Fire Frontmatter

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This text presents the elements that comprise an effective fire safety management program.
It was written for managers who are accountable for fire safety as part of a comprehensive
safety or risk management program.
Safety programs are typically evaluated based upon the results they achieve for their
respective organizations. Tangible results of any safety program can be difficult to measure. Over the years, the profession has evaluated safety program effectiveness by measuring
the failures produced, such as accident frequency and severity rates, or property loss
rates. Measuring safety programs by their failures is counterproductive. By the time any
safety program produces the failures to measure, it is too late for managers to implement
activities that could have prevented those failures from occurring in the first place.
While the safety profession has never proven that a direct correlation exists between
various safety program activities and achieving favorable program results, safety
managers strive to identify the possible relationships. Successful safety managers place
emphasis—such as their time and organizational resources—on implementing proactive
activities that impact the results of their safety programs. Safety program effectiveness
should be measured by the quality, rigor, and utility of these activities, as well as their
impact on the bottom line.
Having established that an effective safety program emphasizes proactive activities,
this text places special attention on the fire safety activities that can achieve the most
optimum results. Developing and implementing an effective fire safety management
program can:
reduce property-loss insurance premiums
help minimize the financial impact of business interruptions
boost customer service and public images
foster an efficient work environment
help realize quality gains
impact favorably on the profitability of an organization
Special attention has been given to fire safety activities that achieve results. These
activities are explained in each chapter.
Objectives of the Text
Individuals who utilize this text should be able to:
1. Identify agency assistance and available resources for fire service operations.
2. Determine organizational patterns for fire service operations.
3. Summarize qualifications expected of personnel attached to organizations providing
fire services.
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Describe the uses and operations of various types of fire control equipment.
Determine and identify materials considered hazardous.
Recognize the training and educational experiences needed for fire service personnel.
Ascertain the components of fire service communications and dispatching.
Demonstrate accepted management practices needed to establish and improve
fire service operations.
The purpose of this book is to present, in an organized and sequential way, how to
develop an effective fire safety management program. Numerous books and articles have
been published on fire science. However, the majority thus far were concerned with the
scientific aspects of fire safety as opposed to actual program management. This publication attempts to fill that gap by providing an analysis of how to manage a fire safety
program, which is usually part of an overall loss control program.
The success of any organization depends on the soundness of its management
system; this is no less true in the management of fire safety. Those same techniques that
have been the hallmark of efficiency and profitability in the operation of any organization
must be utilized in the successful management of fire safety.
A basic knowledge of the available resources and fire safety organizations is essential.
This is described in Chapter 1. Knowing where to go, who to contact, what facilities and
equipment they possess, and their ability to respond will be of great assistance in organizing a plan of action. In addition, it will assist management in avoiding costly duplication
of equipment. Knowledge of fire fighting resources at one’s command is one of the keys
in determining whether a fire of a certain magnitude can be controlled with a minimum
of damage, or whether it can accelerate into a major catastrophe.
The chemistry of fire is reviewed in Chapter 2. Some personnel who are involved in
fire safety from the scientific aspects are not interested in the management aspects.
However, for those personnel who aspire to manage fire safety applications, this chapter
will provide the necessary understanding of fire chemistry essentials.
To reduce the effects and losses due to fire, Chapter 3 describes some efforts that
can be used to develop an effective fire safety management program.
Chapter 4 explains the precautions and procedures that should be undertaken to
identify and control hazardous materials.
Building construction is crucial for assuring life safety and controlling related fire
risks. Building construction as related to fire safety is described in Chapter 5.
Chapter 6 provides an overview of commonly installed fire detection systems. Various
occupancies require different types of detection systems and, in some cases, more than
one type of system would be satisfactory. These systems are described in sufficient detail
to allow a safety manager to make sound decisions regarding their application.
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The types and functions of fire control equipment are described in Chapter 7. As with
detection systems, specific conditions warrant certain types of equipment. The chapter
discusses advantages and disadvantages of the various fire control equipment. This will
help a safety manager assess which equipment would be the most operationally cost
effective for their particular application.
Chapter 8 describes the practices that should be followed to care, maintain, and inspect
fire protection systems. Particular emphasis is placed on management’s responsibility to
support a preventive maintenance program.
Chapter 9 explores the different types of legislation and enforcement that exist on
the federal, state, and local levels, and how they are an integral part of a successful fire
safety program.
With everyone now much more aware of the threats posed by acts of terrorism as
well as by natural disasters, Chapter 10 was added to give the safety professional an
understanding of emergency response planning.
Chapter 11 delineates the mission of the United States Fire Administration and
presents a brief history of the USFA and the National Fire Academy.