inside bar contact bar links bar link
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008


GCOE seminar on "Profession of Fire Protection Engineers and Risk Management"

Date: April 20, 2012 (16:00-18:00)
Venue: Seminar room / C2-213, Kyoto University at Katsura, Japan

Organized by:
Kyoto University GCOE program "Global Center for Education and Research on Human Security Engineering for Asian Megacities"

Co-organized by:
the Japan Society of Fire Protection Engineers (JAFPE)

Number of attendants: 19

Report 206


An invited lecture was conducted by a professional engineer, who works intensively at the end-cutting scenes for fire protection and risk management for industrial facilities.
Discussions will be made on the roles of professional engineers on fire safety and risk management. It was also planned to be a good chance to know the trends in global standards of technical environment where the speaker works, and recognize the difference between domestic environments.


The invited lecturer, Dr. Kozo Maki, works for a consulting firm for fire protection and risk management of industrial facilities. His field of work spreads over United States and corresponding facilities in Japan, where technical standards and design system are principally based on US system. He has licenses of PEFPE (Professional Engineer on Fire Protection) and approved fire engineer of NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).
As an introduction, the work of fire protection engineers was explained. It was pointed out that the technical contents of fire protection are greatly different from that in United States. Traditionally, US system put emphasis on sprinkler system because the sprinkler system is trustable as the probability of operation and probability of suppress fires are very high. At the same time, sprinker system is firmly bounded with loss insurance system. The fire accidents in US are reported to insurance company and good statistics are continuously maintained. Reflecting the lessons from fire accidents, manufacturer is easy to improve their products. Users are easy to use and maintain the system properly. In this way, the technology and common sense of usage spreads into the society.
Then the role of fire protection engineers is introduced. In the industrial facilities, fire protection of facilities is put under the risk management system. Fire protection engineer works for risk manager in order to reduce the fire risk to a satisfactory small level in a cost-effective way. Insurance companies support this system by reducing the fees for insurance contract and so on. In doing so, many types of sprinkler system has been developed and tested for use in various types of facilities.
In contrast, he pointed out the exclusiveness of the technical environment. In US and most of the developed countries, so-called global standards are well recognized and adopted. However, in Japanese technical environment, regulation by central government is still distinct to close the market from global competence. As a result, technical contents of Japanese system tend to be separated from the global standards.
Another point of discussion was on the willingness of risk management of enterprises. In US and European countries, the enterprise is akin to manage fire risk by cost effective ways. However, not a small number of domestic enterprises are passive to risk management. The way to make risk clear to public and to provide risk reduction system in industrial side would be necessary for the developments in the future. Finally, discussion was made on possible way to make our technology update and relevant with global standard.

Group photo of participants