International Fire Safety Consortium Partnership
The Underwriters Laboratories partnership program with the International Fire Safety Consortium (IFSC) and the University of Maryland (UMD) seeks worldwide impact through basic and applied research addressing fundamental challenges related to fire science and fire protection engineering to help make communities safer. The partnership also seeks to help advance the fire safety profession through education and training to address critical societal problems.
Fires result in hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, with financial losses estimated between 1-2% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a total of approximately $76 billion USD worldwide*. Due to pivotal trends in global urbanization, social inequality, climate change, and human migration, the need to address fire safety as a humanitarian issue has grown increasingly urgent. As a result of these trends, combined with substantial worldwide growth of wildland urban interface (WUI), fire-related damage to structures and other economic losses are worsening and predicted to increase, as they have recently in the western United States.
The large scale of these problems and the increasing societal costs require greater coordinated expertise, public partnerships and concerted multidisciplinary research worldwide. The IFSC global initiative aims to fill this need by bringing together research expertise from across the globe to take on these urgent fire safety challenges.
The IFSC engages in research, education, training and collaboration with industry, non-profit organizations and governments worldwide to tackle the most urgent and emerging fire safety issues and help save lives. As the IFSC’s first non-profit organization partner, Underwriters Laboratories’ Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) collaborates with IFSC members on fire safety education, research and knowledge exchange. The partnership program is coordinated through the University of Maryland, a founding member of the IFSC.
"The basic motivation for the IFSC is the realization that fire problems are becoming more challenging and evolving even faster than the pace at which we are producing new knowledge and new technical expertise,” said University of Maryland Professor Arnaud Trouvé. “The IFSC is an attempt to coordinate efforts between leading institutions in fire safety education and research in order to respond to that challenge. Our goal is to increase the number of IFSC members in order to reach a critical mass for impact at the global scale. We welcome Underwriters Laboratories with its long and impressive record in fire research as a new member of the IFSC network."
The IFSC brings expertise on a wide range of fire safety topics, including:
- Fire Hazards (Wildland Fires, Wildland Urban Interface, Urban Fire Risks)
- Fire Dynamics (Combustion and Flame Spread, Pyrolysis, Compartment Fire Dynamics / CFD, Material Performance)
- Risk Assessment (Capability Assessment, Scenario Development, e.g.Fire Dynamics (Combustion and Flame Spread, Pyrolysis, Compartment Fire Dynamics / CFD, Material Performance)
- Cascading and Crowding, Fire Statistics, Vulnerability, Reliability)
- Resilience and Sustainability (Environmental Impact of Fire, Affordable and Fire Safe Housing, Fire Safety in At-Risk Communities, e.g. Informal Settlements, Critical Infrastructure Assessment)
- Fire Safety Engineering (Performance Based Design, Structural Fire Engineering, Building Systems, Suppression)
- Human Behavior (Intelligent Egress, Arson)
- Fire Fighting Activities (First Responders, Detection and Response, Suppression)
- Social Aspects (Compliance, Regulations, Safety Inequality, Professionalism and Competency