For a number of years the IFSA has provided grants to the National Fire Sprinkler Network, a broad-based group in the UK that seeks to expand requirements for fire sprinkler protection. The Network achieved its greatest successes with its campaigns to lower the threshold for sprinkler system requirements in retail buildings and for mandatory sprinkler protection of schools. Another recipient of past support from IFSA was the Fire Sprinkler Association (FSA). Their efforts resulted in raising the profile of residential sprinkler protection with burn demonstrations, training courses, and the development of British Standards for residential sprinklers and their installation. The IFSA has also supported several initiatives of the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), including the documentation of an important cost/benefit study of high-rise retrofit in 2011, the Callow Mount project.
The IFSA funded several sprinkler promotional efforts of the Swedish sprinkler association Sprinklerfrämjandet, including a study of the feasibility of sprinklers on houseboats, sprinklers in multi-story wood frame housing, and exposure protection sprinklers for historic wooden street fronts. IFSA funding led to production of a video, available in both Swedish and English, describing the wooden street front project and the value of sprinkler protection in general. The IFSA has also provided funding in support of a study of building code incentives for sprinklers in the Nordic countries, and helped to fund a study of the use of public water supplies for sprinkler protection through SP Research.
In cooperation with Eurofeu, the European Fire Sprinkler Network (EFSN) organization was founded by the IFSA in 2002 to allow private and public entities to work together on the European continent to:
- Educate and inform the general public, local authorities, national governments and European institutions about the effectiveness of fire sprinklers
- Campaign for greater use of fire sprinklers in both new and existing buildings, including promotion of appropriate legislation to accomplish this goal
- Promote the benefits of a coordinated effort within the fire protection community
- Encourage research and development in the area of fire sprinkler performance and application
Today the EFSN has become a highly successful and widely recognized source of fire sprinkler information on the European continent. In recent years the IFSA has continued to provide funding in support of individual country managers, promoting the use of fire sprinklers in France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland.
With financial assistance from the IFSA, a new sprinkler association was launched in Brazil in 2011, known as ABSpk. The IFSA’s involvement in Brazil started with a two-week program of training for the São Paulo Fire Department in 2010, and has included close cooperation with the founders of the new association, which sponsored highly successful national sprinkler conferences in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
With IFSA support, the Mexican fire sprinkler association AMRACI has launched a technician testing and certification program, which it is making available to other Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America.
With matching funds from the IFSA, a new ANRACI-Colombia was formed in 2015 to serve the needs of the fire sprinkler industry in that country.
The IFSA has cooperated with other organizations to provide training in a growing number of countries that recognize the important benefits of sprinklers, including China, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia.
International Fire Sprinkler Conferences
In July of 2002, the IFSA organized an international conference on fire sprinklers in Prague in the Czech Republic. The success of the Prague conference led to the demand for similar conferences in Berlin in 2004, Lisbon in 2006, and Copenhagen in 2008. Beginning In 2010 the EFSN took over responsibility for the European conferences, hosting events in Brussels, Belgium in 2010, in Paris, France in 2012, one co-sponsored with BAFSA in London in 2014, and one co-sponsored with Sprinklerframjandet in Stockholm, Sweden in 2018. Smaller conferences were held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015, Munich, Germany in 2016, Warsaw, Poland in 2017, and Madrid, Spain in 2019. The next major conference is scheduled for 6-7 May 2020 in Amsterdam.
The IFSA also initiated ”Fire Sprinkler Americas” conferences serving Central and South America. A highly-acclaimed inaugural event in Panama in February of 2014 was followed by an equally successful conference and trade show in Medellin, Colombia in February of 2016. Beginning in 2018, Latin American fire sprinkler conferences have been hosted by the organizations affiliated with IFSA: AMRACI, ABSpk, and ANRACI-Colombia.