Fire protection refers to the study of fire behaviour and the development of systems and methods to reduce the damage that occurs during a fire. The process includes the creation of a comprehensive fire safety program, which explains how to protect a building and what to do if a fire breaks out. It also involves suppression, compartmentalisation and prevention.
The first step in planning and creating a fire protection system is to assess the type of hazards that can exist in the facility. This should include hazards such as smoke, flammable materials, ignition sources, electrical systems and more. A typical performance-based approach to fire protection involves an evaluation of all of these factors and developing a plan to mitigate the risks.
In the event that a fire breaks out, firefighters arrive at the scene with the objective of suppressing the fire. However, this requires a system that can react in time to the fire’s condition and allow human intervention. To achieve this, a fire protection system should include an alarm monitoring center.
Another essential component of a fire protection system is the use of fire-rated walls and vertical barriers. These can prevent the spread of the fire from one area of the building to another. They should be arranged to provide compartmentation.
Another important factor in fire protection is the safe storage of combustible materials. For example, if a machine shop makes parts, it would be wise to ensure that these are stored in a well-constructed, fire-rated cabinet. Similarly, when collecting waste, it is important to store these in fire resistant containers with tight fitting lids.
A common example of a substance that can pose a fire hazard is carbon dioxide. Other substances that can pose a threat include inert gas, liquid agents and a range of dry agents.
The design of the building or facility must meet fire safety regulations, which will determine the amount of fire protection that is required. Some fire-rated walls can resist a standard fire for up to an hour. Others can be designed to reduce the spread of fire from one side of the wall to the other.
Investing in a fire protection system can save money in the long run. However, maintenance and repair of the system should be a part of the overall fire protection strategy. Regular inspections are a major part of fire prevention.
Fire protection is also important in protecting other occupants and visitors. If a fire breaks out, people should escape immediately and remain out of the building. Make sure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Be sure to have a working smoke alarm so you can be notified as soon as the fire breaks out.
When constructing a new building, fire and water officials must review the construction plans. They will then make recommendations for the plant’s water supply and sprinkler system.
Fire protection is a regular task for public and private fire and water departments. Public fire personnel work with architects, engineers, loss prevention practitioners and others to make sure that buildings are properly constructed and protected. Similarly, businesses invest in equipment and infrastructure for their facilities.