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Fire Testing and Product Development

The development of new fire products often aligns with existing test standards. When this occurs it is relatively easy- with the right advice- to qualify the product and obtain a listing on successful completion of the testing process. While it should be relatively easy to align products for successful testing this is often not the case and even routine testing can be unsuccessful due to a variety of factors including temperature on the day of the test.

In the case of new product development, there is a great deal of innovation occurring. Some products can be routinely dismissed due to fundamental safety concerns. Others require more ongoing development. Products have emerged that are potential 'game changers' and have the potential to be revolutionary in their impact on fire performance and on other conventionally accepted fire products. Some test standards are so expensive that they have had an adverse effect on innovation.

To succeed, the entrepreneur has to focus on the target markets where there is likely to be the most impact and availability for marketing the product. By nature the inventor may enjoy the process of finding new applications more than he or she does the 'business'. The result is often years of inventing without any business success.

Other products may have alternative solutions developed in order to gain acceptance. While 'one-off' acceptance may be possible the long term goal is to develop a standard to take new products to the market through a testing and certification process. This can be expensive and has to be assessed against the market penetration and economic benefits to the business.

Where new tests are developed the interests of the manufacturer who is listed may work against innovation by others and restrict the development of new products that are superior to those representing the status quo. This can be a problem where a manufacturer is testing in another jurisdiction such as the EU.

Presenter Background: Mike van Geyn will provide an overview of fire product development and fire testing based on his experience over the last 30 years including the 'do's and don'ts' of how to run a fire test and get products to market.

Mike will also introduce a new player in the local fire testing and certification scene - QAI Laboratories.

Date:  April 4, 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: March 31, 2017

Free parking is available in the Yacht Club parking lot.


Start date: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 17:30

Signups closed for this Event