The value of fire safety

For some time, fire protection has been seen purely as a compliance cost, rather than a benefit to the owners, the occupants, and the property itself.

The nature of fire systems – working when they are needed, but otherwise out of sight, out of mind – means that owners, managers, and occupants often don’t have a clear understanding of the value they provide.

A focus on compliance can lead to a race to the bottom, and does not deliver better, safer buildings.

Properly designed, installed, and maintained fire safety systems will increase the resilience of a building, not only protecting occupants, but preserving the assets themselves, reducing the economic impact of an emergency.

There’s a value to fire safety, but how can we reveal it to building owners, managers, and occupants?

Paul Waterhouse_new

Paul Waterhouse

National Manager - Engagement, FPA Australia

Paul Waterhouse is the National Manager, Engagement for Fire Protection Association Australia. 

In a career spanning more than twenty years in advocacy and public policy, Paul has covered issues as diverse as cities, planning and development assessment reform, disability access, building regulation, risk, counter-terrorism, sustainability, transport safety, manufacturing, energy, police policy, and property law. 

Starting as the State Manager – NSW, in October, 2018, he moved into the engagement role in 2020, covering member engagement and services, communications and marketing, and events. 

Corey Nugent

Senior Operations Manager, Insurance Council of Australia


John Lynch

General Manager Business Services, Wormald

John is the General Manager for Business Services for Wormald. He has been involved in the Fire Industry for 22 years and is a current member of TAC 3/7 and the current chair of TAC 1. Prior to working in the fire industry, John held sales and marketing roles with Nestlé in Australia and PNG, and Cadbury Schweppes.

Photo - Geoff Kaandorp FRV

Geoff Kaandorp

Fire Rescue Victoria

Geoff Kaandorp is Manager, At Risk Groups at Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and was previously Research Manager at the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. He has worked in the emergency management sector since 2012. Geoff comes from a social science and public sector background and his interests centre on the application of research and evidence to inform emergency service policy and practice impacting people most at risk from fire in their home. Geoff has taken a leading role in developing a national strategy to reduce the number of preventable residential fire fatalities towards zero.