Underwriters Laboratories’ Firefighter Safety Research Institute Expands Scope and Purpose to Address Fire Safety Risks More Broadly

July 29, 2021

  • Fire Safety
  • Press Release

FSRI is evolving

Rebrand to 'Fire Safety Research Institute'

(Columbia, Md.) July 29, 2021 – Underwriters Laboratories Inc. today announced that its fire safety research division, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI), is expanding its focus to address fire safety challenges created by new technologies and environmental dynamics. The organization is extending its collaborative model to actively engage fire investigators, fire safety engineers, academia, government, industry, safety educators and the general public, as well as the fire service. To better reflect its expanded scope, the organization has revised its name to “UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute."

“For more than 125 years, Underwriters Laboratories has been dedicated to the discovery and application of scientific knowledge—with fire safety as one of our longest-running focus areas,” said Terrence Brady, president and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories. “Our board and our management team saw a need to address fire safety more broadly in service to our organization’s overarching mission of working for a safer world. The research already underway and on the horizon will help address the world’s unresolved fire safety risks and emerging dangers.”

FSRI has historically focused on fire dynamics and fire service tactics and strategies in residential, commercial and industrial buildings through full-scale testing, field testing, modeling, and information sharing via online and classroom education. That work continues to be an important part of FSRI’s research and mission. The organization has begun extending beyond fire dynamics to encompass all areas of fire, examining factors affecting firefighter health and safety, working with the fire investigation community, and helping fire and life safety educators share data-driven public fire safety education with their communities. FSRI also is expanding its range of research topics, delving into new issue areas such as wildland urban interface and materials decomposition.

FSRI’s expansion responds to changes in the scope of fire safety caused by new technologies, new household materials and layouts and new environmental dynamics. Through its evolution, the organization will encompass a more holistic research effort around fire safety, more expansively positioning it to address these new fire challenges and identify solutions to create a safer world.

“While fire has not changed, the environment in which we live and fire occurs has,” said Stephen Kerber, vice president of research and director of FSRI. “FSRI has been working to keep pace with that change, evolving our capabilities, research scope and the stakeholder groups we engage to address fire safety more broadly. Our expanded focus extends to our team, our capabilities, our physical and digital footprints, and the topics we address. We’ve already begun expanding in all these areas and will continue as fire hazards continue to emerge.”

To learn more about FSRI’s expanded scope, research efforts, growing team and collaboration opportunities, please visit FSRI.org.

To learn more about Underwriters Laboratories, visit UL.org.

About Fire Safety Research Institute

UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) strives to advance fire safety knowledge and strategies in order to create safer environments. Using advanced fire science, rigorous research, extensive outreach and education in collaboration with an international network of partners, the organization imparts stakeholders with knowledge, tools, and resources that enable them to make better, more fire safe decisions that ultimately save lives and property. To learn more, visit fsri.org. Follow Fire Safety Research Institute on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being. To learn more, visit UL.org.