Skilled to be Fire Expert



In the middle of the Summer of 2022, on August 11th, an interesting event for the fire safety community took place in the large lecture hall of the Education Centre for Protection and Rescue, on the premises of Slovenian Ministry of Defence, located in the village Ig near Ljubljana. The Slovenian Fire Protection Association (SZPV) and the Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG) organized a seminar with an eloquent title: Fire takes no vacation. Over 80 people attended the event despite the high vacation season. What was the attraction? Probably the two main speakers – prof. dr. José Torero (University College London) and prof. dr. Grunde Jomaas (FRISSBE ERA Chair Holder, ZAG and University of Primorska) – as well as the presentation by Friderik Knez (ZAG) of the capacities of new fire laboratory of ZAG, which will have its official opening on September 2nd.


Dr. Aleš Jug, SZPV, greeted the audience and held the threads of the event in his hands through the day, summarizing the lectures in Slovene, and leading discussion between and after the lectures.  In the introduction, dr. Andraž Legat, ZAG, explained the starting points and the backgrounds which led to the organization of the event. Prof. Torero talked about fire safety challenges in modern, sustainable built environments, the impact of Grenfell Tower fire on fire safety strategies worldwide, and about the fire safety challenges related to design and fire suppression in timber buildings. Prof. Grunde Jomaas focused on the topic of fire safety of photovoltaic systems on buildings, which is one of the challenges resulting from associated with the EU Green Deal and REPowerEU. Friderik Knez presented some of the outstanding capacities of new fire laboratory of ZAG in Logatec, which will carry out experimental research, product development and standardised testing of construction products.

Prof. dr. José Torero at the Education Centre for Protection and Rescue, Ig. Photo: Tamara Želimorski, ZAG

The conclusion and main message of the presenters was that we should base fire safety issues on research, professionalism and combined effort by all stakeholders, including designers, firefighters, legislation and government funding for fire research. One of the centres of the knowledge we need is growing also in this part of EU, with the FRISSBE project, surrounded by capacities of modern fire laboratory and experts and scientists from other compatible centres of knowledge in the region.

The event attracted the attention of media. On the same day, the reports on event were broadcasted by the two commercial television programs. A few days later, there was a longer report with highlights of Jose Torero’s lecture on the most popular Slovenian radio station VAL 202. Some articles are still to follow in most popular Slovenian newspapers.

Prof. dr. Grunde Jomaas during the interview for Planet TV. Photo: Tamara Želimorski, ZAG

Friderik Knez, presenting some of the outstanding capacities of new fire laboratory of ZAG in Logatec. Photo: Tamara Želimorski, ZAG

Dr. Aleš Jug, SZPV, summarizing the lectures in Slovene, and leading discussion between and after the lectures. Photo: Mateja Gris, SZPV

Prepared by Mateja Gris, SZPV