UL Jain Fire Laboratory – India’s first of its kind facility launched in Bengaluru
Smart cities can remain mere dreams if smart techniques are not adopted to build the cities. A range of areas need to be addressed and a myriad of scopes need to be explored and among all the aspects the combative nature of the cities to tackle natural disaster is considered of high importance. Like any other natural calamity fire disaster also accounts for loss of several lives and properties and yet India is lagging behind in a big way to initiate measures in this field.
JGI Group, a leading institution, which has led several eye-opening initiatives for the welfare of the society, has emerged as the frontrunner yet again to dot the line between fire safety and academia and establish a world-class facility in fire safety that was never explored hitherto. Partnership between JGI Group and safety science company Underwriters Laboratories (UL) led to the establishment of UL Jain Fire Laboratory (ULJFL) – a first-of-its-kind fire testing laboratory facility in India.
“We must dream big in everything we do”, said Professor Navakanta Bhat, Department of Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), Indian Institute of Science, the chief guest at the launch of ULJFL at JGI Global Campus, Kanakapura, on 11th August, 2016, while he graced the occasion and addressed the event. He said that the collaboration of both the reputed institutes and the establishment of the world-class infrastructure in a university campus to facilitate fire safety measures, is the much needed step taken for the first time in India. He said that in India there is no dearth of ideas but dearth of facilities, and by developing facility like this the country can produce a pool of skilled manpower and resources.
The link between the evolution of human civilization and ways of controlling fire is profound and standing in 21st century we are but obvious to advance in the ways fire protection is ensured. While India as a country has progressed in different areas and initiated many new measures to drive its growth, its lack of opportunities to evolve in fire sector and lack of lab in fire science have hindered its way to advance in this major section. ULJFL could very well be called a big step in this path where not only safety can be validated but opportunities can also be explored.
Talking about ULJFL, UL South Asia Vice President & MD Mr. Suresh Sugavanam said that collaborating with an academia provides opportunity to reach to the millennials and inform them about the crucial aspects related to fire safety. Initiatives like ULJFL will help to equip youth with better knowledge and idea about fire hazards and safety measures. "We will be able to train next generation of fire fighters", he added. He said ULJFL is one of the stepping stones to further UL’s safety mission in Indian society. "At the end of the day what we are looking for is a safer India", he said.
JGI Group Founder Chairman Dr. Chenraj Roychand, a leading educationist and an entrepreneur, hailed the initiative as a big stepping stone and called for the emergence of more such facilities in India as the country is in need of them to tackle fire disasters efficiently.
He said a slew of ideas have been planted along with the establishment of ULJFL, to sustain the expansion of the facility, promulgate safety mission across people and build a well-equipped fire combating community. He said that fire safety educational programs to be offered in the institute will produce proficient fire fighters to combat major incidents and also facilitate research activities, validate quality products and accelerate growth of new extinguishing products.
ULJFL facility consists of a fire lab of 240 square meter area with a 13 m high roof for testing fire related products like firefighting foams, different classes of fire extinguishers, sprinklers etc, as per UL Indian standards. The services offered in the facility include foam concentrate, fire extinguishers, fire extinguishing agents, fire extinguishing systems, validation, certification, product development, failure analysis, research, reverse engineering, etc.
JGI Group that has set a precedent by bringing in revolution in educational practices and nurturing innovation, has set a significant mark in the history of academic initiatives in India by establishing this world class fire testing laboratory. It is a significant accomplishment not only for the institute but for the country itself to have a laboratory equipped with world class facility that can help customers and industrialists to test fire suppression or extinguishing products.
Mr. R A Venkitachalam, Vice President of Fire Safety Mission, UL, said that while the smart cities are built across states in India, their safety and security should also be considered and new measures should be initiated. “The ULJFL lab will not only be a hub of research but will also lead to industrialization of fire safety products and accelerate job opportunities”, he said. He hailed the contribution of JGI Group for assisting with infrastructure and manpower and said, “It’s a dream come true.” He also highlighted the need of good quality fire safety products and trained fire fighters in India and this laboratory will facilitate all the crucial activities.
Although UL has collaborated with different entities to set up a range of laboratories across the country, but this initiative holds great significance as JGI Group is the first educational institute in India with which UL has entered into collaboration to establish a fire safety laboratory. According to the agreement signed between both the institutes, JGI Group will run this facility as a non-profit set up and provide manpower and infrastructure support. UL will assist with technical support and contribute to a year-round training and certification programs.