Fire protection is the study and practice of mitigating the unwanted effects of potentially destructive fires. It includes the design, construction and maintenance of systems that prevent or control fires and their spread, compartmentalize structures, and suppress fires. It also includes the research and development, production, testing and application of mitigating systems. Fire safety professionals can help you prepare for the worst with a plan of action to ensure that your business and property are protected in the event of an emergency.
The term “fire protection” is often used to refer to active fire suppression systems, but passive systems are just as important for keeping people safe from loss of life and reducing damage. These include fire-rated walls and doors, cavity barriers, firestop solutions that seal around service penetrations, and a variety of other passive measures that can reduce the spread of smoke, heat and flames. In some cases, these systems can keep the fire contained in one room and prevent it from reaching other areas.
Many buildings are required to have some type of fire protection system. For instance, commercial kitchens must have specialized cooking equipment and fire suppression systems to protect them from fire and smoke damage. Other spaces like libraries, laboratories and computer server rooms may require specialized fire suppression equipment as well.
When a fire breaks out, you should immediately take action to keep yourself and those in danger safe. If it’s safe to do so, alert everyone in the building and evacuate them as quickly as possible. Make sure to shut off any pilot lights on gas appliances and close the supply valve if you have a propane tank.
Once you’re in a safe place, you should call 911 and report the fire. It’s also a good idea to call your insurance company to report the fire so that they can send someone to assess the damage and start helping you repair or rebuild.
If the fire is spreading rapidly, you should try to escape through a door or window. If you’re in a high-rise building, use the exit stairwells. If the smoke is thick, you might want to consider wearing a mask.
If you can’t escape through a door, open a window and try to signal for help. It’s also a good idea for everyone to familiarize themselves with the fire escape plan for their home or apartment complex, so they know what to do in the event of a fire. Make sure to install smoke alarms in your home and practice the escape route with your family. You should also create an evacuation plan for your business and make sure that everyone knows where the escape routes are. It’s a good idea to test door handles before opening them and always use the stairs instead of elevators. You should also make sure that all the windows are open and can be easily opened. You should also hang a sign from your balcony to alert the fire department to where the fire is.