IAFSS Workshop: Agenda 2030 for a Fire Safe World

The IAFSS will be holding a workshop on the afternoon of Tuesday, 11 September, just ahead of the ESFSS in Nancy, France.

Although great strides have been made in reducing the negative impacts of fire over the past few decades, the global impact of fire remains staggering. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates global burn deaths to 180,000 annually, the vast majority of these in low and middle-income countries. Within Europe, more than 3,500 people are killed annually. The losses in the USA are similar. In most developed countries the cost of fire damage is estimated to be at least 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the USA, alone the total cost of fire has been estimated at US$328.5 billion. Global loss due to wildand fire is presently greater than at any time in the past. SwissRe has reported that the combined insurance losses from all wildfires worldwide in 2017 were US$14 billion, the highest ever in a single year. According to Allianz, fires and explosions in the built environment accounted for 59% of 1,807 business interruption claims globally from 2010-2014, resulting in billions of US dollars in loss.

Something must be done to facilitate substantial reduction in these losses. To better characterize the problems and develop solutions, fire safety science and engineering research needs to be integrated into societally-transformative risk mitigation and resiliency initiatives. Grand societal challenges such as changing demographics (an aging and diversely able society), rapid urbanization, the need to be more sustainable, the need to slow climate change, and the need to develop more resilient communities all have fire safety implications. Yet fire safety is rarely thought of as part of the solution to these challenges.

We would like your help in raising the profile of the benefits of fire safety science and engineering research in helping to solve critical societal challenges facing the world. We therefore invite you to participate in the IAFSS Workshop, Agenda 2030 for a Fire Safe World, on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 11, to begin work on this challenge. We have prepared a short White Paper that you should read in advance of the Workshop, which provides additional detail on the challenges and objectives moving forward.

If you accept this challenge and invitation to participate, you will be tasked with helping to draft text that can be used with key research funding entities, governmental agencies, and NGOs worldwide to facilitate funding to advance a fire safe world. Participation will be limited to the first 50 registrants. Please register only if you want to actively help develop a research strategy, talking points, and potentially white papers, which will be used to facilitate the generation of directed funding towards fire safety science research to address emerging societal challenges. Your participation will not require you to sign a joint statement on research needs although this will be encouraged as one possible outcome of the Workshop.

Registration for the workshop can be done here and register for ESFSS here. The tentative workshop agenda is below.

Tentative Workshop Agenda, 13:00-17:00, Tuesday, 11 September 2018

13:00-14:00    Introductory presentations to frame the challenges

14:00-16:00    Break-out groups to work on strategies to address future challenges

16:00-17:00    Reporting, consensus development, and framing steps forward

As we get closer to the date of the Workshop, additional information will be posted, and registrants may receive additional information by email. Thank you for your interest in this important initiative, and we look forward to seeing you in Nancy in September!