Fire Up Fire Safety on Your Campus with PSAs from UMD

House Fire
Photo by Ada Be

By Dr. Andre Marshall, Associate Professor, Director of Fire Testing and Evaluation Center, and Principal of Custom Spray Solutions in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at University of Maryland

Through a new initiative, sponsored by commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global, University of Maryland’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) is reaching out to an important but often overlooked population--college students--about the importance of fire safety on campus.

In service to the campus community, students from FPE worked with FM Global to produce a series of public service announcement (PSA) videos to educate students about fire safety in the residential living environment. These videos provide the fire safety message through student interviews and narratives, and the format is designed to engage students in thinking about the problem and educate them about common misconceptions in fire safety.


Point of View: The Power of Magical Thinking

Penrose Triangle
Photo by Wes Peck

By Joe Desplaines, Business Continuity & Crisis Response Consultant for Districts Mutual Insurance

When I watch the nightly news, or talk to friends, or read about crisis events online, I am continually surprised that those interviewed about crisis preparedness persist in expressing what I believe to be “Magical Thinking.” After all the high profile critical events that have occurred recently, including active shooters, bombings, severe weather all across the country, large scale fires, and computer system hacking, people continue to avoid developing, training, and testing crisis and emergency response plans based on Magical Thinking. And, like most magic, this thinking is an illusion that creates a false sense of security.


Magnifying Glass
Photo by Todd Chandler

By David Olson, Assistant Director of Safety for The Master's College and Glenn Klinksiek, CPCU, ARM, MBA, DRM, Knowledge Center Content Manager for URMIA

The University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) conducted a survey of its members, “Identifying Risk - A Survey of Practices in Higher Education,” in early June 2014 to find out how risk managers anticipate new or emerging risks. More than 125 URMIA members completed the survey and generated interesting insights into how the risk identification process. We will share the results in a series of URMIA Insights articles in the coming months. 

Risk identification is an essential part of any effective risk management program. Risk managers especially need a process to find unknown or unappreciated risks, to evaluate these risks and then develop effective risk mitigations strategies. Institutions have long been aware of well-known risks such as athletic injury, student alcohol consumption, fire and many more and have methods of addressing these risks. However, if the risk identification process had worked well, institutions may have been better prepared to address current hot button issues such as concussions and campus sexual assault.


Board Corner: Report from URMIA's Membership Committee

Group Hug
Photo by Joris Louwes

By Sam Florio, Director of Risk Management and Compliance for Santa Clara University

Welcome to the continued board corner on URMIA Insights. Each month, in this space, your board has been provided with an opportunity to communicate with our membership about many of the wonderful initiatives and great work being done by our committees.

I am entering the final year of my three year term and am excited to have had the opportunity to act as board liaison to the membership committee. Keely Sims of the national office has continued her amazing work as our national office liaison and is largely responsible for many of the efficiencies that we have experienced over the past few years.


Oxy Welding
Photo by State Library of
South Australia

Each year, URMIA hosts in-person regional, roundtable, and annual (national) conferences around the country designed to minimize your cost and time away from the office while maximizing your educational and networking opportunities. A complete schedule of our remaining 2014 events is available here. Stay tuned for 2015 regional conference dates and locations to be announced at the 45th Annual Conference.

Read on to learn more about URMIA's upcoming conference schedule including Risky Business Week in November, submit your proposal to host URMIA's 2017 annual conference, access URMIA's updated Third-Party Contract Insurance Guidelines white paper, attend the encore presentation of our URMIA/NAFSA international risk workshop, and more!

Photo by Tom Brandt

Each month, this article provides some of the latest risk management resources, as well as a calendar of upcoming events, webinars, conferences, and other learning opportunities in which you or your campus colleagues may be interested.


URMIA Members in the News

Photo by Emanuele UbOldi

Help us welcome our newest members, and see what professional updates your colleagues have to share from the last month.



Red Is Not Dead: 10 Risk Management Myths

Dragon Statue 
 Photo by Les Haines

Robbie Sinclair, CPP, MBA, is a security and risk management professional with over two decades of leadership in crisis and emergency risk management, physical and cyber security, and organizational risk management across multiple sectors and four continents. He is an inaugural and active member of the Resilience Expert Advisory Group with the Australia Federal Attorney General's Department. He has an undergraduate degree in leadership, and an MBA from University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, and is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) from ASIS International. Robbie is the risk and business continuity manager at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

Our world is complex and novelty abounds. Thinking about Risk helps us navigate our way around and through life without harming ourselves too much. Risk management is something we all do every day. We conduct risk assessments and make judgements about things that can harm us using tools and thought patterns that have been with us since the emergence of humans as a species. We are born with an ability to respond to hazards in our surroundings and we also learn along the way about those things that can harm us.



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