where from 1 July 2011 shut-
Kirsi Rajaniemi /
Email: kirsi.rajaniemi @intermin.fi
Phone: +358 71 878 8432
Postal Address: Ministry of the Interior. Department for Rescue Services, PO Box 26,
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