SFPE announce Fire Risk Assessment and Mitigation in the Wildland Urban Interface handbook


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The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SPFE) and SFPE Foundation has announced the publication of a free virtual handbook on fire-risk assessment and mitigation in the wildland urban interface (WUI). The Foundation has also awarded new funding to lead the development of a WUI risk assessment and mitigation curriculum targeting fire departments in the US.

The new virtual handbook, titled “WUI Virtual Handbook for Property Fire Risk Assessment & Mitigation,” provides engineering-based resource materials to support firefighters and fire departments operating in the wildland urban interface. 

Funded by a 2020 US DHS FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety grant and developed by an expert team from Jensen Hughes under the guidance of an esteemed advisory panel, the virtual handbook also identifies possible mitigation strategies for use in the field. 

The virtual handbook can be accessed from www.sfpe.org/WUIHandbook as an interactive, mobile-friendly, web-based resource or as a downloadable PDF.


To support the new virtual handbook, SFPE will host a free webinar titled “Beyond the Checklist – A Virtual Handbook of Engineering Resources for WUI Property Fire Risk Assessment and Mitigation,” on Monday 13 February. 

The webinar will will be presented live and recorded for on-demand viewing and will introduce the content in the virtual handbook and provide guidance for conducting home risk assessments in the WUI.

To further prioritise education and training on WUI fire risk assessment and mitigation for fire department personnel, the SFPE Foundation has awarded new funding to the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management & Public Safety at Frederick Community College to lead the development of a WUI risk assessment and mitigation curriculum.

Supported by a 2021 US DHS FEMA FP&S grant, the team will:

  • Review existing training, best practices, and unmet needs to understand potential impacts;
  • Develop a curriculum of engineering-based science to address unmet needs;
  • Solicit feedback from engineering and fire service professionals on the proposed curriculum;
  • Pilot the curriculum at several U.S. fire departments; and
  • Create supportive videos, infographics, and public outreach materials to facilitate the development of partnerships for implementation.

Leslie Marshall, Ph.D., Director, SFPE Foundation, commented: “This virtual handbook and forthcoming curriculum add to SFPE and the SFPE Foundation’s portfolio of research and programs to support firefighters and fire departments operating in the wildland urban interface. Through the FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety grant program and with the generous support of donors and SFPE, the SFPE Foundation is committed to engineering a resilient, sustainable, and fire-safe world for all.”

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