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CFPA-I Statement on Grenfell Tower Fire in London

The Confederation of Fire Associations-International (CFPA-I) extends its deepest sympathies to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and expresses high praise for the emergency services who are working extremely hard and tirelessly to manage this terrible situation.

This is a devastating fire. As details emerge, we understand there was a refurbishment including exterior cladding and a communal heating system.  We are hopeful that the pending investigation will reveal all of the factors that led to this tragic and avoidable loss of life.

The quick fire spread seen in the Grenfell Tower fire is eerily similar to that seen in other similar high-rise fires that have occurred throughout the world, including Australia and the United Arab Emirates.  Although the details of the construction of the building are not yet known, reports have indicated that a composite metal cladding with foam insulation was used in the recent refurbishment.  It is not known at this time whether the external cladding had been tested and approved in accordance with the most current fire safety standards.

CFPA-I remains deeply concerned that there are many high-rise buildings around the world that have flammable materials installed with the potential for external fire spread.

It is the view of CFPA-I that building regulations and associated guidance in many locations have not always included safeguards to prevent the use of materials and methods that have poor fire performance capabilities. Even in the absence of strong governmental oversight, architects, engineers, contractors and building owners must embrace fire protection as a fundamental, essential consideration.  This includes the proper balance of active and passive fire protection measures, and the on-going inspection, testing and maintenance of all fire and life safety systems.

Many insulating materials are available for use in building construction and their fire performance characteristics can range from being non-combustible to very flammable – it is a matter of choice, and clearly some choices are safer than others.

While we must wait for a full investigation into the cause of the fire and the reasons for such rapid fire spread in this tragic incident, CFPA-I and its member organisations will continue to campaign for improvements in fire safety legislation and in ensuring the safety of the public and our built environment.

This includes:

  • Appropriate alarms, training and evacuation procedures
  • Smoke detection and alarm systems in all residential buildings
  • Controls on the use of flammable façades
  • Proper design, installation and maintenance of fire doors
  • Proper design, installation and maintenance of fire and smoke barriers and the protection of structural components
  • Fire sprinkler protection for all residential and high risk buildings
  • Regular updates of building regulations
  • Initiatives to ensure full compliance with fire and life safety regulations
  •  Robust programs for the inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection systems

For further information, contact:

Hatem Kheir, Chairman: Mail

Steven Ooi, former Chairman:  Mail

NFPA President reflects on Grenfell Tower, and the global fire problem

By CFPA-I|June 26th, 2017

NFPA President Jim Pauley recently shared his thoughts on the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and the implications of the recent surge in significant fire events.  Mr. Pauley reflects on the continued need to support up to date codes, competent enforcement, professional education, and public awareness in combating today’s fire danger.  His blog echoes many of the sentiments expressed by the CFPA-I Board in their recently issued statement, and exemplifies the unity and solidarity of the global fire protection community in facing down this threat.

CFPA-I mentioned in AP story concerning Grenfell Tower

By CFPA-I|June 27th, 2017

The Associated Press have cited the recent CFPA-I statement in a June 27th article on the global fire safety problems underscored by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.  The article states, “The Confederation of Fire Protection Associations International issued a broad warning after the Grenfell Tower fire that says those who design and build structures should embrace fire protection as a fundamental consideration in their work, even in the absence of strong governmental oversight. The group includes fire-safety officials from 28 countries, including China, India and South Africa, as well as the U.S. and most European nations.”  The article goes on to quote CFPA-I Board Member, Don Bliss, who previously warned of the dangers posed by the cladding blamed for the spread of fire at Grenfell.  You can read the rest of the article here.         

Know Your Enemy: Data Analytics in the Fire Service

By CFPA-I|June 26th, 2017

Nathaniel Lin, Chief Data Scientist in NFPA’s nascent Data and Analytics Department, recently joined Vishal Kumar of the Future of Data podcast to discuss his ongoing research.  Watch the podcast here to learn more about Dr. Lin, and the tools he is building to help the first responder and enforcement communities the world over. See article



CFPA-I Granted Roster Consultive Status to ECOSOC NGO Branch

By CFPA-I|March 29th, 2014

July 2010:Confederation of Fire Protection Association International (CFPA-I) Granted Roster Consultative Status to United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) NGO Branch.

At the ECOSOC Substantive Session, July 2010, the group adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to grant Roster Consultative Status to CFPA-I. The consultative status is governed by the United Nations Charter and related resolutions of ECOSOC and allows CFPA-I to actively engage with the ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies as well as the United Nations Secretariat, programs and agencies.

CFPA-I Chair Benoit Clair expressed his appreciate for the work of the Executive Committee and Administrator offering, “thanks to their hard work and determination, we will be able to work with other nations to promote fire safety worldwide. We look forward to being a resource to the United Nations and provide information to this new network of organizations.”

The Confederation of Fire Protection Associations-International (CFPA-I), is a body of 25 leading fire protection organizations from around the world that have joined forces to collectively direct their resources at reducing the global fire problem and increasing life safety. By sharing experience, research, technical know-how, and fire statistics, the group aims to maximize the effectiveness of fire prevention and protection and foster improved international fire safety codes and standards. The CFPA-I members exchange information through the website and the dedicated on-line site for members only. In addition, many members meet regularly on a regional basis. The CFPA-I General Assembly meets every three (3) years at which time many of the more challenging global fire problems are debated. These sessions provide an opportunity to share advanced research and developments that have taken place in specific problem areas. Significant advances have been made in recent years in fire safety and the CFPA-I have provided an exceptional forum to disseminate this knowledge.