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December 2, 2021

'Decade of Action' Plan to Help Reduce the Risk of Fire Globally

A firefighter holds a small woman's hand

Underwriters Laboratories and other fire safety leaders collaborate to help reduce fire hazards globally

As a member of the International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition, Underwriters Laboratories recently helped to develop and release the IFSS Global Plan for a Decade of Action for Fire Safety. Approximately 80 fire safety leadership organizations contributed to the plan.

The goal of the Decade of Action for Fire Safety is to stabilize and reduce the worldwide forecast level of fatalities, injuries, economic cost, and environmental impact from fire by 2032 as the global population increases.

The plan provides an overview of the global fire problem; the benefits of global efforts aimed at reducing fire risk and increasing fire resilience; initiatives that have been proven to work; and connections to other global activities and actions. Additionally, the global plan outlines more than 60 action items structured around such goals as helping to increase an understanding of fire among individuals and groups; helping to reduce fire hazards and risks associated with appliances, contents, and building components; helping to reduce fire hazards and risks associated with the planning, design, and operation of building structures; helping to enhance firefighting infrastructure; and helping to facilitate the planning and zoning of sustainable and fire-resilient communities.

The plan also suggests that actions can take place at an individual, community, city, national, regional, and/or global level. It also invites social entrepreneurs, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and private-sector entities to help support and lead the actions.

The Decade of Action plan builds upon the IFSS - Common Principles (IFSS-CP) published in October 2020 as an industry-led global response to address differing or, in some cases, nonexistent fire safety requirements in countries around the world. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) published the IFSS-CP and invited representatives of national and local governments and stakeholders to apply the Common Principles to promote the safety of buildings.

The IFSS Coalition is seeking endorsement for the Global Plan for a Decade of Action for Fire Safety from the UNECE and other global governments, non-governmental organizations, and private-sector entities.