To those who may not know about it, fire protection engineering or simply fire engineering is a study that focuses on the application of science and modern principles of engineering in prevention and protection of people and properties against blazes and their effects like high temperatures and smoke.
Yes, it seems to be quite simple but in reality it really isn’t. In fact, in some countries, this study is said to be taken so seriously that it is offered as a course in universities. If you are interested with it but have not really made the decision yet, here are four must know facts about it that can help you a bit.
1. This branch of engineering has existed since the time of Nero (the ancient Roman Emperor). After a devastating blaze, the emperor ordered the rebuilding of the city with the use of non – combustible materials like stone and concrete. During this time, the early architects and engineers also constructed the houses and buildings with actual spaces in between them help slow down the spread of flames should a blaze happen again.
2. Today, the study of fire engineering includes topics like Fire protection and management in terms of architectural designs and proper space planning, risk assessment, behavior of people during an actual blaze and some firefighting tips.
As such, this type of engineer is expected to know and understand the following:
– The types of flames, their classifications, behavior and their substance of origin
– Understand and anticipate the reaction of people towards blazes
– Know the application and operation of fire safety equipment like extinguishers and alarms
3. The tasks of a fire engineer starts from planning, to construction and finishing of the building. They are ideally partnered with licensed architects to help them design a building that is almost safe from flames.
Apart from actively participating in construction, they are also sometimes hired by building owners to install or design alarms and devices that are ideal based on the building’s original construction. Some regulatory agencies also hire them to become third party inspectors to check if a specific building has followed the state’s regulation about fire safety.
4. Just like any other types of engineers, a fire engineer has to pass the actual course and a licensure exam before they can be considered legit. Further credentials can also be obtained by joining international groups like The Institute of Fire Engineers. This group has branches in United Kingdom, China, Malaysia and South America.
Like any institutions, several levels of membership can be obtained by an individual. One’s membership can be determined based on their credentials and their achievement in the field of fire safety and protection.
Those are some of the basics that you may want to know about fire engineering in general. Again, that is just an overview of what you are bound to learn and do as you try to become a fire engineer. Hopefully, that helped you decide if you are up to become one.
by Ben Griston