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A decade of innovation: FM Global Research Campus profiled by Discovery Channel

JOHNSTON, R.I., USA—Pushing science to new levels to stay ahead of ever-changing business property risk is exciting and challenging, as revealed by a new Discovery Channel story about the FM Global Research Campus, a one-of-a-kind complex in West Glocester, R.I., USA, marking its 10th anniversary.

The broadcast segment, now online, takes viewers inside the US$125 million, 1,600-acre complex—the largest in the world for property loss prevention scientific research and product testing—to witness the powerful effects of fire, wind, explosions and earthquake. As explained in the segment, the dramatic simulations expose why and how building materials fail, and in turn help FM Global make recommendations to clients on how to shield themselves from disaster.

“A decade ago we embarked upon a mammoth mission: to build a campus that helps to keep our clients resilient in the face of business disruptions and job-killing catastrophes,” says Dr. Louis Gritzo, vice president of research at FM Global. “No day is the same, as we apply innovative tools to research, engineer and invent solutions to protect our clients from devastation.”

During Hurricane Katrina, clients who undertook the company’s research-proven recommendations reduced their losses by 85 percent compared to those who were not fully prepared.

“Tremendous progress has been made in the past 10 years—from improving industry methods and standards to testing new products that are safer, more sustainable and more cost-effective for businesses,” said Gritzo. “Pushing the limits of science using big computing and experiments allows us to better look forward at what could happen next.”

One growing potential threat, highlighted by The Discovery Channel, is the supersizing of warehouses.

“Warehouses are getting taller and fuller, which means risk profiles may increase,” noted Gritzo. “No matter how big a client’s new facility may be, we need to help protect it. The majority of property loss is preventable if backed by the right research and engineering.”

Established in 1835, FM Global is a US$5.5 billion mutual insurance company whose capital, scientific research capability and engineering expertise are solely dedicated to property risk management. Its client-owners, who share the belief that the majority of property loss is preventable, represent many of the world’s largest organizations, including one of every three FORTUNE 1000 companies. They work with FM Global to better understand the hazards that can impact their business continuity in order to make cost-effective risk management decisions combining property loss prevention with insurance protection. FM Global is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA (Very Strong) by Fitch.