UL convened the 7th South Asia Fire Safety Council meetings in Delhi on October 8th and 9th. Inaugurating the Council meetings was Dr. Sudhir Krishna, Chairman, BIS Expert Committee on Standards for Smart Cities & Former Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. In his address, Dr. Krishna underlined the need for Smart Cities that are safe and sustainable.
The Council represents the apex thinkers and doers in India in the area of fire safety comprising fire brigades, insurance, user groups, academia, regulatory bodies and others. Key international speakers included Mr. Simon Lay, Fellow – Center for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, USA, Mr. Derek Alkonis, Battalion Chief – LA County Lt. Col. Member, Advisory Board, Mr. William Galloway, Former Asset. State Fire Marshall, South Carolina and Mr. Chao Kang, President, Taiwan Fire Protection Safety Center Res Foundation
The topics discussed were of significant interest in India and the region; the key questions asked being the following:
- What can we be learning from the recent fire incidents in India, especially the ones in Mumbai?
- Given the fast pace of urbanization, how should the authorities be planning for a ‘ready’ fire service?
- Road transport is extensively used for movement of fuel / chemicals extensively. Road accidents involving such vehicles can be very dangerous. What are the practices today and what improvements are needed?
On the second day, the Council members met in two separate tracks to discuss built environment and industrial fires separately.
The 7th UL South Asia Fire Safety Council Meetings also saw the introduction of a poster display section. This year, the posters presented covered the research projects carried out at IIT Gandhinagar who is an academia partner of UL in India.
The summary recommendations from the Council meetings will be formalized and shared with governmental authorities and others in the form of a white paper.