What Is Fire Protection Engineering?

Fire is a phenomenon that can be useful but is also dangerous. Learning to control it, prevent it, and understand its behavior is at the core of the fire protection engineering discipline. Keep reading to learn more about the role fire protection engineering plays in safeguarding people, homes, and buildings against the threat of fire. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Field Overview

The field of fire protection engineering, which utilizes principles from all the engineering disciplines, is largely about understanding fire behavior, prevention, and safety. Fire protection engineers seek to learn more about how humans react to and behave around the threat of fire. As a fire protection engineer, you will play a vital role in the research and development of ways to protect people, property, and the environment from fire dangers. Potential employers include fire departments, insurance companies, engineering firms, government agencies, and consulting firms. Education opportunities within the field include bachelor's and master's degree programs. The following list highlights a few of the responsibilities and duties you may encounter as a fire protection engineer:

Important Facts About Health and Safety Engineers

Median Salary (2014) $81,830
Required Education Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6%
Similar Occupations Fire inspectors, industrial engineers, occupational health and safety technicians

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Building Design and Inspection

One goal of fire protection engineering is to reduce or prevent fire risk in a variety of structures. You may analyze building construction procedures, review building codes, and evaluate building materials for all types of buildings ranging from houses and apartment buildings to large-scale hospitals or hotels. You will work closely with architects and contractors to ensure fire safety.

Fire Protection System and Safety Egress Design

You might also apply your expertise as a fire protection engineer to the design of fire alarm and detection systems, sprinkler systems, and other firefighting equipment. You could find yourself creating and designing evacuation plans for a variety of structure types. Identifying potential fire hazards in existing buildings might be part of your job, too.

Fire Behavior and Impact Modeling

As a fire protection engineer, you will study how fire spreads and attempt to understand more about fire behavior through various modes of research and experimentation. Through simulated fires and actual controlled burns, you will explore how fire and smoke can impact both people and the environment. You might also study how the threat of fire affects human behavior with regard to evacuation procedures and fire alarms.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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