Karl Westwell

Karl Westwell
Co-founder, World Fire Safety Foundation

Tauranga, New Zealand

Karl Westwell is co-founder of the World Fire Safety Foundation, which has played a significant role in the amendment of the Australian Standard for residential smoke alarms and the work toward having photoelectric smoke alarms mandated for installation in residential premises - work for which Karl and fellow co-founder Adrian Butler have received commendation from the Commissioner of the New South Wales Fire Brigades.

The World Fire Safety Foundation is a privately funded organization dedicated to providing education materials to the public and helping manufacturers design and market reasonably-priced, yet truly effective, fire prevention, fire detection, fire containment and fire fighting products.

Born in England, Karl was raised and educated in England, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States of America.

After graduating from high school early, Karl returned with his family to New Zealand where he attended Bible College and trained as a minister.  After graduating, he became a successful youth minister at a church in an impoverished area.  The church’s finances meant that Karl had to take on part-time work.  By the end of his first year, Karl decided to take on a full-time role in sales and to work voluntarily in youth ministry.  Within two months, Karl went from sales to managing his first store (at nineteen years of age).  Karl then went on to become national manager of an international cosmetics company by the time he was twenty-two and Asia & South Pacific manager of an international fine jewelry company before he was thirty.  During this time, Karl was still actively involved in youth ministry work and was responsible for local and regional youth programs.

Karl has also been involved in the start-up or revitalization of several other companies either as a consultant or part owner in the publishing, security, mortgage-brokerage and debt recovery fields.  In charge of franchise development for Maximum Security, Karl was instrumental in their winning the Service Franchise of the Year Award.

He has extensive administrative, legal, marketing, negotiating, and public speaking experience.  He has also co-written and co-produced several documentary films, is a published author and father of two children.

Ross Southcombe, OBE, founder of the New Zealand Export Institute, for which Ross received his OBE (Order of the British Empire), has this to say about Karl, “Karl combines intelligence with common sense in his approach to business and is very thorough.  He is a strategic thinker. . . a person of exceptional dedication and loyalty.”

Alerted to problems with the reliability of many smoke alarms and the efficiency of the detection technology used in the most common type of smoke alarm by long-time friend Adrian Butler, Karl joined with Adrian to alert the public of the limitations of smoke alarms and the under-reported dangers of fire in their homes and to for change within the industry, a goal he continues to strive for to this day.

Karl is a passionate believer in the power of one; the power each and every one if us has to make change.  But beyond that, Karl also believes that with that power comes the responsibility to act — the responsibility to play our part.

For more information on the World fire Safety Foundation and how you can help the World Fire Safety Foundation visit: http://www.theworldfiresafetyfoundation.org — together, we can Stop the Children Burning.

We welcome Karl Westwell as a significant addition to our team.