Identifying Alternative Approaches to Fire and Hazard Protection at Procter & Gamble

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By Ray Webber


This research identified alternative strategies to fire and hazard protection at Procter & Gamble (P&G) facilities. The problem was that traditional prescriptive fire protection codes and standards often did not apply to specialized research and development fire protection risks. The purpose of this project was to develop alternative methods to manage these specialized risks when traditional codes and standards did not apply.

This project utilized action research to apply information about available fire protection methodologies to P&G's fire protection program. Also, evaluative research was used to determine which fire protection methodologies studied were best suited to the company. This was accomplished by (a) identifying the available alternative risk management methodologies and how other industries applied them, (b) identifying the limitations of these risk management methods, (c) determining what methods were best suited to P&G's fire protection program, and (d) determining if the methodologies studied could be applied to non fire risks.

The primary procedure used in this research was a review of material relating to different risk management methodologies. This was coupled with a survey to assess what different risk management methodologies were being used by other firms and their experiences with them.

The results indicated that there were a number of different fire protection and risk management methodologies. However many of them were quite complicated and time consuming. Portions of The Society of Fire Protection Engineer's (SFPE) performance based method, the most applicable of those studies, were included in a model fire protection guideline.

The recommendations from this research were to (a) adopt a company-wide performance based fire protection guideline, (b) provide performance based fire protection methodology training to the site fire protection leaders, (c) establish corporate risk tolerance criteria, and (d) further research the concept of computer fire modeling.