Fire engineering can also be termed as “Risk Management” in the field of firefighting. What is fire engineering is probably the most searched issue for anyone who has opted to become a fire engineer?
Fire engineering basically is the application of engineering and scientific principles, expert opinion and rules, based on the understanding of facts and effects of fire as well as behavior and response of people to fire and protecting them and their properties along with the environment from the vicious effects of fire.
A fire engineer has to perform a range of activities in order to achieve the objective of fire engineering. Few of them are as follows:
• Hazard and risk assessment of fire as well as its effects on others.
• Minimizing potential damage from fire by appropriate design, management and construction by using various structures, materials, buildings, industrial methods, effective transportation system and many more.
• Evaluating optimum prevention at an appropriate level and consider active protective measures in order to limit the effects of fire.
• A fire engineer also designs, installs as well as develops and maintains various firefighting equipments such as fire detection units, firefighting communication system, fire suppression, various fire control equipments and so on.
• Directing and controlling the manpower as well as firefighting equipments through a proper strategy.
• Investigating post-fire situation and prepare complete analysis, assessment and feedback on the situation.
What is fire engineering can also be understood by having a look on a fire engineer’s understanding on the following areas that generally produced through education, extensive training and experience.
• Characteristics, mechanism and nature of fire and fire situations.
• Why the fire spreads and how to control them as well as other related ignitable products.
• Understands the process of origination of fire.
• How fire spreads outside and within a building or any other structures.
• How fire can be detected, managed and extinguished.
• A fire engineer is able to foresee the behavior of firefighting machines, equipments, structures, materials and methods related to protecting life, property as well as the environment from fire.
• A fire engineer clearly understands the communication and integration of all sorts of fire safety systems along with other systems in a building and industrial structure in order to make best use of all of them.
What is fire engineering can be understood by evaluating the fire engineering profession of recent days that includes the following:
Science: A fire engineer must have clear knowledge and experience about mechanics of ignition of air/fuel mixture, inhibition of fire, chemistry of reaction within fire, toxicity and many others.
Technology: Using electricity in a combustible condition, designing fire alarm system and various fire detecting and preventing appliances, structural fire safety, performing professional firefighting, danger evaluation of chemical and industrial plant, fire insurance, and many more.
Physiology and Psychology: Behavior and reaction pattern of people to fire alarms, planning fire escape routes, effects of stress and minimizing it, etc.
Management: In case of public or industrial fire engineering – control, leadership, planning emergency activities, cost/benefit study and management. In case of commercial fire engineering – motivating the firefighters, financial control, etc.
Law: Drafting and documentation, implementing fire safety legislation, managing legal actions that arise from fires such as performing as an expert witness, etc.
In today’s competitive world, “what is fire engineering” is really important to know for each and everyone who wants to be a professional fire engineer. Fire engineers play a vital role on fire situations as well as taking pre-fire safety measures and post-fire to-do’s to minimize risk as well as damages from an unfortunate event like fire crash.