New centre to help firms learn about property hazards

An artist's impression of FM Global's $80 million facility, with interactive labs and areas where fires and other hazards can be simulated.
An artist's impression of FM Global's $80 million facility, with interactive labs and areas where fires and other hazards can be simulated.PHOTO: FM GLOBAL

A new centre being built by property insurer FM Global will help businesses learn more about property hazards like fire, natural disasters or electrical issues, and how to prevent losses if they happen.

Construction of the six-storey, 125,000 sq ft facility began yesterday in the Singapore Science Park, a research, development and technology hub in the west.

FM Global said the $80 million centre includes its Asia operations, and also interactive laboratories and areas where fires, electrical hazards and industrial equipment malfunctions can be simulated.

The simulations, which will be done in a protected environment, are designed to help firms learn how to better protect themselves against such risks.

The insurer's policyholders are not the only ones who stand to benefit from programmes on loss prevention, but other stakeholders as well, like building designers, contractors, students, educational institutes, insurance brokers and government officials. It is being built by business space provider Ascendas-Singbridge, with operations slated to begin in early 2019.

Mr Thomas Lawson, president and chief executive officer of FM Global, which has been operating in Asia for 35 years, said businesses are becoming more interested in "increasing their resilience to risk".

Mr Stefano Tranquillo, senior vice-president of FM Global's Asia- Pacific division, said the centre's aim is to reach out to businesses, institutes and governments in the region, and raise awareness about managing risks.

He highlighted the absence of good practices when it comes to preventing losses in the region. Asia experiences "frequent and severe natural hazards, such as windstorms, floods and earthquakes", so there is a need for businesses to learn how to manage such risks effectively, he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2016, with the headline 'New centre to help firms learn about property hazards'. Print Edition | Subscribe