Fire protection engineering is the practice of certain engineering and scientific principles that are aimed at the protection of various people, their assets and the resulting environment from the resulting losses brought along by fires and the smoke. Fire protection engineering mainly has its focus on fire prevention, detection, firefighting and also the various ways of mitigation. Fire risk assessments are carried out by a competent fire risk assessor or engineer to reduce the risk of fires.
Fire protection engineering started way back in the 20th century even though ancient Rome had a similar process meant for damage control in case of a fire. Back in the 20th century, fire protection engineering was based on protection of barns and industrial buildings from fire outbreaks which would cause huge backtracks thereby hindering any development plans from materializing.
This type of engineering similarly involves the human containment and safe extraction from a building with fire. Fire protection engineering is a requirement for many people wanting to become firefighters in most countries hence the expanded popularity of the course. It is taught like any other course whereby one can build a career out of it and succeed in the field work.
The course, fire protection engineering, has many units in it which have their focus around fire outbreaks plus other related effects and how to contain them. There is active fire protection which focuses with the various fire containment processes. It deals with how to ensure the fire does not cause much damage to the asset and its surrounding environment.
There is also fire detection which revolves around the firefighters and how to inform them of a fire through the various installed fire alarms. This is crucial since the fire brigade is able to be informed in time thereby arriving at the scene before much damage is instilled onto the affected section. Fire outbreaks destroy valuable items in a short time thereby being timely is paramount.
Another discipline in the course is passive fire detection. This involves the process of making sure the fire is contained without spreading to other unaffected areas in the surrounding. This is mainly done by ensuring adequate space is created between the affected and the unaffected areas plus the installation of various fire and smoke barriers which help in maintaining the fire within a certain constriction.
There is also smoke control and management. Smoke can be a great menace tainting important assets and clogging up crucial apparatus. Smoke also destroys paint jobs by darken it as a result of the fire. It is crucial to manage the smoke which can even be a hindrance in terms of visibility when the fire fighters come in to stop the fire, rescue survivors and salvage any remnants.
Besides that, upon taking the course, fire protection engineering, the students will learn about the various building plans, structure and space control. This is in order so as to have a familiarity with a certain base regarding house plans so as to have an idea of where to go and what to look for in case of a fire outbreak. It also helps in understanding how to manage the space available.
Escape plans are also discussed as a different course unit. It entails the various emergency fire exits and the fire lifts. Emergency exits are in order to ensure people are not trapped within the inferno stricken area hence reducing the casualty toll to manageable numbers or to zero all the same. These routes need to be well marked for clear visualization and identification in case of a fire.
Fire protection engineering also has fire remodeling and fire dynamics as a discipline in the course content. This is crucial in understanding both the basics and the deeper meaning and strings attached to the process of combustion. Fire modelling implicates a show case of the fire and how to recover from any losses.
Fire dynamics is a complete view and study linking up fire science, chemistry, mechanical engineering of heat transfer and fluid transfer plus the resulting material complexity into one big group of constituents that results into fire. It focuses on the start of fires, their spreading and how they develop into an agent of distraction.
The course outline also involves the various human behaviours as a course unit. Humans tend to panic at times of crisis and it is important to keep them calm thereby avoiding any resulting accidents that could have been otherwise avoided. Human beings are curious beings hence control should also be enforced upon any onlooker to ensure a safe distance is maintained from the fire.
Aside from all that, there is a discipline known as risk analysis. This involves various risk evaluations focussing on the economies involved in terms of losses. Risk analysis takes a keen look on the resulting issues when fire outbreaks in a building or similar structure. This unit focuses on the various calculations made to establish a solid number insinuating the magnitude of the loss.
There is also wildfire management as a unit which entails containing of the fire that breaks out in the wildlife setting the vegetation ablaze. It is crucial to control this fire since it may result in heavy losses pertaining the vegetation burnt and the animal get killed or their habitats get destroyed living them homeless and in the risk of attacks from predators. This unit gives key points to limit the resulting damage.
Many top Universities around the World offer this course at a professional level ensuring many people are qualified to become a firefighter in accordance with the stipulated laws.
In conclusion, fire protection engineering is a crucial course in the current World following the various predicaments involved with fire outbreaks. It is crucial for people to undertake this course and ensure they are well equipped to deal with any fire related issues. Fire is a necessary evil that we cannot leave without but caution must be exercised when dealing or working with it.