Successful first seminar at Allianz Teknik’s new training facility in Turkey
Riskonet, in conjunction with Allianz Teknik and NFPA, recently presented a successful seminar in Turkey. But this was a seminar with a difference: it was hosted by Allianz’s Teknik’s brand new Earthquake and Fire Testing and Training Center in Istanbul.
According to Özlem Emgen, the seminar organiser and Riskonet’s partner in Turkey, the seminar was comparable to those given in countries like the Netherlands. However, being hosted in Allianz’s Teknik’s new training centre added an extra dimension that greatly contributed to its success, she explains. “Thanks to a more practical, hands-on element, participants were able to get a real feel of how a fire starts and the various stages of its detection and extinguishing. The training centre exceeded my expectations because participants were given the opportunity to test everything to do with sprinkler systems and even experience the earthquake simulator.”
The eight-day seminar, which included approximately seven hours of theoretical and practical tuition a day, was a stand-alone course focusing on water-based extinguishing and sprinkler systems, continues Özlem. It was presented by experienced NFPA trainer Bob Caputo. “In giving this seminar we partnered with NFPA, a global leader in the field of fire and safety standards and an institution that presents fire-safety seminars all over the world. It also marked the first time that we linked up with Allianz. In conjunction with the Turkish-German University, the German insurer only opened the new training centre in October this year and this is the first seminar to have been presented in it.”
Only one chance
Stressing the importance of giving such a seminar in Turkey, Özlem, explains that there are many industrial premises in the country that have poor or insufficient fire protection. “Fire can lead to substantial losses,” she cautions. “You only really have one chance to extinguish a fire before it does its damage, which is why you must have the right system to cover the risks that you are exposed to. Giving NFPA seminars like this one, allows us to train people, develop market awareness of the risks and improve fire protection through the use of the right systems.”
According to Özlem, the seminar targeted a mixed audience of participants drawn from a range of industries, from insurance to engineering and power to petro-chemical companies. They came from several Turkish companies and some from other countries too, such as Dubai and Belgium.
Taking up the thread from Özlem, Dr Ceyhun Eren, director of Allianz Teknik’s new training centre and risk engineering departments in Turkey explains that a key objective was to switch from hotel venues, in which seminars are typically given, to a dedicated hands-on training campus. “Conception, design, management approval and construction of what is now ostensibly a technology centre, took us over four years,” he says. “The resulting two-storey building was designed and built around exact needs so that everything would be usable and visible. The main objective of the testing and training centre is to increase public risk awareness.’’
Broad target audience
In addition to having two conference rooms, the new training centre also has an earthquake simulation chamber. And while earthquakes are not part of the syllabus of NFPA training, this will certainly be useful in future, insists Ceyhun. “The centre also boasts emergency-response training simulators for fires, complete with smoke-detection and kitchen fires. Thanks to Allianz Teknik’s many facilities, we want to attract people aged between the ages of 7 and 77. So in addition to companies’ technical employees, this also includes younger students.”
Furthermore, a unique fire-training chamber allows participants to experience a fire at first-hand. A real fire can be started in the chamber and participants can watch as it develops and then understand how detection systems work, as well as appreciate the importance of early detection. “Next to it is a sprinkler-system simulation chamber, for which we received some really excellent feedback from participants,” adds Ceyhun. “In this chamber realistic working conditions can be experienced, sprinkler-system activations can be tested, and procedural changes tried if mistakes are made when responding to a fire.”
Riskonet regularly provides new training courses on various NFPA guidelines. Have a look on https://www.nfpa.eu/ for the upcoming events.