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Answer Original Forum with a minimum of 500 words and respond to both students separately with a minimum of 250 words each
page 1 Original Forum with References
page 2 Stacy response with references
page 3 Christopher response with references
Which is more important: fire prevention or fire suppression strategies? Why?
While both fire prevention and fire suppression are essential to ensure the safety of life and property, fire suppression is more important. According to Balan, Cioca, Toretta, and Talamona (2015), an effective fire management plan requires education and training for all employees to take precautions in the workplace to prevent fires by conducting audits to ensure hazardous materials are stored and used properly and electrical equipment is properly maintained and used. Fire prevention requires an understanding of the fire triangle and the elements that cause a fire including a heat source, fuel, and oxygen. Having an abundance of these components in close proximity increases the likelihood that a fire will ignite. Fire prevention requires heavily on faith in employees to effectively manage their areas by conducting daily, weekly, and monthly audits to ensure the proper storage of hazardous materials and maintenance of electrical equipment.
Fire suppression uses various types of systems to extinguish and/or prevent the spread of fire including automatic sprinkler systems and fire detection systems. Fire suppression in the workplace is heavily regulated by OSHA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which established fire codes and standards for all types of buildings across all industries. Failure to comply with these codes and regulations results in heavy fines and penalties including the closure of the facility until identified violations are corrected. Depending on the type of industry, fire codes may be more stringent and require employees with firefighting training to be present around the clock.
According to the NFPA (2019), “the United States fire departments responded to an estimated 1,318,500 fires in 2018. These fires resulted in 3,655 civilian fire fatalities; 15,200 civilian fire injuries; and an estimated $25.6 billion in direct property loss.” Additionally, intentionally set fires in structures accounted for 25,500 fires, 350 civilian deaths, and $593 million in property loss. Based on these statistics, it’s evident that fire prevention does not seem to be more important than fire suppression. As previously stated, fire prevention requires heavily on faith in employees to effectively manage their areas and managers to oversee their employees. Failure to do so results in loss of life and property. With properly inspected and maintained fire suppression systems by licensed technicians, fire suppression performs reactionary functions when the proactive functions of people fail as a result of human error and negligence.
Balan, I., Cioca, L., Torretta, V., & Talamona, L. (2016). Warehouse Threats and Loss Prevention Management in Case of Fire. Procedia Technology, 22, 1028–1034. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.protcy.2016.01.138
National Fire Protection Association. (2019). Fire Loss in the United States During 2018. Retrieved from https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/FD0144A044C84FC5BAF90C05C04890B7.ash
Which is more important: fire prevention or fire suppression strategies? While both of these strategies are important, I believe that fire suppression is more important than suppression. Property damages were amounted to $14.3 billion in 2015 (NFPA, 2017a), This is a great deal of damage and cost. This is according to Olawoyin 1,345,500 reported fires during the year. To me this shows that we can not with any absolution prevent fires. We can put precautions in place, use technologically advanced materials such as nanotechnology, and focus on safety but there is always something that can and likely will go wrong at some point. These technologies drastically change the properties of the materials they are applied to and greatly increase their resistance to fire, fire retardancy, delayed char formations and create a safer environment when exposure to fire occurs (Olawoyin, 2018). However these type of prevention methods are not cost effective and can pose health risks. To me this shows that the more important strategy is fire suppression especially in the case of a warehouse or store location which I think is the focus here. While ensuring safe practice is happening at these locations and being vigilant about safety is important, we can not keep accidents from happening. Using quality fire suppression allows for the fire to be dealt with faster and more efficiently not only raising the chances of saving human life but also helping to save the products being stored. In the end this is a cost saving measure for the company and I believe poses an overall less risk. Also it should be pointed out that by focusing on fire suppression and not prevention there should be a very robust method of suppression in place. We should not use only a closed system and call it good. There should be a mix of the overall large system along with smaller units such as fire extinguishers. Training as usual is something that should not be forgotten, having a suppression system is wonderful but if no one can use it, not very helpful. Of course this is more looking at the proper use of smaller units and not a main system. All employees should understand how to use these systems as well as how to help slow or put out smaller fires. However I would caution any employer to ensure that as part of this training to make certain employees understand that their life and safety is more important than the products but at the same time a fire can safely be suppressed in some instances with little effort. While I do believe that suppression is the more important between fire prevention or fire suppression I do think that both neither should be relaxed and they should compliment one another creating a quality fire safety program. As discussed we can not keep all accidents or fires from happening but with training and a overall quality approach we can not only help to save product but lives as well.
Olawoyin, R. (2018). Nanotechnology: The future of fire safety. Safety Science, 214-221.
NFPA, 2017a. Retrieved from http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fires-in-the-us.