Prevention, Education, & Preparedness
The Fire Prevention Bureau's mission is to provide the people we serve with the most effective form of fire control: PREVENTION
Each year in the nation there are over 4,000 fire-related deaths and billions of dollars lost as a result of fires. Prevention is the best way to " mitigate or minimize the impact of fire and save lives. The fire which never occurs can claim no victims and cause no damage.
This is accomplished through the implementation of the
Three Es of effective Fire Prevention
...in fire prevention involves conducting plan review and pre-occupancy inspections of all proposed development, construction, and major building remodels in the District. This ensures that current codes are applied to and met in all new occupancies before construction begins. This saves time and money while ensuring all fire and life safety concerns have been addressed. The pre-occupancy inspections, during and after
construct, ensures the proper installation and operation of all fire and life safety systems approved in the plan review process.
...is regarded as the most important component of the Three Es. Educating the community in fire and life safety skills is a top priority. Public fire safety education provides the tools and knowledge necessary in developing a positive change in attitudes toward fire and life safety behaviors. A positive attitude fosters a proactive approach to fire safety and helps in preventing fire related injury and loss. In our home and work places fire safety education will give you the power to create a safer environment and save lives.
...encompasses the responsibility of the fire inspector to annually inspect existing businesses and properties for fire and life safety issues. Working with property and business owners, fire inspectors can assist in identifying and correcting fire and safety related issues to aid in preventing, controlling, and mitigating the effects of fires.
Members of the Fire Prevention Bureau also investigate the origin and cause of fires and fire related incidents in the District.
fire prevention and control, the prevention, detection, and extinguishment of fires, including such secondary activities as research into the causes of fire, education of the public about fire hazards, and the maintenance and improvement of fire-fighting equipment. Until after World War I little official attention was given to fire prevention, because most fire departments were concerned only with extinguishing fires. Since then most urban areas have established some form of a fire-prevention unit, the staff of which concentrates on such measures as heightening public awareness; incorporating fire-prevention measures in building design and in the design of machinery and the
execution of industrial activity; reducing the potential sources of fire; and outfitting structures with such equipment as extinguishers and sprinkler systems to minimize the effects of fire.
fire prevention and control, the prevention, detection, and extinguishment of fires, including such secondary activities as research into the causes of fire, education of the public about fire hazards, and the maintenance and improvement of fire-fighting equipment.
Until after World War I little official attention was given to fire prevention, because most fire departments were concerned only with extinguishing fires. Since then most urban areas have established some form of a fire-prevention unit, the staff of which concentrates on such measures as heightening public awareness; incorporating fire-prevention measures in building design and in the design of machinery and the execution of industrial activity; reducing the potential sources of fire; and outfitting structures with such equipment as extinguishers and sprinkler systems to minimize the effects of fire.
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The importance of increasing public understanding of the causes of fire and of learning effective reactions in the event of fire is essential to a successful fire-prevention program. To reduce the impact and possibility of fire, the building codes of most cities include fire safety regulations. Buildings are designed to separate and enclose areas, so that a fire will not spread; to incorporate fire-prevention devices, alarms, and exit signs; to isolate equipment and materials that could cause a fire or explode if exposed to fire; and to install fire-extinguishing equipment at regular intervals throughout a structure. Fire-retardant building materials have also been developed, such as the paints and chemicals used to coat and impregnate combustible materials, such as wood and fabric.
In the United States a study conducted over a 10-year period found that the most frequent type of fire was electrical (23 percent of all fires); other causes of fire included tobacco smoking (18 percent), heat caused by friction in industrial machinery (10 percent), overheated materials (8 percent), hot surfaces in such devices as boilers, stoves, and furnaces (7 percent), burner flames (7 percent), and combustion sparks (5 percent).
To reduce the hazardous effects of fire the most basic mechanism is an alarm system, which warns people to leave a building at once, alerts the fire department, and identifies the location of a fire within a structure. Besides the fire alarms that are triggered by people, there are many automatic devices that can detect the presence of fire. These include heat-sensitive devices, which are activated if a specific temperature is reached; a rate-of-rise detector, which is triggered either by a quick or a gradual escalation of temperature; and smoke detectors, which sense changes caused by the presence of smoke, in the intensity of light, in the refraction of light, or in the ionization of air.
Many public buildings are equipped with automatic sprinkler systems, which release a spray of water on an affected area if a fire is detected. The effectiveness of these systems has been proved in data accumulated from throughout the world: in buildings protected by sprinkler systems that had fires, the system extinguished fires in 65 percent of the cases and contained fires until other fire-fighting measures could be taken in 32 percent of the cases. A major problem with sprinkler systems is the potential for water damage, but it has been found that in most cases this threat is minimal compared with the damage that a fire could cause.
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There exists a considerable variety of fire-fighting equipment, ranging in sophistication from buckets and extinguishers to the elaborate yet portable apparatus used by fire departments. The most common of these is the fire engine, equipped with hoses, ladders, water tanks, and tools. Ladder and rescue trucks work in conjunction with trucks equipped with platforms that can be elevated by hydraulic lifts to carry out rescue efforts. Fireboats are employed in combating fires on ships and on waterfront property.
Fire-extinguishing agents other than water are used to fight various types of fire. Foaming agents are employed to handle oil fires. “Wet” water, formed by the addition of a chemical that reduces surface tension, can be used in a clinging foam to protect the exterior of a structure near the source of a fire. Ablative water, made by mixing water with additives, forms a dense, heat-absorbing blanket. Carbon dioxide is employed when water cannot be used and a fire must be fought by suffocation. Dry chemicals are used to extinguish electrical fires or burning liquids, while dry powder is utilized to put out such burning metals as magnesium and phosphorus. Halogenated hydrocarbons, commonly called halons, take the form of liquefied gas or vaporizing liquids at room temperature; they inhibit the flame chain reaction. Steam is used to control fire in confined areas, while inert gas is employed to extinguish gas, dust, and vapour fires.
Fire fighting is a battle against time. The initial priority is rescuing any occupants that may be in a burning building. Precedence is then given to any location from which the fire may spread to a neighbouring structure. A typical method of fire fighting is the over-and-under system. Working from inside the building, if possible, the bulk of the fire fighting takes place from below, while further attack is carried out from above in an effort to prevent the fire from spreading upward.
In rural areas water-tank trucks are usually needed, thus the time factor becomes even more critical. Bush, grass, and forest fires are frequently fought using the same equipment that is used on structural fires. Aircraft are sometimes employed to dump fire-retardant slurries or water mixtures on these blazes.
It has also become necessary to combat fires in pressurized chambers, including spacecraft. The combustion rate in these environments is much higher than it is under normal atmospheric pressure. Strict construction guidelines are followed to keep fire hazards to a minimum, and highly pressurized sprinklers are installed that act immediately upon any combustion.
This article was most recently revised and updated by Richard Pallardy.
What is the most effective method of fire prevention?
The key to preventing fires is to keep heat and ignition sources away from materials, equipment and structures that could act as fuel to complete the fire triangle.
What are the 4 areas of fire prevention?
Fire prevention is based on four pedestals known in professional circles as the Four E's: Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Evaluation..
Engineering. ... .
Education. ... .
Enforcement. ... .
What are the 3 ways to evaluate the effectiveness of a fire and life safety program?
Trend analysis, benchmarking and performance analysis are ways to compare and evaluate data.
What is fire prevention technique?
Establish procedures Smoking and naked flames are strictly controlled or banned entirely. Portable appliances are regularly tested and well maintained. Electrical and gas services are isolated before the building is closed. Bins are stored away from external walls (to reduce arson risk)