To protect your home against fire, you must first understand the differences between fire protection vs fire prevention. These terms are often mentioned interchangeably, but it’s important to understand how each system works in order to understand how they intersect and what their purpose is.
In this article, we’ll define these two systems and how they work in tandem to keep both buildings and people safe.
What is fire protection?
Fire protection is to protect a building’s occupants and minimize the damage associated with fire. Fire protection systems are installed throughout a building to include heating, ventilation and air conditioning; electrical work; plumbing; security systems, etc.
Put simply, fire protection means safeguarding people in a building from the effects of fire and promote safety for those who may be exposed to smoke or water. The goal of fire protection is to provide the most time possible for safe evacuation from the building while reducing repair costs from fire damage.
There are two types of fire protection systems, active and passive. Active systems are designed to help fight fires and include: automatic sprinklers, smoke alarms and hoses/ nozzles. Passive systems, on the other hand, include: fire doors, fire walls, escape ladders / routes and fire windows. Unlike active systems that require electricity and water to work, passive ones do not (but they must be maintained in order to work properly).
Fire protection can be described as a series of layers that are designed to protect the residents and building from the effects of fire. Layers include: fire detection and alarm systems; the building itself; the utilities (water, gas and electricity); the sprinkler system and its pipes; alarms, hoses and nozzles; smoke doors; fire walls/separation assemblies and fire windows.
Fire Protection Tips for Your Home
It’s difficult to protect a house from fire. Even with the best systems, fires are inevitable. There are plenty of things you can do to help keep your family safe! These top tips will help ensure your safety and lower the risk of any costly damages if something goes wrong.
Fire Alarms and Heat Detectors
If you have children or pets at home, this may be an even more important device to install in your home. Pets are often confused by smoke and sudden noises, so having something that will give them warning may be the difference between their safety and injury. In addition, do not forget carbon dioxide detectors throughout your home.
Place a fire extinguisher near the kitchen, in each bedroom and near all of your doors. Make sure to place them on wheeled or heavy duty bases so that they can be moved easily when needed. To make sure your extinguisher works when you need it regular inspections are needed. It is recommended to do monthly visual inspections and maintenance completed yearly. Not only can fire extinguishers help protect your family, they also can mitigate property damage by preventing a fire from spreading.
Looking for the perfect science fair project? Learn how to make a DIY Fire Extinguisher
Additional Fire Protection Systems
There are additional fire protection systems such as automatic sprinklers that can be used to go along with personal fire extinguishers to ensure that fires in your home are put out quickly and as well as they can be.
Have an Evacuation Plan
The importance of having a plan and where it should be stored, is to make sure you have an escape route and where to meet in case you are separated from family members. This way, if there is an emergency situation that requires you to leave the building or house, you will have a map in hand rather than being roaming the streets without direction. It is also important that your plan includes information on what to do when evacuation has taken place.
Make sure to read our full guide with Top Fire Protection Tips for Your Home
What is fire prevention?
Fire prevention is the process by which measures are made to prevent the occurrence of fires. There are a variety of reasons why businesses and homes may become victims to fires. These include: the presence of flammable materials, electrical malfunctions, and accidental sources of ignition. Fire prevention seeks to address each of these issues to ultimately eliminate the risk of fires from occurring.
Below we have listed some top tips of prevention practices to implement fire prevention into your house.
Perform a Complete Property Inspection
During the inspection, make a list of areas more vulnerable to potential fires. These include: building materials, household appliances, and the items that you have collected over time. Inspect them to make sure they are not faulty, becoming worn or damaged. If you see something suspicious, call in an electrician immediately to assess the issue.
Clean Up after Cooking
The kitchen is the most common source of fires in homes. Make sure to clean all grease and oil spills up as soon as possible after cooking so that it does not dry and cause a fire hazard later on.
Keep Matches and Candles Away From Anything that Could Ignite Them
Protect your children from the danger of playing with matches or candles. You should always keep these well out of reach from children or pets. It is also important to keep them in a secure place away from anything that could catch on fire.
Have Proper Electrical Work Done
If you have faulty electrical work that requires a professional to repair, then it is vital that you get this done as soon as possible. You should contact the local authority agency and ask them what they suggest. A list of reputable companies can also be obtained through contacting your council or local fire brigade station. When you have all of the information, place an ad in a local newspaper to advertise their services.
Regularly Maintain Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Dirty wood-burning fireplaces can cause a risk of fire. It is essential that they are cleaned regularly and the ashes are removed. They should also be made safe by wrapping them with fire-retardant materials.
Install Smoke Detectors in All Rooms with Candles or Chunks of Wood
Smoke detectors are a must-have in all rooms. By installing them in rooms where there could be things that leak smoke, it can alert you when they become compromised and require immediate attention.
Unplug Small Appliances
Make sure to keep small appliances such as hairdryers and curling irons unplugged when not in use to avoid the risk of electrical fires. You should also never leave them charging overnight.
Regularly Service and Replace Combustion Appliances
Combustion appliances can become a hazard in the wrong hands. They range anywhere from barbeques and wood-burning stoves to gas-powered heating appliances. In order to prevent these appliances from causing fires, they need to be regularly serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Conclusion for Fire Protection vs Fire Prevention
In this article we covered the differences between fire protection vs fire prevention and how the two systems work together to both help prevent and protect in the case of a fire. We also covered a few steps to fire prevention and how this can help you protect your home and loved ones. We hope you take away some of our tips and implement them in your home safety plan. If you have any more tips or would like to add to our list feel free to drop us a line.