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President's report - July, 2022

Posted on : Friday, 29 July 2022

Dear members,

 

Fire protection plays an essential role ensuring the safety of the community, but it often goes unsung. 

 

When it is done well, nobody notices. When it fails, everybody does. 

 

Yet, because of our industry, the public can live, work, and play without giving the slightest thought to the potential risks of fire and the active and passive systems and practices designed to mitigate them. 

 

This doesn't mean the risks aren't there. 

 

In a sobering reminder, last weekend three people died in a house fire in the south-western Sydney suburb of Hinchinbrook. 

 

Two women in their 40s and 60s, and a 10-year-old boy, when a smoke alarm apparently failed to work. 

 

Five other people, including two firefighters, were hospitalised. 

 

The tragedy has once again alerted to the dangers people face in homes, businesses, and places of leisure, and how a lack of attention to maintaining fire safety can have disastrous ramifications. 

 

While the source of the fire is still being investigated, the fact that it is one of 500 house fires in NSW - causing thirteen deaths - so far this winter, should be a cause for concern. 

 

Owners and occupants of commercial and industrial buildings, while more protected by fire systems, should not be complacent either, as fire protection is negligible if systems are not maintained. 

 

But, for the average person, knowledge and awareness about fire safety is rather limited. 

 

Their understanding of what the fire protection industry does is even less. 

 

So, to raise the profile of the industry and its contributions to community safety, this September FPA Australia is holding the inaugural National Fire Protection Month. 

 

To be launched by our Patron, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of Australia, and recognising the anniversary of 1666's Great Fire of London, we aim to make the month an annual event and an important ongoing reminder about safety. 

 

Over 30 days, we will be running a series of seminars, webinars, and demonstrations across the country to highlight the role that our industry plays and examine topics of broader interest related to fire protection. 

 

The program is currently being finalised, and we'll release it in mid-August, but there is sure to be something of interest for everyone. 

 

Through this program, we hope to reach out to the community, explain what we do, and emphasise the importance of safety, rather than compliance. 

 

In coming weeks, keep your eyes open for further announcements about the events, stories, and information that will be released during National Fire Protection Month. 

 

We are excited about this new initiative, and I hope to see many of you at some of our events. 

 

Until then, kind regards,

 

Bob Grieve
President