It has been reported that approximately 12 persons are killed and 120 are severely injured because of fire every day in Europe. Fire has considerable impact on the environment in terms of destruction of substructures and production of toxic and/or corrosive compounds such as CO, dioxins, HCN, and polycyclic aromatic compounds. Consequently, it is necessary to limit this kind of risk by designing new materials with improved flammability properties. Nowadays, many companies (building and civil engineering, transportation, cable-making and electrotechnical material, etc.) are directly concerned with this topic.
Buildings contain increasing calorific value in the form of highly combustible polymeric materials replacing more traditional materials (wood, alloys, metals, etc.) with the aim of improving the comfort of occupants (pieces of furniture, carpets, toys, household and leisure electric components, and data processing equipment, etc.). Potential sources of fire tend to growwith the multiplication of electric and electronic devices. The increasing sophistication and miniaturization of electronics (with increasingly powerful and fast microprocessors) have as a consequence a stronger concentration of energy, leading to an increased risk of localized overheating and thus of fire.