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Also known as:
Fire Prevention Engineer, Fire Protection Engineer, Industrial Safety Engineer, Product Safety Engineer, Product Safety Test Engineer, System Safety Engineer

Video transcript

One of the most important parts of a building is something you don't see - its ability to resist a fire. Before construction on a building begins, fire-prevention and protection engineers are called in. They're experts in what causes fires, how they spread, and how they can be put out quickly. By understanding how fire moves, they can help build fire resistance.

While some engineers may have gained first-hand experience in fighting fires, it's required that all engineers take courses in college or vocational school to become certified in this field. The job requires traveling to buildings and construction sites for inspections. These engineers consult with builders and architects - giving advice on what materials and systems to use to meet fire safety standards.

The work can be physically demanding, requiring bending and climbing. Engineers need to have strong reasoning and problem solving skills as well as good communication skills. Because, to give effective advice, you have to be able to make your points clearly and forcefully.

After all, you're the advocate for the people who will be living or working in the building. Someday their lives may depend on the job done by the fire-prevention and protection engineer.

Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Study the relationships between ignition sources and materials to determine how fires start.

Conduct research on fire retardants and the fire safety of materials and devices.

Determine causes of fires and ways in which they could have been prevented.

Attend workshops, seminars, or conferences to present or obtain information regarding fire prevention and protection.

Develop training materials and conduct training sessions on fire protection.

Develop plans for the prevention of destruction by fire, wind, and water.

Direct the purchase, modification, installation, maintenance, and operation of fire protection systems.

Design fire detection equipment, alarm systems, and fire extinguishing devices and systems.

Consult with authorities to discuss safety regulations and to recommend changes as necessary.

Inspect buildings or building designs to determine fire protection system requirements and potential problems in areas such as water supplies, exit locations, and construction materials.

Prepare and write reports detailing specific fire prevention and protection issues, such as work performed, revised codes or standards, and proposed review schedules.

Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.