Factory Mutual Global and What They Do?

Due to rapid growth of technology, fire protection systems have evolved stupendously over the last few years. This rise in innovation has facilitated newer, unique methods of devising feasible firefighting solutions. Even the most fundamental model of a fire sprinkler system or alarm system has succumbed to the genius of automation. Today, the consumer is spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the most suitable firefighting system to protect his home or workplace from disaster. But the vast variation in designs and technical characteristics has also encouraged the presence of untested, fallible devices in the market. Since decisions involving fire protection systems may literally turn out to be a matter of life or death, consumers must be extremely cautious against purchasing such faulty products.

In order to ensure quality, global recognition, and standardization, entities such as Factory Mutual (FM) Global establish product standards and disseminate approvals on finished fire safety products. They also make it easier for the consumer to choose a particular sprinkler system or fire extinguisher as they know that the product meets certain requirements by identifying the FM Global mark imprinted on the surface. Here, we take a brief look at FM Global, what they do, and why their approval adds such great value to fire equipment.

What is Factory Mutual (FM) Global?

Established in 1835, Factory Mutual (FM) Global is actually a mutual insurance company based out of Rhode Island, USA. Since their inception, the firm has succeeded in setting up offices across the globe and has garnered a reputation for being specialists in the field of loss-prevention services, especially among large corporations. Despite primarily being in the insurance business, FM Global committed itself to contributing more for fire safety by erecting a sprawling research campus dedicated to identifying causes and solutions for life-threatening disasters such as hazardous fires and explosions.

Although several folks may recognize the mark of FM Global on a fire pump or extinguisher, very few of them actually understand what it means. One of the key features of this widely popular insurance firm is that it carries out independent testing of fire equipment and provides FM Approvals on the basis of the test results. This, in turn, ensures that any new design of a fire pump or sprinkler is bound to meet pre-established high standards when it comes to ensuring property loss prevention and safety.

The FM Approvals are issued only if the product in question meets all five of these testing steps:

  1. Manufacturer request
  2. Proposal issue and manufacturer authorization
  3. Review, testing and first audit
  4. Report, FM Approved mark and listing
  5. Follow-up audits

A diverse set of firefighting equipment are routinely subjected to rigorous tests conducted by FM Global such as fire detectors, water flow detectors, sprinkler systems, gas detectors, smoke detection systems, alarm control panels, combustible materials, electrical equipment, etc.

FM Global is definitely one of the global leaders when it comes to approving safety equipment but there are also other organizations such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and The AVK Group that act as effective third-party certification firms.