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Humberside Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS) has received a $6,000 fire prevention grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers.

Aaron Conway of FM Global (second left) presented the award to Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Blacksell at Service headquarters in Hull. The award will be used to assist officers with fire investigations and more quickly and accurately determine the most likely origin and cause of a fire.

Dog handlers Mick Shooter (far right with Etta) and John Willingham (far left with Aston) of the Community Interest Company (CIC) K9 Fire Investigation brought the dogs down to meet Aaron and give him a demonstration of their ‘sniffing skills’. Aaron was given a quick tour of the training facilities and control room by DCFO Chris Blacksell before the long drive back to Birmingham.

As fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide, during the past 35 years FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organisations around the globe. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of UK-based organisations.

“At FM Global, we strongly believe the majority of property damage is preventable, not inevitable,” said Michael Spaziani, manager of the fire prevention grant program.

“Far too often, inadequate budgets prevent those organisations working to prevent fire from being as proactive as they would like to be. With additional financial support, grant recipients are actively helping to improve property risk in the communities they serve.”

Chris Blacksell was delighted to receive the grant which equates to around £4,000:

“The work which Mick and John do with Aston and Etta is vital following any incident of dubious origin. We have used the K9 team on many occasions since beginning our collaboration with them this year and the time saved by identifying the use of accelerants in a fire at an early stage helps us get to a probable cause more swiftly.

“We are very grateful to FM Global for their support, it will enable us to take a more active role with the dogs in providing valuable fire safety education to more schools and community groups whilst still carrying out our fire investigation duties with Aston and Etta.’

Through its Fire Prevention Grant Program, FM Global awards grants quarterly to fire departments in the United States as well as community organisations across the globe that best demonstrate a need for funding, where funding can have the most demonstrable impact on preventing fire, or mitigating the damage it can quickly cause.

To learn more about FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, or to apply for a grant, please visit

For nearly two centuries, many of the world’s largest organisations have turned to FM Global to develop cost-effective property insurance and engineering solutions to protect their business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. With clients in more than 130 countries, FM Global ranks #557 among FORTUNE magazine’s largest companies in America and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA (Very Strong) by Fitch Ratings.

The company was named “World’s Best Supply Chain Risk Insurance Provider” in 2014 by Global Finance magazine and was voted “Best Commercial Property Insurer” in Business Insurance’s 2013 Buyers Choice Awards.