Fire protection engineering is the science that prevents and controls building fires to lessen damage and injuries. The process involves identifying risks and then designing safeguards to each one. The safeguards include passive protection, active protection and fire detection. Understanding a bit about these safeguards can help you keep your home, and everyone in it safe, if there is ever a fire.
If there is ever a fire in your home, one of the first signs is likely to be smoke. Having smoke detectors in every room of the house is the most important step in fire detection.
Passive fire protection is achieved when safeguards are built into your home to keep a fire from spreading. You do not have to do anything for this protection to take effect. Anytime you make any changes to your home that could be a potential fire hazard, such as adding a wood burning stove or changing the location of your heating system, will need to include passive fire protection. This can include using fire-resistant materials to enclose the hazard as much as possible, or to at least have the wall, flooring and ceiling near it made of them. A few examples would be to have a brick wall behind the wood burning stove, or building a small room around the heating system.
Active fire protection includes safeguards that must be activated to suppress a fire. The activation may require an action done by a person, or it may be automatic. These can include items such as fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems. You should keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and on each floor of your home. It is also a good idea to keep one in the vicinity of the heating system. A sprinkler system aimed at the fire hazard, such as the stove or heater, may not be effective if the appliance is electric. However, you could have the sprinklers aimed at the area surrounding the appliance to keep any fire from spreading.
A house fire can be devastating. Taking precautions to reduce the risk and keep the fire contained will greatly minimize the damage done. If you are not sure of how to best protect you home, you can hire a fire protection engineer. After performing an inspection, he or she can help you set up the safeguards you need to keep your family safe.