Our columnist commemorates the first ten years of contributing to Safety Sales with articles of great interest on fire safety.
By Jaime A. Moncada*
In a meeting in June 2013 at the Latin Press offices in Medellín, with Santiago Jaramillo, the then editor of this magazine, we agreed that in a new column we would offer information on fire safety to the readers of Ventas de Seguridad.
Santiago clearly understood that his readers, mainly electronic security integrators, had more and more responsibilities in fire protection. The first article entitled "The Problem of Fire Protection in Latin America" was published exactly 10 years ago. I thought at the time that I would write a couple of topics from time to time, but I would never have imagined that my relationship with Security Sales could be so constant and lasting, which is a source of great professional pride for me.
In the past 60 columns I have tried to give you an idea of how to understand fire safety in our Latin America. During this decade I have sought to touch on the most relevant issues in fire safety, trying to give my opinion, based on almost 40 years of experience as a fire protection engineer, but without having a specific agenda or any commercial interest. To give you an idea, I've touched on the following topics about Fire Safety (SCI):
Writing an article requires not only technical knowledge, but it is an act of inspiration and creativity, of good grammar, syntax and structure for the article to be effective. That is to say, writing is an art, of which I am not necessarily a great exponent, however, I feel that with each article I write I learn a little more about how to say things more clearly.
It is clear to me that writing well and communicating our knowledge in a clear and interesting way is something that does not come naturally to an engineer like me, as it is not part of our training. It is also undeniable that writing a column is a privilege that is not granted to everyone and that comes with great responsibility.
Fortunately, good journals have good editors, and in that sense I feel very well served by the various editors who year after year have led Security Sales. They have always believed in this space, reserved for fire protection, and they continue to invite me, edition after edition, to participate in this magazine. I wholeheartedly thank Duván Chaverra, the current editor-in-chief, for proposing excellent subjects, for his expert editing and for finding representative photos when I have not been able to find them. But above all for their support and optimism for my work. Editing makes these lines clearer and easier to read.
I also have to thank you, the readers of the magazine, for your questions and comments. I love it when someone is looking to answer a question about fire protection and in their internet browsing they find this column. Those messages make the work of writing especially rewarding and give me the energy to continue. Thanks again and, God willing, see you next time!
Jaime A. Moncada is a principal at International Fire Safety Consulting (IFSC), a Washington, D.C.-based fire protection engineering consulting firm. and offices throughout Latin America. He is a fire protection engineer graduated from the University of Maryland, co-editor of the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, past vice president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), and former director of professional development at NFPA. Your email is [email protected].