Talk:Fire protection

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Overall scope and emphasis[edit]

This article seems unbalanced in it's emphasis on fire stops. It should be re-written from an NPOV standpoint (I agree with much of the below mentioned previous NPOV comments), with balance provided between all goals and disciplines that contribute to a comprehensive approach.

The 'systemic problems' section should be reorganized to reflect a broader approach to possible failure modes. Also, some overly strident wording should be revised, such as, "If any one of the three components of Fire Protection fail, the fire safety plan can be immediately and severely compromised." In fact, if sprinklers are properly designed and operating, in the vast majority of commercial and industrial occupancies, an open fire door, or a compromised fire stop, or an inoperative fire alarm, would result in the same scenario endpoint: a fire which is controlled in size and duration, which is eventually extinguished. I'm not saying all of the different objectives of fire protection aren't important, but the article should be factual within the limitations of the discussion, without unnecessary intensification. Fireproeng 04:07, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

The above is essentially the AFP point of view. It also disregards basic lessons that are not part of an FPE's curriculum, which is hard test experience of systems. This is proprietary subject matter and largely unavailable to the public. Those of us who have designed systems, be they AFP or PFP know many more weak points that an FPE is simply unaware of. The other thing that is lacking from this pure AFP lobbyist point of view, which is that sprinklers are the catch-all and all the other sins on construction sites don't matter much so long as all is sprinklered well, is also lacking in contracting knowledge. The engineer has little or no influence over or interest in how workscopes are divided up on site and the severe effects of this. The crowd that laps up this viewpoint is those who stand to gain, which is the sprinkler lobby as well as the FPEs and let's not forget the owners and developers. What happens as a result of this blind convergence is that the almighty dollar wins. It is also directly responsible for the biggest fire protection blunders and boondoggles in recorded history, most of which can be found right here in North America, namely:
The engineer must go by the ratings established through certification listings. He or she has no clue whose listings can be trusted and which are pure nonsense. Example:
The Authority Having Jurisdiction has no legal means to consider such matters as our government cheerfully ignores these things because this potatoe is just a bit too hot. Those of us who have made a living off contracting as well as designing and testing systems, regardless of whether they're AFP or PFP know these things. The public and the design team can only guess at these matters because the intellectual and experiential framework of the matter is proprietary in nature for the most part. All the blunders I mentioned had the approval of the professional design teams at the design stage. The result, among other things, is the reason for all the whistleblowing in the field, such as Achim

RESPONSE - I am not a proponent of promoting APF without a balance with PFP and education. Rather than characterizing my viewpoint without adequate basis, please ask me next time, and I’ll be glad to discuss the basis of my positions.

Your response covered a lot of ground, so I’ll stay focused on the main points.

Most importantly, the existing wording is not written in NPOV. It is more of a soapbox style, as an advocacy for PFP. That observation does not make me an advocate of AFP over PFP. You have done a great job in providing lots of information on PFP. Nothing wrong with that, I guess that’s the area in which you have experience. But in the spirit of a General Encyclopedia, the article is unbalanced in that a layperson, not knowing anything about fire protection, comes away from reading the present article with the impression that PFP is the most important issue involved, if for no other reason than the sheer length of text regarding PFP. I am only suggesting the article’s balance should reflect the real world experience of constructors, fire protection professionals, and building owners encountered in the vast majority of industrial and commercial projects

As a specific point, I did not us the example above, "…if sprinklers are properly designed and operating, in the vast majority of commercial and industrial occupancies, an open fire door, or a compromised fire stop, or an inoperative fire alarm, would result in the same scenario endpoint: a fire which is controlled in size and duration, which is eventually extinguished." as a debating point for AFP over PFP. I used it, as I explained, only as one example in which NPOV wording is needed for better balance. You did not refute this statement. I qualified the scenario with stating that the AFP system must be operating, which as we both know, is not always the case, which is why PFP is so very important.

Your viewpoints are also argued as being unassailable because a small minority of fire protection professionals, of which you are a member, have a monopoly on the correct opinion. In other words, it is impossible for anyone other than yourself to have a valid position based on experience, because only your experience is valid. This itself is the opposite of a NPOV attitude. The result is a viewpoint which is heavily skewed to one occupancy, the nuclear power industry, in which PFP is much more important than as compared to other industrial and commercial occupancies, which make up the vast majority of new construction and existing installations in which AFP and PFP play a role.

Finally, the tone of your discussion is dismissive, arrogant, overlly generalizes, and is full of assumptions. Examples are:

* disregards basic lessons that are not part of an FPE's curriculum – This is a generalized assumption. Fire protection design professionla have different and varied backgounds. I have personnaly been involved in several component and system listing laboritory tests. I'm sure not as many as you, as your background seems to focus on that, but that does not make my views uninformed or invalid.
* Those of us who have designed systems, be they AFP or PFP know many more weak points that an FPE is simply unaware of. – This is simply untrue. Many FPE’s have designed many of these systems. It’s a fundamental part of the job. What FPE’s do not normally do is, for example, design fire stops for a manufacturer, which is not needed to understand to a great depth and scope how and why they should be specified, tested, and installed properly.
*lacking from this pure AFP lobbyist point of view – an assumption that is wrong
* also lacking in contracting knowledge. The engineer has little or no influence over or interest in how workscopes are divided up on site and the severe effects of this. – Most FPE’s have written specifications with trades in mind (fire stopping is a good example) and worked with specialty subcontractors in the field. This is a basic skill. Your assumption is wrong.
*The crowd that laps up this viewpoint – this is argumentative, and provoking. It has no place in a NPOV discussion.
*blind convergence - same as previous.
* It is also directly responsible for the biggest fire protection blunders and boondoggles in recorded history – these are not the biggest disasters in fire protection history. Your list again focuses on the narrow scope of the nuclear industry. The worst disasters are measured in lives and property damage. How about 9-11 and the San Francisco fire of 1906, etc. See the ‘’List of Disasters, Fire Disasters’’ section for the real list.
*He or she has no clue whose listings can be trusted and which are pure nonsense - an assumption which is wrong. Many fire protection design professionals have spent an extraordinary amount of time focusing on the test methods of the components and systems they specify and recommend. No one group has a monopoly on adequate knowledge to result in an installed system which adequately protects the occupants.
*government cheerfully ignores these things because this potatoe is just a bit too hot. – I would agree with you that some of the folks working in building permit review offices may need more education, but this an exaggeration which insults these hard working and well intentioned professionals.

Finally, NPOV also applies to Discussion pages. Please try and be more open to discussion, as opposed to getting on your soapbox. Fireproeng 13:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Response to RESPONSE[edit]

You too have done lot of writing, so I'll try to shorten matters:

  • AFP vs. PFP advocacy - I don't readily buy your arguments because of the length to which your profession goes to advocate "risk informed", "objective based", "performance based" approaches, which benefits:
  • 1. Your trade
  • 2. Owners whose primary if not exclusive aim is to lower costs. The result is the loss of balance typically, all in favour of AFP because this is easily quantified and thus particularly appealing. I know enough people in the field to support my skepticism of the matter, just as I do people involved in test designs for AFP systems, who may be glad for the revenue but are not necessarily as convinced that the removal of the balance is really in the best interest of the occupants of the resulting buildings. Also, fire statistics in Switzerland and Germany, compared against the US underline the reality of the matter. I therefore believe that your point of view may very well be merely NPOV well disguised.
  • The correct opinion I don't imagine that an opinion can be truly judged to be correct or incorrect. It is is - like an emotion - not right or wrong. The search for the truth is at issue. I reject your insinuation with mild amusement. Also, your stating that I presume the nuclear business to be indicative of all construction in all cases is not accurate. It does show some indicative things and provides us with lessons that are universally applicable, such as the effect of having product certification as being optional. The point I make is that this is covered by a plethora of written justifications by members of your trade, which still ignores the basics, such as that when you presume something to have a 3 hour rating of some sort and the basis of the testing that underlies it is not a UL listing but instead a test at PCA where the submittor built his own assembly in his shop and then transported it to the test site, dictated the reports and then the penseals in many plants are based on something that would be inadmissibly in a 7-11, there are conclusions that you can derive from this. Instead of fixing the root problem, then talking about "risk-informed" blablabla with a lovely FPE stamp on the matter - what should that tell us?

By no means did I indicate that I am the only one with experience similar to mine. The point is that the assumptions on which the work of your trade is based cannot be accurately judged by your trade. Were it different, the US would not have the history it has in this subject. It is not exactly admirable. Browns Ferry caused a lot of belly laughs in German speaking countries for instance. A real knee-slapper - completely and utterly unthinkable over there. Why? Plants have to answer not only to the federal regulator but also to the local inspectors and their codes - both. The more severe of the two always applies and case closed. Not so in the US and Canada. People would be locked up for stuff like that in Germany, despite all the professionally written justifications.

  • Systems testing experience Manufacturers who go to FPEs for their system tests have very little experience. I think they have no business being in the business. Similarly when manufacturers employ any eminence grise who won'T get his hands dirty in the test installations, often winds up wasting a lot of money on failed tests because he doesn't learn the basic lessons. You need to get your hands dirty now and then. Just because you have done a few tests, does not mean in the slightest that you have the full picture. It does not mean that you have the chemical and physics knowledge, nor does it mean that you know Who is Who and whose work in the field is actually trustworthy. Do you know who cheats how on tests? When you don't know and you have to accept a listing and this listing forms the basis of your assumptions when modelling, what good is it? Will it do to simply derate your systems by some percentage? Presume that a 3 hour system will last only 2.5 hours? what of it fails in 10 minutes? How would you know? If you did know, how can you bring that to the table without risking legal trouble - especially when you don't have proof? As such, when you model and evaluate, you are restricted to taking listings at face value. That is dangerous but you have little option, do you? As such, you may very well have opinions, but opinions is the most you can have in the absence of real knowledge.
  • Contracting knowledge You don't seem to understand. The consultant's viewpoint of contractual relations on site is far from complete. I know yours - I've been there. If you ever make a living off the actual work, different knowledge emerges. You can certainly take many of the boilerplate specs and massage them to your liking but your viewpoint is still limited unless and until you have been on the other side long enough. Ordinarily, the general contractor is also not TOLD by the consultant whom to award what work to. He has many choices. You may not be legally in a position to dicttate. Therein lies the root of many problems. The avoidance of the loopholes requires knowledge of the other side on the one hand, brass bollocks on the other. That combination is difficult to find particularly considering the legal restrictions on your side of that fence. The result is known though to many in the trade: beaucoup noncompliances, amply justified.
  • Disasters I don't believe you understood. What was meant here was the avoidance of doing the right thing for financial reasons whilst having no shortage of professional consultants on the job. Browns Ferry for instance would not have happened if they had gone with MCT firestops, which had been used in Fort St. Vrain for instance, by the US Navy, etc. It is the preventable disasters that are at issue, which is the embarrassment on North American fire protection. I don't mean for a minute to diminish other fire disasters but the issue is the avoidance of doing the right thing whilst under that watchful eyes of North American fire protection professionals - which is not always just FPEs as we both know. Architects and engineers qualify in many jurisdictions without being FPEs. Do you know, for instance, the fight that was put up by OWFN to avoid the Thermo-Lag issue and the silicone foam issue? Do you know the length these learned professionals went to, to kill those things while preserving the status quo of absent product certification? Do you know the number of FPEs employed by the NRC who are permitting this status quo to continue unaltered, to carry right over into new plants, if that is to be? You wouldn't put this into an outhouse, but there it still is in fairly sensitive installations. Why would that be? Why would it be that owners have no knowledge of the required PFP maintenance despite lots of input from learned professionals? Is it beyond any doubt whatsoever that when a device is rendered useless and it forms part of a system, that this system will be affected?
  • Crowd that laps up the viewpoint My statements in this regard are simply that those who stand to gain from the swinging of the pendulum towards AFP, at the peril of PFP, particularly the informed maintenance of it, are the owners who want to keep construction cheap and the FPE trade, whose work increases without fixing the fundamental problem. This is not "original research" or anything. It was first published in my 1997 article in the Canadian "Construction Specifier" magazine, by Construction Specifications Canada. This is merely a mathematical/financial fact. I'll grant you that there may be more diplomatic ways of putting the matter but this does not alter the information.
  • Trustworthy listings I stand by my statement. Just because some FPEs have been hired by some manufacturers to do this work, means little or nothing. If you formulate the product, write the process standard, get involved in the contracting of it, negotiate manufacture etc., then I will take your views seriously. Manufacturers who hire FPEs to do any of this I cannot take seriously in the first place. To me, it is a case of the blind leading the blind. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean for a minute to say that you are below normal intelligence or that you don't have the capacity to understand it. Not so. I'm sure you're one smart cookie. Nor do I think for a moment that what you and your colleagues know has no value. My point is that there is a very significant missing link, perhaps like the O-Rings or the tiles on the shuttle? What troubles me is that you don't know that you don't know. A lot of what you should know and what would make your judgment that much sharper is necessarily proprietary in nature and cannot be learned from books because it would violate legalities of which you have no knowledge - and even if you did you would be hardpressed to use this in some cases.
  • Cheerfully ignoring = insulting OK, I'll give you an example outside of nuclear. I have to be careful in how I phrase it :-) No names :-) There is a large PFP manufacturer out there who manufactures a very thin board that contains concrete and metal. A single-sided application on a metal framework can pass a 60 minute hydrocarbon test without T and H. All they need is stability/integrity, no temperature or hose - OK? He tests this in a small frame and passes. A client in the Gulf of Mexico owns a large number of platforms and uses this system for the majority of rated walls. It's cheap, especially compared against endothermic or intumescent spray. It's noncombustible, so it would even be OK inside an office building. The insurer comes from Scandinavia. He blesses these installations but finally someone, somewhere, demands a 100ft² sample test. So, they run it. Slight problem: he uses an intumescent caulking for the joints because the board likes to back off and needs some bubbling no seal the gaps so they don't let fire through. The original test upon which the majority of installations are based uses no intumescent, meaning that all the field installations to the tune of millions have no back-up. Along comes the new test report and it contains the intumescent, which is not even used in the field. It won't pass without that intumescent, which is also very likely to DIE within a week of real exposures (humidity and chlorine levels) in the Gulf of Mexico. This intumescent is unlikely to bubble within a week of installation even if it had been used, which it wasn't, meaning it's junk anyway, meaning that all their PFP is junk on a plethora of platforms with difficult egress. Soooo, as an engineer, you can model those platforms six ways to breakfast, but I would know instantly from who made the board and who made the intumescent, whether those systems are likely to give you H60 or more likely 10 minutes. Take that a step further to the Scandinavian insurer, amply staffed with professionals, who simply swept the matter under the rug because not to do so would mean major remedial work and lawsuits on the existing platforms. Too hot. Nobody will touch it. You would have a hard time to sniff stuff like this out. All I need are names - because I have the proprietary knowledge to which you have no access. Situations like this one abound in too many places. I know plenty of them with all sorts of blessings in the field by the appropriate professionals who are blissfully unaware. In my experience, whistleblowing is not particularly well liked in this field. Ergo my reference to Gerald W. Brown, of who you make no mention. I don't wish to diminish your knowledge or your work, but I am troubled that you don't know that you don't know and are legally forced, as is an AHJ, to accept documentation that people with my knowledge, of which I'm by no means the only one - I never claimed that - would know is utter junk. Whether it's great stuff or junk, you take it at face value and your judgement in derating listing performance in modelling cannot consider that which you don't know.

I summary, I mention items in my prose, be it on Wikipedia or elsewhere, which seeks to point those who wish to know, in the direction which debunks common items that I know are sources of deficiencies and trouble. If you and I spent a day or two together, I could show you a lot of stuff that would probably floor you. You might then in retrospect think back with concern about things you have approved with good intention in the past and with incomplete knowledge to the best of your ability. And still, whilst on the job, what option do you have BUT to accept the status quo, such as, for example, certain listings?

So, if you found any of what I have written offensive, I can assure you that it was not my intention to insult you. But I know exactly what I am talking about and I can back up what I write.--Achim 00:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Response to Achim[edit]


Thank you for your measured response. We seem to be two of the more experienced folks discussing these issue (no offense intended to any others, I’m sure there are a bunch out there), so if we can share the common ground, I’ll bet we can add a lot to this project.

Overall, I think we need to get on a different playing field with the discussion. Debating these issue to this level of detail is not efficient, as our respective positions cannot be ultimately proven, we can only spiral down ever increasing levels of references and ad-hoc examples, which will not resolve anything.

If we can agree on some general principals, we can get something done, so here is my proposal (which responds to your latest, but is meant to offer some common ground, and not to refute).

First, I’m willing to stipulate that you have forgotten more about PFP systems than I will ever know. That does not mean I don’t (or on a broad brush, FPE’s) have something to offer in the forum of a general encyclopedia. Similarly, I’m willing to stipulate to the facts of all of your examples.

I am sure there are lots of examples of PFP systems being installed incorrectly. From the standpoint of an expert like yourself, this must be frustrating. I see incorrect PFP system installations regularly, but I think the main difference in our reaction to industry is in the reality of the current situation in construction. The result of imperfect (or even bad) PFP installations is dependant on a scenario based analysis of a fire event. In the case of a nuclear reactor installation, the effects could be catastrophic. In an apartment building not protected with sprinklers, the results are similarly very severe. In the case of an office building with sprinklers, the PFP is likely to be critical only if something fails (e.g., the sprinkler control valve is closed). If the sprinklers are operational, the fire will likely be controlled, and the PFP does not come into play.

My point is that I might not like where we are in the current construction environment PFP and AFP balance, and agree with you that PFP systems are often not designed, installed, or maintained correctly, but – that is the current construction environment, and it is not producing regular catastrophes. That doesn’t make it completely right, or mean we should not lobby for changes. But from the standpoint of a general encyclopedia, it seems to me to reflect what the average Joe should find when they read the article.

Our professions do not determine our individual viewpoints about certain issues, or the ultimate Wikipedia article content. That is too broad a brush. I personally believe that PFP is very important. I do not believe the only reason for being an advocate of AFP is an immoral one, or only for cost savings. A counter argument could be made that PFP system manufacturers and contractors, having a vested interest in the installation of PFP, also skew the reality of it's importance. That is capitalism, and is determined in the imperfect world of consensus code making. Maybe not the best theoretical system possible, but it is the reality of the one in force today. Additionally, the FPE profession in in general doe not have a vested interest in AFP over PFP, as different subcontractors in the construction business do. FPE's generally represent an impartial viewpoint, and make no money on any one system being installed over another. This is written into our code of ethics.

By the way, I’m one of the FPE's who has in the past fought with the architect to determine in the contract documents to award the fire stopping subcontract to a qualified subcontractor, and not to the general – and then held their feet to the fire on submittals and field installations. Some FPE’s do this, because we agree with you - it’s important.

In summary, I think my main points are based on current general practices – shouldn’t Wikipedia articles represent mainly what’s going on today, with a balance of opinion regarding potential problems? Fireproeng 02:49, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Response back to Fireproeng from Achim[edit]

Alrightythen, I suppose you're right that this may not be the most effective medium for us to communicate and I like you a lot better after your last bit of prose. So, how about this, whatever changes you wish to propose, why not send it to me via e-mail and we can exchange contact information? We must be able to share some entertaining yarns? --Achim 21:47, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Achim, in the spirit of the open Wiki process, I would prefer to discuss here. Hopefully, we don't have that much more to discuss, and can get on to constructive editing. Fireproeng 22:33, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Okiedokie. Pity. You CAN send e-mail to me from Wiki. Unlike you, I have that enabled. So whatever you imagine as a means forward, why don't you let me know what it is you want to change? --Achim 21:41, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Regarding deletion proposal[edit]

I created this article as a stub with the intention of expanding it later. The following is said about stubs on Wikipedia (refer to Wikipedia:stubs): "A stub is an article that's obviously too short, but not so short as to be considered useless. In general, it must be long enough to at least define the article's title, which generally means 3 to 10 short sentences." If the complaint is that this article is an obvious dictionary definition, and stubs are supposed to at least define the title of the article that it seeks to have expanded, then it follows that the stub would be an obvious dictionary definition to start. -- backburner001 05:43, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Proposed mergers[edit]

Since both Active fire protection and Passive fire protection are subsets of fire protection, I suggest that these two articles be merged into Fire protection. -- backburner001 00:33, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

For the record, subsequent discussions between backburner001 and myself, have resulted in expansions of both the AFP and PFP articles, which everyone now appears to agree can stand on their own. --Achim 03:41, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Almost turns into an essay[edit]

The second section starts to look like an essay at points and while talking about asking people questions about their building. I have no problems with outlining the potential fragility of a fire protection system and the need for everyone to know what's going on with it, however parts of that section make very broad and general accusations against people (IE. "absolutely no idea", etc). 00:16, 17 July 2006 (UTC)


This article full of NPOV, unencyclopedic wording. The latter half, in particular, is full of accusatory language and broad-based assumptions. A major rewrite is definitely in order. -Rikoshi 01:27, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Rebuttal By Author[edit]

The text is based on decades of experience in the field with picture and other data for back-up. I invite any critic to debate me on the merits of the text, specifically. For instance, if you have no copy of the code, you have absolutely no idea what is going on and that is simply an indisputable fact. That's why inspectors always have codes handy. No-one can be expected to know everything - but you have to know what to look up where. If, as an owner, you say you rely on your irregular fire inspection report by the municipality, you know in the back of your mind that the inspector does not see everything... Without the code text, you have nothing to compare your installed configurations against. This is an indisputable fact. The code points you to testing and certification requirements for your installed configurations. Inevitably, that leads you to UL listings, etc. If you are unable to walk up to a fireproofed beam and compare the installed configiration against the certification listing that covers it, then you cannot possibly have the remotest idea whether it meets the code or not. If you believe for one moment, that simply because you have an occupancy permit, that your municipal building and fire inspectors, let alone your consultants checked every little thing, you are sadly mistaken. So, if the coating is damaged doe to remedial work in plumbing, without the listing, how do you know what to do to fix it? Who would make that decision? Furthermore, I submit, and challenge you to rebuttal, that if you actually believe, that, without any spot checks, where you walk up to an installed system, be it a fire extinguisher, an alarm panel, a fire door, a firestop or an intumescent coated column, and if you're unable to match it to a listing that bounds the installed configuration, that all must be well anyway, simply on the sayso of people who absolve themselves legally six ways to breakfast (and they all do because in a court of law they all blame each other - I know because I have provided expert testimony and post-mortem investigations for legal cases in fires) then your beliefs are really just that - faith - or, wishful thinking. In reality, it's the owner's responsibility to maintain the building in accordance with the fire code. If the owner is lacking the proper listing information, it is a physical impossibility for him or her to do such maintenance because he or she has no idea in the slightest, what the bounding is really based upon. It follows, for instance, that if you insist on farming out firestopping to a dozen subtrades, all with different products, who may submit literature and a copy of listings, but nothing to tie the individual listings to the actual holes, then it is a physical and clericsal impossibility for the owner to keep up with matters afterwards. It is simply not possible. If you believe otherwise, say how. In reality, you have dozens of different products with different textures and colours, no labels after the installation and then what do you have? Likewise, if you paint over your fire door labels, who can blame the thoroughly untrained hotel clerk for wedging the fire door open with a "fusible" rubber door stop, and then running a combustible rug through it? If you think that this is minor, what of the rating of the compartment and what that compartment meant to the whole fire safety plan for the place? All of these things are completely and 100% obvious. It follows, that if things are farmed out in such a complex and haphazard manner during construction, that chaos must necessarily result. If you walk up to a fire-resistance rated wall, lift a ceiling tile, see a penetration firestop and no label, to identify bounding and location within an organised inventory, you have absolutely no idea whatsoever what you're facing and - especially a few years after the occupancy permit has been issued - who installed it and which listing bounds it. This goes for any system, be it active fire protection or passive fire protection. When a fire happens, in particular, it's a matter of what you can prove. That's when the finger-pointing begins. So, if your goal is proper fire protection, you better have the back-up to prove your case. On what basis would you defend parties unable to prove their cases in front of a judge? Furthermore, on what basis would you defend construction methods that result in anything less than back-up to cover installed configurations? If that were acceptable, then tell me one good reason, why you would accept a sprinkler system without the hydraulic calculations? Would you accept a backflow preventer with a Jamaican approval when you're installing it in France or Canada or Australia? Certainly not. Everything has to fit. That goes for all of fire protection - not just AFP. It follows that parties without the proper back-up must have reasons for producing field systems without demonstrable bounding. And what would those reasons be? How do you defend negligence? More importantly, what this article does, is to point out those hairy little issues that help a person to SPOT negligence. This is the ounce of prevention, which is the Education part of fire protection. And that is where it can get uncomfortable. I have the field experience and the expert testimony experience. If you check a building on the grounds described here, and you find that all is well, you have nothing to worry about, do you? If you cannot prove bounding, you cannot prove anything at all and you will be found negligent in a court of law, if you contributed to the inability to document bounding for all installed configurations. That being said, there are limited ways to build a place such that you will have that back-up. So, what causes the discomfort here?--Achim 05:07, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

As true as any of the above may or may not be, it doesn't change the fact that the article, as currently written, is a vehement pitch for people to practice a strict (and particular) version of fire safety, and does not read as an encyclopedic entry on fire safety itself. I naturally have no issue with wanting people to be safe, and all, but remember that Wikipedia is not a soapbox. -Rikoshi 17:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

So, absent your subject knowledge and absent any answers to the specifics, what do you intend to do then? You will not answer any specifics but criticise the text and put an NPOV tag on and suggest a re-write. You could say this for any number of articles. I could see if you could challenge even one single detail on merit, but you cannot and avoid every direct question I posed to you. So, what do we do next? Just leave the tag and wait for others to sort it out? What's your plan then? My suggestion is that if you know better, answer my questions in the text above. Defeat my arguments on merit or explain how without any subject knowledge whatsoever, you can critique the text. If there's something proven to be wrong, I'll be the first to admit it. So, I challenge you to step to the plate with something other than a single sentence reply, avoiding pointed questions, or remove the tag--Achim 22:20, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

OK, I toned down the wording some and added some headings. Are you happy now?--Achim 22:49, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I have received no reply and believe that I have satisfied my critic's objection regarding the wording. Since no response was forthcoming for ten days, I have removed the NPOV tag.--Achim 02:20, 13 August 2006 (UTC)


I removed two links to a consulting company seeking to be hired to advise people on fire protection matters. I would not mind a neutral article on matters, but not a service for hire.--Achim 05:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Built in Safety Measures[edit]

I noticed that you didn't have any information on products that can be sprayed directly onto the wood or painted onto the walls that reduce fire damages dramatically. I don't have all the information on it my self, but there are companies that provide these safety features for very reasonable prices. No-Burn is one such product and they are used on Extreme Makeover- Home Edition houses nationwide. If you have the time I'd suggest adding No-Burn and company's like it's information to Wikipedia as I'm sure this is the future in home protection.

Classification section, and specifically "X-alarm" classifications.[edit]

I'm trying to decide whether to remove this completely, as it's not relating to fire protection at all, but rather fire fighting. I'd appreciate some feedback/opinions.

But I've removed the "x-alarm" classification subsection immediately, (leaving the letter classing system) for a more universally unarguable reason: It's false. There is no standardized x-alarm system.

Not only is it silly to suppose that fire services would send an EXACTING amount of vehicles, divided EXACTLY to these standards for different alarm levels -- a 2nd alarm fire always gets 5 pumpers, 2 aerials, 1 squad, 1 hazardous materials truck, 2 district chiefs, 1 platoon chief, 1 air supply vehicle, and 1 incident command vehicle? Are you sure about that? -- it's just plain wrong completely. Different cities, regions, and departments have different definitions and standards.

And to suggest that a hazmat vehicle ALWAYS gets dispatched to anything above a one alarm fire? Please.

Today I saw a 6-alarm fire (Toronto, February 20th, 2008, Queen Street Fire -- do a google search) result in the dispatch of 96 different vehicles (Toronto Fire Services maintains a public log of all active dispatches in the city on their website) to the scene. has it right, if you would like to take a look.

Fires are sometimes categorized as "one alarm", "two alarm", "three alarm" or even "four alarm". There is no standard definition. In some cities, the numeric rating refers to the number of fire stations that have been summoned to the fire. In others, the number counts the number of "dispatches" for additional personnel and equipment

I've adapted that definition to this article.

Please, shoot me an e-mail if you have a problem or question concerning this.

--Recoil42 (talk) 10:50, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Agree, especially as this isn't used at all in places such as the UK. If it belongs anywhere, it should be Firefighting worldwide#United States. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 07:09, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

is Fire protection not the same as Fire safety?[edit]

I am surprise to see that both entries are not linked to each other when the should be the same. I propose a merge. Opinions?

Fire protection is the preferred term in USA and Fire safety in the UK, with other counties choosing theirs arbitrarily.Grein Grein (talk) 00:12, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

They should not be merged. Fire protection is the approach that professionals - architects, engineers, contractors, fire fighters, etc. - take to minimizing the risk of fire. Fire safety includes some of this, but focuses on the occupants and users of the facility. Kilmer-san (talk) 02:31, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with the division proposed above by Kilmer-san between Fire protection and Fire Safety. It seems artificial to me. First, this is not reflected at all in the two entries in wikiepedia and second, there are professional (including architects, engineers, contractors, fire fighters) holding official university degrees with either name, Fire protection Engineering in the USA and Fire Safety Engineering in the UK. I still propose a merge and the addition of a note explaining the different use of the two terms to imply the same concept, profession and means Grein (talk) 15:50, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
support Im ok with merging the two together I do see them one as the same. Ottawa4ever (talk) 21:09, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

In their current format and content there is an argument to merge them - the engineering focus of both is undeniable. However I would argue that the engineering aspects should be merged leaving room for the human behavioural aspects of fire safety to be drawn out, especially in residential fires where most fire fatalities occur (32,365 residential fatalities 1996 - 2005 USA, p6 US Fire Administration, Residential Structure and Building Fires, October 2008). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Robtaylor (talkcontribs) 01:16, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

While we're contemplating the above two articles, let's keep in mind the presence of the Fire prevention article also and how it fits into the overall scheme of things. It would also be a good idea to cover the role of electrical codes in the prevention of undesired fires. H Padleckas (talk) 11:12, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Biased towards America / US definitions[edit]

Before you all shout at me I think this article is good, however alot of the definitions and terms are those used in the US / America. Where any reference is made to american standards, codes, job titles they should be preceeded with "In america" or "in the USofA" or something to that effect otherwise readers will assume that those terms are universal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Do you think it would be possible to include references to the design requirements for dealing with people who may have a disability. Examples are refuge points, intercoms between refuge point and master FA panel, vibrating deaf alerters that can be issued to staff and visitors (I believe these can now be linked to mobile phones) and flashing beacons. I believe there is a Fire Evacuation (Drill) Wiki article and perhaps this could be incorporated as well?

Sidpickle (talk) 09:29, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Fire signage

Not sure if this is covered in any of the associated articles but should be. Again if not perhaps it could be included?

Sidpickle (talk) 07:49, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

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