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Meeting with Heikki Vannanen 2019-11-19

This week our Director Tommy Arvidsson met Policy Officer Heikki Vaananen from European Commission in Brussels

Mr Vaananen is working in Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs” and FIEP (Fire Information Exchange Platform) is nowadays under his responsibility. He has been working 15 years in EC and earlier in DG Joint Research Centre and also DG GROW. To the left is Ministerial Advisor Kirsi Rajaniemi from the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.

DITUR Belgrade 2019 1

DITUR, member of CFPA E, has organized the “DITUR Conference 2019″ in Belgrade on 30-31 October 2019

The Conference has had a great success of participation with 140 attendees. Tommy Arvidsson, the Director of CFPA Europe, has made a presentation on the work carried out by CFPA Europe and the involvement of the 23 members of the confederation.

DITUR Belgrade 2019 5

Likewise, different representatives of CFPA Europe member associations participated in the conference as Milan Hajdukovic, who is the chair of Slovenian Fire Protection Association, Leon Pajek from Promat and a Vds representative. Host for this conference is Professor Barbara Vidakovic from DITUR.

EAPFP meeting 2 (1)

CFPA Europe has been invited to the EAPFP’s meeting in Edinburgh on 7-8 November

Our director Tommy Arvidsson gave a speak about CFPA E and informed about some very successful projects within CFPA Europe. He also talk about the conditions for cooperation and its importance for the CFPA E. EAPFP is the European Association for Passive Fire Protection and the chair in Miroslav Smolka from Slovakia, left on the photo. In the middle is Ana Ferreira from APSEI. APSEI is member of both EAPFP and CFPA Europe.


Last week in Italy three firefighters have died due to an intentional explosion of gas bombs. Funds are being raised for families.

E’ con profondo dolore che il Corpo nazionale sta vivendo queste giornate di lutto per la scomparsa di Matteo GASTALDO, Marco TRICHES e Antonio CANDIDO, i tre colleghi vigili del fuoco deceduti durante l’intervento di Quargnento.
La squadra composta da cinque vigili del fuoco del comando provinciale di Alessandria era intervenuta intorno alla mezzanotte per la segnalazione di un incendio di abitazione. Giunta sul posto verificava la presenza di un cascinale composto da due edifici, quello più piccolo interessato da un’esplosione d’intensità non particolarmente importante.

Notato all’interno dello stesso un principio d’incendio e segni evidenti di effrazione a una delle finestre, la squadra penetrava rinvenendo nel locale due bombole di GPL con collegato un piccolo apparecchio, che faceva pensare a un timer. Spente le fiamme e messe in sicurezza le bombole, la squadra procedeva alla verifica del secondo corpo di fabbrica, più grande. Dopo le ore 01.00, riscontrati anche su questo dei segni di effrazione a una delle finestre, in accordo anche con i colleghi dei carabinieri, i vigili del fuoco entravano all’interno, quando venivano investiti dalla seconda e devastante esplosione, che produceva il crollo totale della struttura. La natura di questa esplosione è in corso di accertamento da parte dell’Autorità giudiziaria, con rilievi tecnici svolti dai carabinieri e dai tecnici del NIA dei vigili del fuoco.

Nell’esplosione restavano feriti gli altri due componenti della squadra, il caposquadra Giuliano DODERO e il vigile Graziano LUCA TROMBETTA, oltre al carabiniere, ricoverati il primo nell’ospedale di Alessandria e in quello di Asti gli altri due.

Sul posto si sono recati nel primo pomeriggio il ministro dell’Interno Luciana Lamorgese, insieme al Capo Dipartimento dei Vigili del fuoco Salvatore Mulas e al Capo del Corpo nazionale dei Vigili del fuoco Fabio Dattilo, che hanno poi verificato in ospedale condizioni dei tre feriti.Donazione (1)


Qatar expands VdS-acceptance

The Ministry of the Interior of Qatar has renewed and significantly expanded its demands for VdS-approved products. In addition, VdS also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Fire & Security Association. You´ll find details in the attached press release.

Cologne/Germany, November 5th, 2019. VdS-Guidelines set safety standards in numerous countries. The “Fire Prevention Department – Safety Systems Division” of the Qatar Ministry of the Interior has now not only renewed its acceptance of VdS-approved products and systems, but has also significantly expanded it. The current “Recognised Product Certification Bodies” official letter comprises for VdS two pages with accepted fire alarm, extinguishing and smoke extraction technologies.

“The demands of the authorities in Doha underline the high level of trust in the performance of our laboratory engineers as well as in the expertise of our clients, who design and construct the reliable life-saving techniques,” emphasises Gunnar Bellingen, Head of the VdS Fire Protection Laboratories. “We are very pleased that our Seal of Quality is also regarded as a particularly reliable brand for safety in Qatar, as it is in many other countries around the world”.

VdS also supports its partners in the Emirates at “Intersec Dubai”, the largest sector trade fair in the region (January 19th – 21st). Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding has just been signed with the Fire & Security Association of India (FSAI), also in Dubai, which specifies future intensive technical exchange.

Caption Qatar: The authorities of Qatar are expanding their acceptance of VdS-approved fire protection systems – which have proven in comprehensive tests that they reliably save lives (pictured a sprinkler head release).

About VdS:

VdS is one of the world’s most renowned institutions for corporate safety and security. 500 experts offer a unique range of services for fire protection, security, cyber-security and natural hazard prevention.
Services include risk assessments, testing and certification, inspections, information systems for natural hazards and an extensive training program. In addition, the independent institute sets international safety and security standards with the publication of a comprehensive set of Guidelines.
The optimal protection of our partners is based on a worldwide unique safeguarding concept whose reliability builds on more than 110 years of VdS-experience, combining all core aspects of loss prevention. Decision-makers around the world rely on VdS-approved reliability and certainty.

More information at



Participation of CFPA Europe in health and safety conference “Ambiente Lavoro” in Bologna

“CFPA Europe was invited to the health and safety conference “Ambiente Laboro” in Bologna and a special seminar with approx. 150 people was arranged on 15th October. Besides several speakers from Italy we had three CFPA E speakers who was guesting Italy. Our Director Tommy Arvidsson gave an introduction to the work that we are doing and Hardy Rusch talked about our Guidelines and John Briggs about our harmonized training courses.


CFPA E’s member organisation in Italy has just got a new Director Francesco Santi and he and Mr Guido Zaccarelli who is active in some of our Commissions gave also presentations at the seminar. Some other speakers came from different companies in Italy and several underlined the CFPA E’s Guidelines big value.”


Development of hot work safety training

One of the aims of the Finnish National Rescue Association is to develop training concepts and promote safe working methods. In Finland, hot work safety training has been provided since 1988. So far, hot work training has been completed more than 1.74 million times.

The content of hot work training has naturally evolved over time, and has emphasised slightly different things in different decades. The dangers posed by gases have been highlighted, for example, while the second year introduced a greater focus on the functionality of fire extinguishers. The main theme of training at the moment is risk assessment.

Better awareness of the risks means people are better able to prepare for them. It is worth remembering that although many aspects may feel extremely familiar, it is important to update and maintain professional skills. Hot work training is not just about gaining a licence, it is also a question of professional expertise. In an emergency, people’s minds tend to go blank so what to do needs to become automatic.

Cooperation between a number of actors and bodies

Developing hot work training is the result of longterm effort. According to statistics produced by Finance Finland (FFI), the number of major fires caused by hot work has fallen over the period in which training has been required, from just under 40% to less than 5% of all major fires.

The reduction in the number of fires caused by hot work shows that hot work training has passed on important knowledge and skills over the years. However, achieving these results has taken cooperation between many different actors.

Over the years, SPEK has worked with the Confederation of Finnish Insurance Companies (now Finance Finland), AGA, the Finnish Roofing Association, the Finnish Association of Fire Chiefs and the Finnish Construction Trade Union.

This collaboration needed expertise from the Finnish insurance industry, experience of industrial firefighting, the input of experts in rescue organisations and Nordic co-operation.

The training gained its current status under the guidance of the insurance sector, while fire safety experts in companies and institutions backed the establishment of safe hot work processes by making training compulsory for their own staff and their contractors. The teaching sector was actively involved and incorporated hot work safety training in vocational education. Organisations in the rescue sector took responsibility for training trainers, for national course management and ensuring the quality of the training.

In practice, however, the greatest thanks are due to the course leaders who have been training people new to hot work, those who grant licences and hot work guards, year after year.

We want to continue developing our training and ensure that we are able to guarantee its quality into the future. Personally, when it comes to developing the training, I think the most important aspect is listening to the needs of the workplace.

Also taking into account the different backgrounds of the trainees enables us to develop learning pathways that best serve them. In the future, we will definitely be seeing more of trends such as e-learning as part of hot work training. However, training as a whole cannot be fully carried out online as practical exercises on the ground are an important part of the learning process.

As the training changes, monitoring has to change with it.Our audits and the high standards we set for trainers are ways in which we strive to maintain high-quality training provision.

International collaboration creates opportunities

As the training changes, monitoring has to change with it. Our audits and the high standards we set for trainers are ways in which we strive to maintain high-quality training provision.
At company level, the number of fires caused by hot work has declined and health and safety associated with hot work has improved.
And most importantly, training has increased the ability of citizens to identify and combat fire risks, to act correctly in the event of an accident and to carry out fire extinguishing measures.

“We will continue to improve hot work safety – together!”

Heli Hätönen
Head of Development
The Finnish National Rescue Association, SPEK

Link to original

Moniteur prevnetion Infographie 2018 F

The situation of fire prevention in Belgium – Results of the population survey

The Belgian Ministry of the Interior and ANPI organise every two years a survey on the population’s knowledge and sensitivity to fire prevention messages.

2143 people over 25 years old in all regions, social conditions, education and housing type were interviewed between 24 September and 12 October 2018.

The items covered in particular:

– contacts with the prevention sector (firefighters, architects and insurers),
– known and applied preventive measures,
– the presence or absence and proper use of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire blankets and the implementation of an evacuation plan,
– building equipments,
– the Ministry’s prevention campaigns.

The results are available on


Project SEBRA Systems Perspective on Industrial Fire Safety – a study on fire safety organization and usability

Project SEBRA Systems Perspective on Industrial Fire Safety – a study on fire safety organization and usability

At the industrial workplace, conflicts may occur between production and fire safety solutions, sometimes to the point where fire protective routines or installations are bypassed. A common answer to such issues is to strengthen administrative barriers such as rules, safety information and training. However, in an industrial organization where resources are already strained, even more checks and routines will only run the risk of aggravating the problem at hand.

Publisher: RISE | Authors: Helene Degerman och Staffan Bram 600-161 | Year: 2019

Read report

Read summary in Swedish

Read summary in English


Fire Sectioning in the Attic Can Save a Terraced House from Total Destruction

In older terraced houses the attic can be a single open space, extending from one end of the building to the other. This means that a fire in one flat can spread to the entire building through the attic. The end result may be total destruction. The Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK) recommends that all open space attics in so far unsectioned terraced houses be sectioned with fire resistant structures.

Fires in terraced houses often progress so that the heat breaks a window through which hot fire gases and smoke break out, accumulating at first under the eaves. Then they make their way into the attic. If the attic is not sectioned with smoke proof structures, the entire attic space fills with smoke.
The fire can also break through a flat’s ceiling and spread directly into the attic. When there is enough hot smoke, the attic catches fire along its entire length.

This may be the case, particularly, in houses built before October 1990. The building code for terraced houses built after that requires sectioning of individual flats in such a manner that their adjoining walls extend all the way to the roof. Such sectioning delays the spread of fire for at least 30 minutes and the fire cannot easily spread from one flat to another through the attic. Sectioning also makes firefighting easier.
On average, approximately 300 terraced houses catch fire in Finland each year and news of totally destroyed terraced houses is not rare.
Therefore, SPEK recommends voluntary attic sectioning renovations for all such terraced houses where this has not yet been implemented.

Sectioning can be achieved after construction, for example, by installing suitable solid, flameresistant side shields on roof trusses. It is also important to tightly pack the insulation against the roofing material at the top.
When needed, soft mineral wool can be used to achieve this. Then the smoke cannot make its way around the insulating sheets to spread the fire. Sectioning, or the lack of it, can be checked by peeking into the attic. If it is possible to see both of the end walls through the building, sectioning is inadequate by modern safety standards.

– The easiest way to incorporate the change is when it is done during a roof renovation, at which time it is possible to tightly insulate even the low end spaces of the attic. At best, it is possible to section the attic at each flat’s adjoining walls, akin to new construction.
However, since this is a voluntary measure, it may not necessarily achieve the same standard as new buildings. Still, any sectioning in the attic will improve safety, hints Ilpo Leino, Head of Security, Finnish National Rescue Association.
What is the Fire Prevention Technology Development Group?

The Fire Prevention Technology Development Group is a group of experts whose shared goal is to advance safety and to develop the service and maintenance, qualityand technical prospects of fire prevention technology. The environment is constantly developing and fire prevention must stay up-to-date to meet the new challenges.

Ilpo Leino
Senior Advisor
The Finnish National Rescue Association, SPEK
Link to original