Difference between Fire Prevention and Protection in Industries

Difference between Fire Prevention and Fire 

Protection



It is important to make a distinction between fire prevention and fire protection. Each term is unique, and the safety professional's responsibilities differ for every aspect. Fire prevention is to eliminate the possibility of starting a fire. For starters, each hostile fire requires an initial heat source, an initial fuel source, and something to bring them together (NFPA 1997, 1–9). Prevention can take place through successful action on the source of heat, the source of fuel, or the conduct that brings them together (NFPA 1997, 1–9). Housekeeping programs and inspection programs include examples of programs that can be instituted at the workplace to prevent fires. Housekeeping can eliminate unwanted fuel sources and ignition sources. Inspection programs can effectively identify and eliminate fire-ignition and fuel hazards, and then take appropriate steps.




Fire Prevention Vs Fire Protection | Difference between Fire Prevention and Fire Protection | What is Fire Prevention | What is Fire Protection | Fire Prevention and Protection in Industries | Fire Prevention Measures



Preventing fire effectively requires vigilance, action, and cooperation (OSHA, 2004). Vigilance involves regular workplace inspection to determine fire hazards. Action is required to fix hazardous conditions by clearing debris and setting up effective storage and ventilation systems for hazardous materials that may ignite or fuel a fire, establishing and enforcing work rules and maintenance policies that prevent hazardous situations from generating, shielding or ventilating heat sources, and repair or replace faulty appliances or electrical systems. Cooperation between employers and employees is necessary in order to ensure an understanding of their common interests in fire prevention and to make every effort to see and correct fire hazards (OSHA 2004). Fire-protection engineers use science and engineering tools that help protect fire and explosion people, property, and operations (ASSE and BCSP 2000, 23). Fire-engineering–job security aspects include the assessment of buildings to identify fire hazards, the design of fire detection and suppression systems, and research on materials and consumer products. Professionals in safety also recognize that prevention will never succeed 100 percent. Hence, when a fire occurs, it is necessary to plan and design to mitigate damage (NFPA 1997, 1–11). This process is referred to as fire protection. Strategies for fire protection are those activities aimed at minimizing the extent of the fire. Fire protection includes reducing fire hazards through inspection, installation and process layout, and designing fire detection and suppression systems (ASSE and BCSP 2000, 23). It is important, therefore, to include in workplace fire-safety planning considerations for fire suppression or extinguishment and for the evacuation of persons in the event of a fire emergency. Fire-extinguishing systems include sprinkler systems, rated fire doors and walls, portable fire extinguishers, and stand-pipe tubes. The individual evacuation includes means of egress, systems for detection and notification, and emergency planning and preparedness. Fire protection involves the development of an integrated balanced protection system that uses many different design features and systems to strengthen each other and to cover each other in the event of failure of anybody (NFPA 1997, 1–12). The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) describes fire protection as a series of six opportunities to intervene against a hostile fire, arrayed along a timeline of potential growth in fire severity (NFPA 1997, 1–3).


1. Prevent the fire entirely.

2. Slow the initial growth of the fire.


3. Detect fire early, allowing effective intervention before too severe a fire.

4. Provide the ability for automatic or manual suppression.


5. Provide the ability to confine the fire in a space.


6. Move the occupants to a safe location.




Fire Prevention Vs Fire Protection | Difference between Fire Prevention and Fire Protection | What is Fire Prevention | What is Fire Protection | Fire Prevention and Protection in Industries | Fire Prevention Measures



The activities designed to prevent fires, as one can see, are different from those activities aimed at minimizing the extent of the fire once it occurs. Thus, an effective fire-safety program requires both prevention and protection aspects. Fire-prevention and fire-protection strategies for a range of common fire hazards found in the workplace will be presented throughout this book.

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