We’ve talked a lot about fire safety and public safety in general. Fire protection and prevention is a very crucial and unfortunately overlooked aspect. If you own a house or an office, you may not think of hiring a fire protection engineer. You might think that a fire extinguisher or a few buckets of water may be all you need. Some people might even leave it at just a single smoke detector alarm in their kitchens.
You’ll get to know on the multiple aspects of fire protection and why a smoke detector is a start, but certainly not an end. Fire safety and prevention is made up of over 50 different techniques and strategies, and knowing the four to five basic ones is crucial.
The first and foremost aspect of fire protection engineering is fire detection. You can’t really do anything unless you know whether a fire has broken out or not.
Smoke Detectors: Perhaps the most common type of fire detection, smoke detectors are a great way to detect fires. These can actually contain very simple circuits designed to sense any carbon particles. However, they may not be a good choice in the case of smokeless fires, such as those made from pure fuels.
Heat Detectors: A little lesser known, heat detectors have also come into the spotlight. These devices detect a sudden rise in heat. These are actually more helpful than smoke detectors since smoke can be caused by almost anything, but only a fire truly changes the temperature rapidly. However, if the heat does not reach the detector, it is useless.
Active fire prevention refers to the use of suppressants to actively suppress or retard the fire. These are not precautions but rather cures to the ongoing fire.
Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers are of various types and chemical compositions. For a regular fire, a foam or chemical fire extinguisher should mostly work. However, if the fire is caused by chemicals, then calling a fire brigade and evacuating the building is the smartest decision.
Fire Blankets: A fire blanket is a flame retardant cloth or blanket which helps to ”down” or extinguish the fire. Fire blankets should be placed in almost every room, at least two in one if you can afford it. If not, then plan on keeping them mainly in rooms with flammable objects or in the corridor where multiple rooms can be accessed easily.
Passive fire protection encompasses all the precautions taken to make sure the fire doesn’t affect the residents in the long term. This mainly includes planning the building right to allow easy evacuation and keeping the smoke from spreading.
Evacuation: To make evacuation easier, fire exits which are easily accessible should be placed on all floors, ideally two on either side of the building. A fire protection engineer takes into account the number of people the building will house and sets up exits accordingly. Walkways should be made spacious and stairs should be broadened to reduce the stampede.
Venting: A good venting system should be provided to evacuate the smoke and gasses outside the building. This reduces suffocation and poisoning hazards.
Building Planning: A good fire protection engineer will plan the building to reduce flocking and crowding during fires. Large enough rest spaces should be provided, along with radiators and ventilators for everyone to breathe easily.