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Water Supplies for Fire Protection: what should they be?

The question of what is an acceptable supply for fire protection? depends on the specific criteria for acceptance. In building code terms, this has long been controversial. At one time, virtually all water supply assessments were carried out by insurance groups of one kind or another. In terms of water supply infrastructure, Insurance Service offices in the USA and Fire Underwriters’ Survey (FUS) in Canada laid out criteria for acceptance and grading of water supplies in municipalities and their ability to fight fire through organization and logistical response. This was a macro (matic) assessment of the collective risk across the community. As such the risk was based on the potential for fire spread based on historic cases of fire spread involving more than one building. This reactive model is based on external rather than internal firefighting but includes factors for combustibility of construction, spatial separation etc.
Since the jurisdiction for water supplies in many cases has shifted to the local authority, criteria have been established that are often not ideal for many risk situations. For instance, application of the current criteria for water supply do not address reliability issues that need to be addressed in unusual sites such as heritage town sites and industrial facilities. Although certain municipalities have acted in the past, to mitigate the risk arising from urban expansion by enacting sprinkler bylaws, resistance at the political level has arisen as a result of the perception that regulatory control is being lost through such municipal action. Also, although many municipal engineers are familiar with FUS guidelines, they are less familiar with private supplies to address unusual fire risks.
The insurance philosophy typically utilises various supplies in combination to address fire risk arising from exposed values and potential fire spread. This can be mitigated by fire divisions and separation concepts that may differ from those in the building code.
This presentation will address a number of situations in which different criteria may apply to answer the question “what is an acceptable water supply for this case?”

This panel discussion will provide different perspectives on water supplies in different situations.

Presenter: Panel Discussion

Insurance representative: Jon Wang, P Eng: Willis Towers Watson
Civil Engineer: Ron Beesley, P Eng: HY Engineering Ltd
Moderator: Henning White, AScT, CFPS from GHL Consultants Ltd.

Date:  September 19, 2017
Time: Registration and Reception 5:30pm
Location: False Creek Yacht Club (1661 Granville Street)
Cost: Members - $35; Non-members $40. Please bring cash or a cheque payable to BC Society of Fire Protection Engineers to cover the cost of dinner.
Registration Deadline: September 15, 2017

Free parking is available in the Yacht Club parking lot.

Presenter Background:
Jon Wang
Vice President
Loss Control Engineer
Jon joined Willis Towers Watson in March 2011 as a Loss Control Engineer. He is a registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng) in Canada. In addition he holds the Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation.
Jon began his career in loss prevention engineering in 2005 with FM Global in the Vancouver office. He was able to amass a body of field experience with this position across a diverse range of industries and occupancies. Jon serviced such primary industries as forest products, power generation, telecommunications, and manufacturing.
In 2008, he moved from FM Global to the engineering department for American International Group (AIG) where he continued to service diverse clients performing both property and liability inspection work. Significant industry experience was gained during this time with course of construction projects, inland marine, and municipalities.
In his role at Willis Towers Watson, Jon is responsible for the coordination of loss control services for clients. This includes site risk analysis surveys, risk report production, code compliance analysis, and coordination with insurance carrier engineering departments. His focus is on accurate evaluation of client’s hazards and working with clients on practical, cost effective and common sense risk solutions.
Jon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. He is an active member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Ron W. Beesley, P.Eng.
Senior Project Engineer
Mr. Beesley is a project engineer manager with 42 years of progressive experience in municipal engineering and has overall responsibilities for public sector projects with client management responsibilities. Mr. Beesley responds to requests for infrastructure upgrading projects for municipal jurisdictions across the Lower Mainland. Also Mr. Beesley currently works for H.Y. Engineering Ltd. as the Village of Belcarra Municipal Engineer.


Start date: 
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 17:30

Signups closed for this Event