NORTHBROOK, Ill., September 23, 2009 –

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the Phoenix Fire Department will be hosting a first of its kind Residential Fire Safety Symposium at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Arizona on December 2nd and 3rd, 2009.  The Symposium, titled "Designing Fire Safety into Residential Construction:  Perspectives, Ideas, and Trends," will be available to people concerned with residential fire safety, including the general public, through UL University registration.

"UL has created this event to act as an inclusive and attractive platform to encourage builders, architects, fire service, realtors, insurers, and others to gather and learn together the various perspectives on residential fire safety," said Chris Hasbrook, Global Vice President for Building Materials and Life Safety & Security at UL. 

The symposium will be the first of its kind on a national level, bringing together various players within the residential building industry.

"Phoenix Fire Department and the City of Phoenix are pleased to partner with UL to offer this educational and informative exchange of ideas to the public on residential fire safety and home building challenges," said Chief Bob Khan of the Phoenix Fire Department.  "We anticipate positive, thoughtful, and frank dialogue throughout this event."

Additionally, Volvo Cars of North America will present a perspective on effectively using safety as a brand-building tool.

Speakers will lead discussions on a number of topics including:

  • 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, 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."