First Fire Engineer School Aims for Cambodia

Construction industry has been a main economic pillar for Cambodia. A report from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) founded this industry absorbed approximately $42 billion investment over the last 20 years. Yet, as construction is rising, so as the rise of fire incidents.

Mr. Bernard Mak, Director of MAXTRAD that supplies and design fire protection system in Cambodia expressed the need to have a Fire Engineer Institute to help improve fire safety in the Kingdom.

  1. What is the situation of fire protection on building in Cambodia?​​
    • Some buildings in Cambodia are well equipped with fire protection and firefighting equipment, such as Petrochemical oil terminals, Power plants, factories, shopping malls, office and hotels. However these are mostly International companies whom the consultants understand the importance of fire safety. However, many buildings still pose huge risk to fire in Cambodia. Among the many reasons are insufficient knowledge of fire safety, incorrect designs, improper use of materials, lack of building construction code and poor enforcement.
  2. Why do you want to establish fire engineer’s institute in Cambodia?
    • Fire is the biggest catastrophe and the worst nightmare for any industrial, commercial or residential buildings. Fire engineering Institution is not new, however yet to be introduced to Cambodia.
    • We notice the lack of fire engineering knowledge among those involved in project designing, implementation and building in construction works. Therefore, we decided to take up the responsibility to share this knowledge and information to them.Currently, only fire product suppliers are contributing knowledge to engineers and university students. However, our efforts are still insufficient for the engineers to implement it entirely into a project. For example, firefighting design for a warehouse, a shopping mall and an airport, each has their own requirements. A Fire Code commonly referred to by many people is the NFPA, also known as the National Fire Protection Association, covers the basic requirements and designs for all type of buildings. We would like to bring engineering education to a new level in Cambodia which can contribute to this country’s construction and economy.
  3. What kind of company or person that you wish to bring into this institution?
    • There are lots of professionals globally, directly and indirectly involved in this set up. Currently they are people in the Fire Board Committee in their respective countries, professors from other fire institutions abroad and also retired senior fire brigade officers involved in building audit and inspection.
  4. How do you want the fire engineer institute play its role to ensure fire safety in Cambodia?
    • We believe that the institute can help the engineers to improvise their designs, and hope that they can contribute their knowledge into the building industry, making buildings safer for everyone. As we all know, fire is the most disastrous thing that could happen to any buildings.
  5. When will you expect this institute to launch?
  6. What are the players related to fire-fighting and protection?
    • In fire engineering, we separate firefighting into 3 different categories.
      • Fire Fighting
        • The most commonly used word, which is a system or equipment to fight fire such as the hose reel, flat hose, wet sprinkler, foam system, suppression system etc. These are most commonly used in today’s buildings.
      • Fire Detection
        • Consist of Fire Alarm, Smoke and heat detectors. These are the most widely used in Cambodia however also the least attention paid for maintenance.
      • Fire Protection / Prevention
        • Is about the types of materials to use in construction, exterior and interior works. For example, Fire rated windows, fire doors, Fire stoppers, Class 0 building materials, etc.
    • Both ministry bodies will play a very important role in building inspections which many country practice. The will ensure that all buildings are certified safe by their departments before it is open for the public.
    • However for the contractors and designers, proper implementation and work procedure will help to improve the safety of everyone
  7. How do you see the regulations related to fire protection in Cambodia?
    • In Cambodia, there are currently little or minimal fire code for contractors or developers to follow, hence a lot of engineers and consultants are trying their best to include firefighting system into their project.
  8. What do you wish to see changed regarding the fire safety in Cambodia?
    • We hope that Cambodia will improve in the fire safety in all sectors, and manage to identify medium and high hazardous areas in all industry or buildings. This will help building owners to factor in fire safety budgets into their projects in the primary stage

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