International safety consulting company Azisafe is opening a branch in Siem Reap, the sister office to its Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville set-ups. Focusing primarily on fire safety, the office and showroom will sell a range of fire protection and safety products.
Australian-managed Azisafe was established in 2012 from a merger between SMCS Consultant Services and Fire Safety Cambodia. It has six divisions: Healthsafe, Risksafe, Roadsafe, Techsafe, Gunsafe and Firesafe, but the Siem Reap office will concentrate mainly on the latter.
“We’ll have fire safety equipment, firefighting equipment, fire alarm systems, all that sort of stuff,” says managing director Paul Hurford.
“We hope to increase our services up here too. We do a lot of fire safety training courses, first aid training courses, fire and safety risk assessments and we provide training to companies and hotels.”
Hurford, who worked as a professional firefighter for 15 years in his native Australia, has been coming to Cambodia for eight years, and trained Cambodian police and fire services in incident management and critical response procedures.
He is also co-founder and a director of NGO Australian Firefighters International Relief and Education (AFIRE), which assists and trains fire services in developing countries.
“I worked in Cambodia with AFIRE, which was predominantly working with training firefighters, so we still work a little bit with that. But as a private company we’re also trying to work on providing cost-effective fire protection and fire safety programs to businesses.”
Hurford says over the years he has gradually noticed an increased awareness and interest in fire health and safety. He also feels more Khmers are taking an interest in fire safety precautions, particularly in their homes.
He says he thinks “there’s a big change going on,” with Khmers requesting services like smoke detectors for their houses, fire blankets, and small fire extinguishers.
The Azisafe shop will sell a range of products, from smoke detectors for $12 to fire blankets for $15. There will also be five different fire extinguishers meeting various international standards, starting at around $20.
Hurford stresses, “We certainly encourage people to come in if they’ve got any questions. We spend time training staff to have a good understanding of fire safety. We are here to sell products and run a business, but equally we also want to make people aware of what the fire risks are here in Cambodia, and the potential solutions.”