Sat, 29 Mar 2003

Fire exhibition closes, safety message delivered

M. Taufiqurrahman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With exhibiting companies acknowledging that both business entities and government offices were interested in installing in their buildings the fire protection systems on offer, the first exhibition in the country to be staged by the fire protection industry was officially closed on Thursday.

Officials from exhibiting companies said that they had won the interest of a considerable number of prospective buyers during the three-day exhibition.

Bambang E. Santoso, chairman of PT New Sentosa, a local fire truck manufacturer, told The Jakarta Post that fire departments from almost all regencies in the country was present and interested in buying the company's products.

"Also, a number of companies wanted to augment their fire security systems with products manufactured by us," he said.

He added that most of the prospective buyers were interested because his company offered fire protection equipment at prices lower than that manufactured abroad.

Engineer from a manufacturer of state-of-the-art fire protection equipment Roy Valentino echoed the statement made by Bambang that through the exhibition, his company had been able to introduce the latest developments in fire protection system technology.

"Although there were no transactions made during the three-day exhibition, a number of officials from fire departments and business entities showed great interest in our products," he said.

Indonesian coordinator of U.S.-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Placidus S. Petrus said that thanks to the exhibition, the utmost importance of fire protection systems had now gained a wider acceptance.

"People from a wide range of backgrounds, such as firefighters, industrialists, building consultants, even paramedics, came to this exhibition and learned a lot about the application of fire protection systems," he said.

Visitors also benefited from the exhibition.

A safety officer from PT Semen Cibinong, Sunarya, was seen conversing with an engineer about the prospect of using an environmentally friendly substance for fire extinguishers in his company.

"Fire extinguishers in my company still use halon, which is now prohibited by the government; is the substance produced by your company not harmful to the environment?" he asked an engineer from an exhibiting company that produced an environmentally-friendly fire extinguishing gas.

Halon is a substance akin to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that has long been regarded as making a great contribution to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Another visitor, who wished to remain anonymous, was also spotted discussing with a vendor the possibility of replacing the software for fire protection systems in his company with the latest version.

Given the success of the exhibition, organizer's representative Yessi Oktavia told the Post that the exhibition would be held on a regular basis.

"The next will be in March 2005," she said.