Special Issue on Fire and Disaster Prevention Technologies
Tomonori Kawano, Kazuya Uezu, and Takaaki Kato
It’s a great pleasure and honor to publish the special issue on “Fire and Disaster Prevention Technologies” in the Journal of Disaster Research. All of its 7 papers have been peerreviewed. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the contributors and reviewers involved in producing these articles, especially to Dr. Masafumi Hosokawa, Chief, Planning for Community-Based Cooperation National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster, Fire and Disaster Management Agency Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for his great support. The Research and Development center of Fire and Environmental Safety (RDFES) was established in April 2008 as a research institute within the Faculty of Environmental Engineering, the University of Kitakyushu. The RDFES is the first academic institute in Japan to contribute to environmental engineering and firefighting technology for social safety, and focuses on the environmental researches to overcome the worldwide serious firefighting problem, for example huge forest fires, and consequently contributes to create the epoch-making products for the environmental conservation and the safety of citizens. RDFES has become well known among firefighting professionals for its development of an “Environmentally friendly soap-based firefighting agent,” as well as new equipment that maximizes the effectiveness of the agent. This is just one example of successful collaboration between RDFES, the Kitakyushu City Fire and Disaster Management Department, a local soap company, and major firefighting enterprises in Japan. Today, RDFES is entering a new research area involving local communities and governments, which aims tomitigate and minimize the risk of fire and natural disasters. Researchers are engaged not only in the development of hardware but also in the creation of an organized social movement that could ensure more effective use of the hardware. We hope that the collaboration among industry, academia, and government will be more useful and powerful towards solving serious problems on “fire and environmental safety” through the mediation of this special issue. And reaching out to local communities reflects the center’s position to always welcome new partners to join our important and exciting research activities.