Institute for the Advancement of Fire Safety (IAFS)

Mission statement

The primary objective of the Institute for the Advancement of Fire Safety is to respond to, and meet, the broad range of undergraduate and post- graduate educational and research needs of the industrial and municipal fire communities.

The Fire Research Group, University of Waterloo is seeking partners interested in becoming founding members of The Institute for the Advancement of Fire Safety (IAFS). This institute is being established to build effective partnerships amongst fire safety professionals and their organizations. Partners will seek out, and capitalize on, collaborative educational and research opportunities available in fire safety and related areas.

Research conducted through the IAFS will entail application of the basic principles of fire science to develop new understanding of the behaviour of full-scale fires, to study flammability of materials, fire initiation and spread, methods for fire detection and suppression, and the many ancillary issues related to fire safety of consumer goods and fire protection of the built environment.

Potential areas of focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Research in support of performance-based building codes
    The IAFS, through the UW Live Fire Research Facility, supports the full range and scale of fire performance experiments necessary for development and implementation of performance-based codes.
  • Innovation in equipment and methods
    The IAFS will conduct third party research to assess and verify new technologies and processes in areas such as fire detection and fire suppression, and minimize the impact of fire through improved design of detectors, sensors, suppressants and building materials.
  • Health of firefighters
    Firefighter safety and effectiveness will be examined through study of the physiological and biomechanical impacts of the hostile and physically onerous fire environment. Physical testing requirements and standards have already been revised, and several longer term studies are underway.

In addition to fostering new research directions, the IAFS will actively engage in implementation of educational programs specifically designed for fire safety professionals. These may include specialty courses, professional development courses tailored to specific areas of interest amongst the partners or the broader fire service community, as well as extension of the courses available through the UW Fire Safety graduate program.

Please contact us for more information on these or any other topics of interest.

More information