Preventing fires and emissions with data and technology

If’s top damage prevention experts help corporate customers build practices that focus on active damage prevention and the protection of the business. 

A fire is still the most typical and serious form of property damage that companies face, and one third of corporate fires are caused by electricity.

If Safety Academy in Finland offers corporate customers a unique service that started from the desire to study and develop electrical safety holistically. Today the initiative is also important in If’s sustainability work to reduce risk, prevent emissions and limit environmental damage from businesses and industrial customers.  

– If Safety Academy is the only entity that collects comprehensive information on electrical safety. Mapping electric fire risks makes it possible to identify and prevent the most likely major damage to properties and buildings", says Jussi Lehtonen, the damage prevention manager who initiated the Safety Academy and developed the operating model in Finland. 

The mapping of electric fire risks, often referred to as thermal imaging, accounts for about 80  per cent of the work of the Safety Academy. If Safety Academy has systematically collected data from the electrical equipment since 2013, which enables us to study this data over a longer period. 

"If Safety Academy is the only entity that collects comprehensive information on electrical safety.

Jussi Lehtonen Loss Prevention Manger at the Safety Academy

Around 4,000 electrical fire safety inspections

– We have performed around 4,000 electrical fire safety inspections, covering more than 41,000 electrical substations in operation. We work closely together with our customers to increase their understanding of the risks of electric fires and to share information. As an insurance company, we know our customers’ business particularly well, and we can understand the risks that are especially harmful to them", says Jussi Lehtonen. 

Safety inspections especially focus on the electrical centre of the business. The reason is that the electrical centre is at the heart of the operational reliability of a business, and even limited damage to an electrical centre can halt all production. Electrical safety plays a very important role when considering the overall safety within a company, but few are aware of this in time, and we want to help our customers to understand this. 

If Safety Academy puts together facts 

There are very few comparable data collections or statistics on electric fire risks. An additional major challenge is that smaller electrical fires and serious near-misses are often not investigated and reported to the same extent. Lack of information easily leads to a distorted feeling of security about the associated risks. The work of the If Safety Academy puts together facts about the state of Finnish electrical safety.

Statistics are used to identify whether this is a national phenomenon or an individual case. Authorities, partners and equipment manufacturers are informed about the perceived risks, so the opportunities for influencing are extensive. The collected facts are difficult to ignore, so the results have wide-ranging social significance. 

The operating process of the Safety Academy has been created so that it can be extended to the mapping of other key risks in the business environment, among other things occupational safety risks. 

Jussi Lehtonen photo.

Jussi Lehtonen

Loss Prevention Manger at the Safety Academy, Pori

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