New research reveals that supply chains in Europe have the highest level of factory fire risk in the world, reports

The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange discovered that 13.5 per cent of supply chains on the continent are failing to comply with basic fire safety measures. The figure is much lower in less developed nations, with Africa boasting a noncompliance rate of 6.6 per cent.

Supply chains in North America fair slightly better than those in Europe with 11 per cent noncompliance, while South America placed just in front with 11.8 per cent.

Factories in Romania were found to be at the greatest risk of perishing with 33.2 per cent of all health and safety concerns relating to fires. The figures show Portugal, the US, the Czech Republic and Italy following closely behind.

The report was compiled by a group of independent auditors, who were keen to highlight the lack of exit signs, emergency lighting, blocked aisles and poor firefighter equipment in factories across Europe.

Suppliers may well be encouraged to take out fire risk assessments after being criticised in the report, especially after the Supplier Data Exchange told companies to be wary about the businesses they form partnerships with.

“Investors need to understand that such risks and hazards do not take place only in developing countries,” commented Mark Robertson, a spokesman at Sedex, a non-profit organisation which focuses on ethical business practices in global supply chains.

“They must take a proactive stance and engage with companies in all areas,” he told