What Is Fire Protection?

Fire protection is all the steps taken to prevent or control fires and minimize damage. It can include active systems like fire alarms that activate and help to alert people in the building to evacuate, and passive systems like structural measures that keep flames and smoke contained within a specific area.

While there are many things you can do to prevent a fire, the best way to protect yourself is to prepare for a fire emergency in advance. This includes having a home escape plan, making sure all family members know what to do and where to go in the event of an evacuation, having working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher handy and keeping them properly charged.

The most common causes of fires in residential buildings are cooking and smoking. This is because most residential buildings have kitchens where combustible substances are stored and cooking appliances which are used to cook or heat food. Smoking in bed is also a major cause of house fires because the cigarette embers can fall on bedding, blankets or other combustible materials and start a fire.

In some cases, fires are intentionally set. In workplaces, this can occur due to arson or when young people in the community are encouraged to light fires by their peers as a form of vandalism. Arson attacks can be difficult to detect but by educating employees on the dangers of fire-setting, the risks and consequences of this activity can be minimised.

It is important to note that fire prevention and preparedness efforts can be a cost effective measure to take for businesses. In addition to reducing costly damages and losses, it can also assist with the reduction of insurance premiums.

While most people associate fire protection with active systems, there are also passive systems that are designed to limit the spread of fire and smoke within a building. These include dividing a building into areas to restrict the movement of smoke and flames, reinforcing load-bearing structures to reduce their vulnerability to fire and adding passive fire protection materials that absorb or reflect heat.

It is recommended that all residential and commercial properties have a fire safety plan and that all staff are aware of it. A fire safety plan should include an escape route for each person in the building and the location of fire hazards. It is also important to consider the special needs of individuals, especially those with disabilities, and make appropriate arrangements for their evacuation in the event of an emergency. This may include widening doors or installing ramps for wheelchairs and walkers.

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