On Demand

In a fast-paced world it can be difficult to keep up with all that can impact our fire and life safety ecosystem. From climate change to urbanization, green buildings to informal settlements—as the world changes so does the way we build and use our buildings. To help you prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, this program will provide you with information about the global trends that are impacting fire and life safety and the research being done to find solutions. 

In Depth on Global Trends and Research

In our everyday lives it is difficult to keep up with all the changes happening around us and the research being done to mitigate their impact. Join us for this one-day event where you can:

  • Explore major trends in research that are making an impact on fire and life safety.
  • Delve into the latest research being done globally as well as its practical implementation.
  • Understand new technologies and how they are making a difference in keeping people safe.
  • Unmatched expertise: Gain information and education from the source, with featured subject matter experts in the field.
  • Two Ways to Earn CEUs:
    • Tune in live November 2 to earn up to 5 credit hours (0.5 CEU) and earn an additional 5 credit hours on demand for a total of 10 credit hours (1.0 CEU).
    • Or, view content on demand for a total of 10 cred hours (1.0 CEU). All programs are available on demand for up to a year starting on the launch date.



Scroll through the carousel to learn about the sessions offered for the Global Trends and Research program.

8-9 a.m. ET | Presenters: Dwayne Sloan, UL; Birgitte Messerschmidt, NFPA

The need to ensure the consistent application of fire safety standards and practices around the world has become evident in recent years. In this session, attendees will learn about the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition and the first-ever global common principles, a first-of-its-kind document that provides a high-level, overarching framework for fire safety design, construction, occupation, and ongoing management that can be used by everyone.

8–10 a.m. ET | Presenters: Victoria Hutchison, Research Project Manager, Fire Protection Research Foundation; Ofodike (D.K) Ezekoye, W.R. Woolrich Professor, The University of Texas at Austin; Adam Barowy, Research Engineer, UL, LLC; Robert Zalosh, Owner and SME, FireExplo; Sean Decrane, UL; Dirk Long, Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute

Battery energy storage systems (ESS) are a critical part of today's dramatic push for sustainable and renewable electrical energy, and as a result, these systems are proliferating at an exponential pace. Since 2018, there have been approximately three-dozen incidents in large-scale battery energy storage sites globally that involved some failure resulting in fire or explosion. As evidenced by recent events, the explosion risks in lithium-ion battery ESS enclosures remain significant and have become a priority for the research community over the last few years. While achieving safety in these systems is complex, our understanding is continually evolving through the latest research, testing, and incident insights. In this session, some of the leading research engineers and subject matter experts will be sharing their results and experience on the ESS explosion hazard and where we go next.

9-10 a.m. ET | Presenters: Brian Meacham, Meacham Associates, US—Presenter, Margaret McNamee, Lund University, SE (available online not a presenter)

In 2012 the Research Foundation commissioned an information review on fire safety challenges of green buildings. In 2020, the Research Foundation commissioned an update to that report. In this update, more than 400 sources of information were identified and reviewed, and summaries were developed regarding fire incidents, research, regulatory changes, engineering approaches, risk mitigation strategies, and firefighting tactics and training associated with fire safety challenges of green building materials, features, and technologies. A model was presented as a means to understand sustainability in the context of safety and resiliency, a gap analysis was undertaken, and future research needs were identified. This presentation will overview the findings of the Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings 2020 Update report and the implications for the public and the fire safety community, including building owners, fire protection engineers, the fire service, insurers, and regulators.

11–12:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Stephen Olenick, Principal Engineer, Combustion Science & Engineering; Mike Klassen, Principal Research Engineer, Combustion Science & Engineering; Ragni Fjellgaard Mikalsen, RISE Fire Research, Norway; Anne Steen-Hansen, RISE Fire Research, Norway; Ged Knock, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, UK; Stuart Lloyd, Zurich Risk Engineering, UK

Vehicles have undergone significant change over the years. Modern vehicles present new hazards, such as those due to the incorporation of larger quantities of combustible materials (e.g., fuels, plastics, synthetic materials, etc.) into their designs and use of alternative fuels. Compared to older vehicles, modern vehicles burn differently. Modern parking garages have optimized space requirements for vehicle parking and storage and often implement automated retrieval features and car stacking, which presents unique hazards as well. Thus, many have questioned whether the safety infrastructure of these parking structures has kept pace with the modern hazard. This session will review the findings of the latest research, provide insights into global parking garage fire incidents, and define how the risk has changed.

11–12:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Gerard Back, Jensen Hughes; Niall Ramsden, LASTFIRE; Casey Grant, DSRAE, LLC; Ed Hawthorne, DFW Dynamics

Fire incidents with catastrophic consequences have resulted from flammable liquids in aircraft hangars, shipboard spaces, flammable liquids fueling facilities, large fuel storage tanks, etc. Class B firefighting foams are used in both manual and fixed system applications for vapor suppression and extinguishment of flammable liquid fires. For decades, aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) have been used as the dominant and effective Class B firefighting foams. The environmental and health impact of the fluorosurfactants, such as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that are present in the AFFFs, have resulted in various state legislations and international regulations that are phasing out the use of older foams. Today, fire departments and other industrial end users are seeking replacements for AFFFs. The capabilities and limitations of the commercially available replacement foams, also called as fluorine-free foams, are being investigated through research and testing, to better understand their characteristics for various applications. This session will present the learnings from the research and testing conducted with fluorine-free foams along with discussion on the need for a roadmap for the fire service while transitioning to the fluorine- free foams.

1–2:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Matt Bonner, Imperial College, London, UK; Francesca Lugaresi, Imperial College, London, UK ; Susan Lamont, ARUP, UAE; Nicholas Ozog, WJE, US

According to research done at Imperial College in London, the frequency of façade fires in large buildings has increased by seven times in the last three decades. These fires often spread very fast and bypass internal fire safety systems, putting significant number of occupants at risk. There has been much work done to improve our understanding of how these complex façade systems behave in fire and what can be done to ensure they are safe in use. In this session some of the leading researchers and practitioners will be sharing their results and experience to help unravel the complexity of façade fire safety.

1–2:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Danielle Antonellis, Kindling; Rita Fahy, NFPA; Len Garis, National Indigenous Fire Safety Council, Canada; Richard Walls, Stellenbosch University, SA

Several studies have shown that there is an elevated fire risk in low-income areas, whether it’s a neighborhood in the US, a North American tribal area, or a significant part of the African continent. Fire is only one of the risks that people in low-income areas face, and safety often becomes a low priority when it is difficult to meet basic needs. The challenge is to tackle the fire problem even as significant economic and social influences await future resolution. Although they are linked, we cannot wait. This session will shine a light on some of the critical issues that face low-income areas and provide potential paths forward to deal with these.

2:30–3:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Susan Lamont, Arup, UAE; Margaret McNamee, Lund University, SE; Anne Steen-Hansen, RISE FR, NO; Amanda Kimball, Fire Protection Research Foundation; Danielle Antonellis, Kindling; Dwayne Sloan, UL; Moderator: Birgitte Messerschmidt, NFPA

The day will end with a panel reflecting on the topics presented and discuss how they impact and/or are impacted by the NFPA Fire & Life Safety EcosystemTM. The overall theme of the discussion will be how can the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem help us meet the challenges of tomorrow and what is the role of Research in this endeavor.

Explore and register for the series

Check out the topics as they become available, and register!

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The Big Wide World of Building and Life Safety

Community Risk Reduction: Insights to Action

Spotlight on Public Education

Keeping Hazardous Environments Safe

Global Trends and Research - Prepare Today for Tomorrow's Challenges

Keeping You Informed: Systems, Storage, Suppression, and More

Becoming a Better Leader for First Responders

January 25, 2022

Global Solutions for Global Challenges

February 16, 2022

Outthink Wildfire: Identifying Solutions to End Community Loss

March 15, 2022