Setting fires in the workplace is frowned upon by most employers, but at Chubb Insurance it’s an activity that’s not only actively encouraged—it’s actually an essential part of the company’s profit picture.

For Chubb, a major global source of property insurance, it’s crucial that its underwriters—and insureds—understand best practices in fire protection. Indeed, a key part of its strategy in avoiding catastrophic claims is to make sure both policyholders and those responsible for evaluating a building’s risk profile have some hands-on experience with sprinkler systems and other use-it-or-lose-it fire-protection technology.

Chubb built its first fire lab in the 1980s. Today, it has a best-in-class training center located on its corporate-headquarters campus in suburban New Jersey—a facility used to teach between 700 and 1,000 students a year. Those attending include Chubb staff, independent producers, insureds and fire officials from around the country and across the globe.

Not surprisingly, the carrier’s loss-control engineers treat the lab as a second home—and are constantly taking classes to keep informed about the latest best practices, code updates and improvements in fire-protection equipment. But the company’s underwriters are a familiar presence as well.

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