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Fire Prevention and Safety Technology/Technician

Program Description

Just the Facts

Fire Prevention and Safety Technology/Technician. A program focusing on the application of fire science and technology to problems of reducing fire risk, limiting loss, supervising substance removal, conducting safety inspections and investigations, and advising on matters of safety procedures and fire prevention policy. Includes instruction in fire behavior, fire simulation, structural risk assessment, materials analysis, detection and suppression systems, smoke management, supply and evacuation, public education, legal aspects of fire prevention, and related research and communications methods.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree

High School Courses

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Additional Information

Students in fire protection technology programs learn to use the latest technology to save people and property from fires. These are the people who install fire alarms and make sure fire protection systems -- like sprinklers -- are kept in working order.

In the U.S., people who want to work as fire protection technologists often take fire protection engineering at a college or university. Since this degree is offered mostly at the master's level, a lot of people take an undergraduate degree in another engineering field, such as mechanical or electrical. Then they go on to a master's in fire protection engineering.

"During the five years, the student earns the BS [bachelor of science] degree in a traditional engineering discipline and then the master's degree in fire protection engineering," says David Lucht, a professor in the fire protection engineering program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

Students need a willingness to help people, good communication skills, courage and endurance.

Steve Spivak heads the fire protection engineering program at the University of Maryland. He says students need a good academic record, good SAT scores and a willingness to learn.

In high school, take as many math and science courses as possible.

"Students should focus on the science and math classes. Chemistry is not a requirement for acceptance but is highly recommended. Computer skills are essential for success," says Stu Evans. He is head of the fire protection engineering technology program at a College.

Students are also encouraged to get involved in service groups in their communities. Taking CPR and EMT (emergency medical technician) courses is also a good idea.

"Community service is a good indicator," says Lucht. "While we don't teach firefighting here, sometimes we find high school students who have been involved with a local fire department are especially motivated and committed. The Boy Scouts of America also offer fire service and emergency medical explorer posts."

There are organizations that certify and register fire safety professionals. Among them are the International Society of Fire Safety Instructors and local firefighting organizations. Joining these groups helps with networking and job finding.

Besides tuition, students will have to pay for textbooks.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
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