Inc Magazine - City of the Future

In their "Big Ideas" category, Inc Magazine are publishing an 8 part series of articles on the "City of the Future" which has a lot of important value related to Fire Safety. I have listed each part below, I encourage you to read the articles and consider how this might affect the way we design, install and maintain the fire safety systems in buildings.

Inc: This 8-part series of articles, called the City of the Future, is intended to explore some of the fundamental areas of change that must be addressed to position our municipalities for the challenges that lie ahead in the early 21st Century.

Three points in Part 6 particularly ring true for me;

  • Detailed emergency planning safeguards the city's residents and assets.
  • Advanced data analytics leading to enhanced preventative capabilities.
  • Improved communication systems to quickly respond to emergency situations.

Emergency planning safeguards

In 2015, the Australian Building Codes Board ("ABCB") will publish a FREE copy of the National Construction Code ("NCC") for the first time, making it available to registered members of the public.

The goal of the NCC is to enable the achievement of nationally consistent, minimum necessary standards of relevant, health, safety (including structural safety and safety from fire within a building and fire spread to and from other buildings on the allotment and the allotment boundaries), amenity and sustainability objectives efficiently.

While this is a start, it is the responsibility of regulators throughout Australia to ensure the objectives of the NCC are carried out. That said Australia's commitment to building reform for the safety of life and property has been widely recognised as amongst the most progressive framework anywhere in the world.

Advanced data analytics

Not widely known, Australia has an extensive range of datasets accessible by the public. What's also great, is that the Government encourages users to "hack" the information available to draw together people from government, industry, academia and of course, the general public to mashup, reuse, and remix government data. provides an easy way to find, access and reuse public datasets from Government. The main purpose of the site is to encourage public access to and reuse of government data by providing it in useful formats under open licences. It was created following the Government’s Declaration of Open Government and response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce Report.

Improved Communication Systems

In the (November 2014) Victorian state election, the Labour Party stated that effective emergency telecommunications is is fundamental to effective emergency management and is the vital link between the public and its police and emergency services including ambulance.1

They went on to say if elected, Labour will:

  • Give the highest priority to investment in and delivery of a dedicated statewide emergency services telecommunications network for reliable emergency call taking, alerting, dispatch and command and control
  • Maintain the operation and control of such services through a publicly owned agency
  • Invest in the latest proven technology to ensure effective voice, visual and data communications capacity that meets the needs of the public and the police and emergency agencies

Given the commitment by the newly elected Government, we should see significant attention and investment into a statewide emergency services communication system using the latest proven technologies.

What do you think?

When I first started writing this article, it was intended to be a relatively short post with links to the Inc Magazine articles but as I dug deeper, it became obvious to me that at least here in Australia, we are heading in the right direction.

I am pleased to say that at Firewize we do our part, publishing articles, supporting Standards development, contributing to the continuous development of the National Construction Code and working with Fire Protection Association Australia for the "protection of life, assets and the environment from fire and related industries."

I hope you find this article as interesting as I have in writing it!


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