Careers in Fire Engineering

Fire engineering is a field which explores the various possibilities of preventing fires. It can be defined as the art and science of designing buildings and facilities for life safety and property protection in the event of an unwanted fire. This includes the application of scientific and engineering principles, based on an understanding of the phenomena and effects of fire and of reaction and behaviour of people, property and the environment as well as the impact of fire protection systems including detection, alarm and sprinkler systems. Fire Engineering is becoming world's one of the noblest profession by virtue of its growing role in saving life and property.

Fire Engineering is a very dangerous profession which requires a strong sense of commitment to public service. The role of fire engineers span engineering design to operations and management. In India ,the major fire Engineering programme is the one conducted by National Fire Service College at Nagpur that offers a 3 1/2 years programme leading to Bachelors of Engineering. Fire engineers play a pivotal role in ensuring protection and taking the necessary precautions against fires. Fire Engineers main responsibility is reducing the consequences of fire if there is an incident. They are responsible for determining causes of fire and methods of fire prevention. They find new ways to maintain and improve the present fire fighting equipment.

Fire engineers have to work in shifts in dangerous conditions and are at risk of burns, smoke inhalation and exposure to chemicals. They need to be patient and disciplined, quick and efficient, reliable, self-confident and able to work well in teams. They need to know about streets and places in their district, the handling of dangerous goods and building construction. They also need to know about fire-fighting, different types of fires and how to deal with them, and about rescue methods and equipment.

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Educational qualification

Most of the occupations in fire engineering requires a bachelor's degree. A degree in Fire Engineering can be a Bachelors of Engineering and post-graduate qualification of either Master's or PH.D. level. The entry requirement for the post graduate qualification is generally a Bachelor of Engineering, B.E. degree in Chemical, Civil, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering.

The selection for BE in Fire Engineering is through Entrance test and it is normally held in May/June. The eligibility for BE in Fire Engineering is BSc with Chemistry and either Physics or Maths or both as optional subjects. The age limit for joining BE is between 19 to 24 and the duration of the course is 31/2years

There are also certificate and diploma courses in fire engineering offered by private institutes and for most of the courses the eligibility is SSLC or +2. After 10 + 2 with Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry or its equivalent examination, one can opt for a diploma in Fire engineering. For diploma courses the duration varies from 3 months to 2 years.

Apart from the educational qualification, candidate should posses some specified physical qualification. He should be physically fit and free from organic disease to undergo practical training. Minimum acceptable physical standards for the Fire Engineering course are Height : Minimum 165 cms, Weight : 50 kgs. Chest measurement: 81 centimeters, with five centimeter expansion, Vision : 6/6, Preferably without any aid.

Personal Skills - A person who is willing to be a psychiatric should be patient and have the intuition to understand people. One of the most important attribute of the job is the ability to listen. Perseverance, emotional stability, a genuine concern and sympathy towards the patients, an objective approach towards their problems are all important. Good communication skill is also essential to be a good psychiatrist.

Personal skills

The personal skills needed for a fire engineer is good communication skills, organisational ability, skills in evaluating situations, making quick decisions and solving problems. The other qualities include physical agility, presence of mind, calmness of mind, self-discipline, a sense of responsibility and leadership qualities. Fire engineering is a technical profession that calls for a person with a scientific bent of mind

A degree in fire engineering makes one eligible for the management cadre in Fire Service in the government or public sector. Fire engineers have always been in great demand by corporations, educational institutions, consulting firms and government bodies around the world. They are employed with the fire prevention departments in large companies and they are also recruited by the fire brigades. When ther are instances of fire accidents, fire engineers are called upon to assess the extent of the damage, investigate the cause of the fire, the efficiency of equipment installed and so on.

There is a vast scope of employment chances for fire engineers in large manufacturing organizations particularly those like petroleum refineries, petrochemicals and plastic, fertilizers, textiles, LPG and LNG handling and bottling plants, chemicals and other plants where there are risks of fire. Fire engineers are also employed by fire departments of local government bodies, insurance companies, architectural and building design, project management, aircraft industry, industrial processing, and any area of safety where the possibility of fire or combustion represents a hazard. Fire engineers may also work as surveyors in insurance companies.

In Government sector, the starting gross salary of a fire engineers could be in the range of Rs 5,000-7,000 per month. Opportunities for getting a job in industry, office complexes, or other private sector establishments generally exist after a few years of experience. In private sector, salary on joining may gross around Rs 8,000-14,000 per month.