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  • Press Release

National Residential Fire Safety Symposium welcomes Keynote Speaker

October 27, 2009

NORTHBROOK, Ill., October 27th, 2009 -- Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the Phoenix Fire Department are pleased to announce Mr. Rick Bryant, Vice President of Volvo Cars of North America, as the Keynote Speaker for the Residential Fire Safety Symposium being held at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Arizona on December 2nd and 3rd, 2009. Bryant will be joined at the symposium by a host of notable speakers, including the recently appointed United States Fire Administrator, Chief Kelvin Cochran.

Rick Bryant is the Northeast Regional Vice President for Volvo Cars of North America, overseeing the company's largest region in terms of sales volume.  He is a 17-year veteran of Volvo, and has held numerous positions in both the home office and in the field.  Throughout his career, Bryant has helped retailers achieve record-high customer service scores by actively communicating Volvo's core values of safety, quality and environmental care.  Bryant scored a marketing coup by partnering with the Boston Red Sox to place the iconic Volvo banner above Fenway Park's famous Green Monster outfield wall.

"Asking Volvo to be the keynote speaker was a natural outcome from a safety perspective when seeking to compare where the automotive industry has been in the past to where the home building industry needs to be in the future," said Chris Hasbrook, Global Vice President for Building Materials and Life Safety & Security at UL. "Volvo embraced the safety requirements placed on the automotive industry, and as a result, thrived, and we are honored to have Rick speak and share such an innovative look at safety."

The Symposium, titled "Designing Fire Safety into Residential Construction:  Perspectives, Ideas, and Trends," will expose a wide range of views and opinions to attendees who are concerned with residential fire safety, including the general public.  During Bryant's keynote speech and time spent with participants, he will share views from the automotive industry, including: 

  • The history of safety requirements and improvements in the automotive industry
  • How Volvo embraced the concept of safety and placed safety at the core of their offerings
  • Safety lessons learned by the automotive industry that homebuilders may take for their own consideration as they work to improve fire safety within the homebuilding industry

Speakers will present the latest research information on building materials and their performance under fire conditions, the perspective of home builders and the impact of residential fire safety codes considering the challenging economic environments, the perspective of realtors when working to sell and market homes with residential fire safety protection features, and the perspective of the fire service, who must respond to ever more threatening fires in residential homes. 

Social events held during the evenings of the symposium will serve as networking opportunities and occasions for informal one-on-one discussions between participants. 

"We are encouraging participation by all parties involved in residential fire safety, especially home builders, contractors, interior designers, building material manufacturers, and architects," said Hasbrook.  "We want to engage these professionals in discussions in Phoenix and in the months and years beyond so that innovation will lead the way to cost-effective, permanent solutions to difficult residential fire safety issues."

For more information or to register for the "Designing Fire Safety into Residential Construction:  Perspectives, Ideas, and Trends" symposium, call 1-888-503-5536 or visit