What Is the Difference Between Fire Protection and Fire Prevention?

If you own or manage a commercial property or multi-family dwellings, you know how important it is to protect your property from fire. Not only are you responsible for ensuring your buildings are up to code and safe, but you also want to provide a safe place for those using your building, whether they’re residents, employees, or customers. If you’re looking to improve fire safety, we understand if you’re unsure as to what type of system or method to choose. Specifically, you’re wondering what is the difference between fire protection and fire prevention? To help you understand and make the right decision for your property, we’re looking at the different methods and which option is best.

What Is Fire Protection?

Fire protection is any measure that defends a property in the event a fire does occur. This includes:

  • Fire and smoke alarms to alert occupants of the threat of fire;
  • Fire extinguishers to put out small fires and stop them from getting out of control;
  • Sprinkler systems to control a fire before emergency services arrive;
  • Kitchen fire suppression systems that release a solid chemical to extinguish grease fires;

In North Carolina, nearly all commercial and public buildings, as well as multi-family dwellings, have to have a fire alarm system in place as well as fire extinguishers in specific locations though out the building. The fire code outlines the specific types of fire protection systems necessary for all types of structures in great detail.

Fire alarm monitoring and integrated security are also forms of fire protection as having a professional company monitoring your systems can ensure emergency services are notified even when no one is in the building.

What Is Fire Prevention?

Fire prevention is about stopping the fire from starting in the first place. Specifically, it refers to the inspection, testing, and maintenance of systems in place to make sure people are aware of how to use them and that those systems are functioning properly. Fire prevention includes:

  • Regularly inspecting electrical and HVAC systems;
  • Informing residents or regular occupants of fire prevention methods, such as not overloading outlets and unplugging small appliances;
  • Performing fire drills and informing occupants or residents of exit plans and routes;

Additionally, working with a professional fire alarm inspection company to inspect your current fire protection system, including alarms and extinguishers, and scheduling regular maintenance and testing ensures that you can rely on your protection measures before a disaster strikes.

Do You Need Fire Protection or Prevention?

The correct answer to the question is “Both.” Fire protection and fire prevention measures work hand in hand to keep building occupants safe. While the main goal is to practice safe habits and keep the building maintained to prevent fire in the first place, if an emergency occurs, you need to make sure your protection measures are in place and functioning properly. By being proactive in your fire prevention and protection strategies, you can minimize damage and injury.

Speak with a Fire Prevention System Consultant Today

At Strategic Connections, we specialize in planning, installing, and maintaining custom fire protection and fire prevention systems in all types of buildings, including offices, schools, healthcare centers, and restaurants. Let us help you increase safety and ensure fire code compliance by learning more about our services. Schedule a free consultation today at [phone] or fill out the form below. We have locations in Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Myrtle Beach for your convenience.

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