Fire Strategies / Engineering
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What is Fire Engineering?
Fire Engineering is the application of scientific and engineering principles, rules [Codes], and expert judgement to protect people, property, and the environment from the destructive effects of fire. It is based on an understanding of the phenomena and effects of fire, as well as the reaction and behaviour of people to fire.
These objectives will be achieved by a variety of means including such activities as:
The proper level of evaluation for the optimum preventive and protective measures necessary to limit the consequences of fire, the design, installation, and use of buildings, materials used, structures, industrial processes, transportation systems, and similar the assessment of the hazards, risks, and effects of fire, the mitigation of potential fire damage by, proper design, construction, and layout use of buildings, materials used, structures, industrial processes, transportation systems, and similar the appropriate level of evaluation for the optimum preventive and protective measures necessary to limit the consequences of fire, the Also included in the strategy and function of fire fighting and rescue operations are fire-related communication systems and equipment, as well as the direction and management of appropriate equipment and manpower. Post-fire investigation and analysis, evaluation, and feedback.
A fire engineer, by education, training and experience understands,
- the nature and characteristics of fire and the mechanisms of fire,
- the spread and the control of fire and the associated products of combustion,
- how fires originate,
- the spread within and outside buildings/structures,
- how fire can be detected, controlled, and/or extinguished,
Today the profession of Fire Engineering encompasses topics such as :
- Science :- Mechanics of ignition of fuel/air mixtures, chemistry of reactions within a flame, inhibition of combustion and toxicity etc.
- Technology :- Use of electricity in flammable atmospheres, structural fire protection of buildings, design of fire detection and alarm systems, fire appliances, sprinklers and other automatic fire fighting systems, professional fire fighting, operational command in the fire service, hazard assessment of industrial plant, chemicals, arson investigation and fire insurance. etc.
- Psychology & Physiology :- Behaviour pattern of persons faced with emergencies e.g. their reaction to alarms, design of escape routes, reaction to stress and its mitigation.
- Management :- In the public or industrial fire brigades – command, leadership, emergency planning, cost/benefit analysis and management, in commercial fire engineering management, financial control, motivation of staff, etc
- Law :- Drafting, implementation and enforcement of fire safety legislation, litigation arising from fires, e.g. acting as an expert witness in both civil and criminal cases, etc.