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  • Press Release

New DHS Grant Helps UL Continue Improving Fire Service Knowledge With Hands-on Training

August 14, 2015

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Aug. 14, 2015 — UL, a global safety science organization, announced today that its Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) has received a $1.5 million Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the 10th consecutive year. The funding will help support the FSRI’s mission to increase firefighter knowledge and reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and the communities it serves.

UL’s FSRI has received $11 million in grants over the past 10 years. The Fire Prevention and Safety Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants with support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal of these grants is to reduce injury and prevent deaths in the fire service and the communities which they serve.

Over the past 30 years, despite advances in technology, the rate of firefighter deaths inside structures has continually risen. While firefighting techniques have been passed down through generations, science is vital to keep pace with new hazards and save lives, as the modern fire environment responds less effectively to certain tactics.

In particular, current firefighting training lacks visual, hands-on components that enable new recruits to experience how their tactics can affect fire behavior in a structure. The newly-awarded grant will allow the FSRI to build upon the past 10 years of research to help bridge the gap between fire dynamics in training environments and actual emergencies.

“DHS-funded studies have helped save the lives of firefighters,” said Steve Kerber, director of FSRI. “As building and product materials change, the hazards change, making firefighting even more complex. The work FSRI will conduct through this new grant will enhance the hands-on training opportunities that firefighters can receive, leading to better decision-making on the fire ground, and more effective and efficient firefighting.”

UL plans to expand upon previous research studies that examined fire dynamics, fire service tactics and hands-on firefighter training, including:

About UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI)

UL’s FSRI is dedicated to increasing firefighter knowledge to reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and the communities they serve. Working in partnership with the fire service, research departments and agencies, FSRI executes cutting-edge firefighter research and makes the results widely available to the global fire community. With a team of pioneering experts and access to UL’s leading infrastructure, equipment and vast knowledge and insights, FSRI conducts and disseminates cutting-edge research and training programs that focus on the changing dynamics of residential, commercial and industrial fires, and the impact they have on the fire service tactics and strategies.

About UL

UL is a premier global independent safety science company that has championed progress for more than 120 years. Its nearly 11,000 professionals are guided by the UL mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. UL uses research and standards to continually advance and meet ever-evolving safety needs. We partner with businesses, manufacturers, trade associations and international regulatory authorities to bring solutions to a more complex global supply chain. For more information about our certification, testing, inspection, advisory and education services, visit