This report is basically “A short History of Fire loss control efforts in the United States”. It includes a historical overview of the situation in the area of minimizing loss of life and property in the early 20th Century, the paper starts with a brief over view of the principle of loss control and the causes for incidents that occur due to various factors, briefly describes the level of expertise and methods being used in that era to apply the principle of fire loss control.
For the purpose of which information was obtained through the NIST (National Institute of Standard and Technology) about the available options to planners to minimize the chances and level of destruction due to accidental fires. The paper then shifts the focus on the 21st century and new innovations and options that have revolutionized the efforts of fire loss control. It also briefly mentions the recent technological advancements that are very promising for the new future and have tremendous potential to effectively reduce the occurrence and consequences of such incidents.
Loss Control The concept of loss control basically deals with the formulation of strategies, systems and procedures to reduce or completely eliminate the occurrence of incidents which are undesirable and may cause loss of life and property resulting in massive disruptions and costing a large amount of money. (Fire. gov, 1) Mainly these incidents fall into three basic categories which may end up resulting in occurrence of such incidents: 1. Lack of Control • Insufficient Systems
Systems are in place but they are insufficient to deal with various unforeseen eventualities resulting in failure to muster an adequate response in order to control and minimize the extent of loss of life and property • Insufficient Standards The standards and benchmarks in place to handle a situation and the guidelines which are in place are insufficient and the standards doe not satisfy the minimum international benchmarks set to deal with situations causing losses.
• Non- Compliance with Standards A situation where although the adequate standards are in place but they are not being enforced or followed by the people who are responsible to ensure enforcement and compliance with the standard practices. 2. Basic Causes If careful analysis is undertaken we come to the conclusion that there are usually two basic categories of basic causes that are responsible for incidents taking place resulting in substantial losses 1. Personal Factors
The personal factors consist of inadequate knowledge on part of the people working in the work environment which generally gives way to incidents and then inadequate knowledge about how to react a developing incident hence it can be blamed on personal incompetence. 2. Environmental Within environmental factors things like inadequate engineering, equipment, leadership, hence at a critical time the failure of equipment or any resulting malfunction due to faulty engineering or bad leadership decisions can cause incidents to spiral completely out of control and magnify the resultant loss of life n property.
3. Immediate Causes • Substandard Acts (Behavior) This area deals with the behavioral and factors of irresponsible actions on part of individuals, first and foremost factor that comes to mind is the improper use of equipment causing danger not only to one’s own self but also to people working in surrounding areas • Improper Lifting/Failure to lock Out equipment/ Using Equipment improperly FIRE LOSS CONTROL Every year about 2 billion dollars of renovation, reconstruction and destruction and loss of countless lives due to incidents of fire in the United States takes place.
Developed Facilities including buildings, of various types and the service systems functioning within them, as well as utilities for transportation, public facilities, power generation, communication systems, water supply and water treatment systems, and waste disposal) (NIST Research, 1) These facilities and systems are a Nation’s wealth, which are valued around $25 trillion dollars, with an average investment of $1 trillion annually employed in new construction, expansion and renovation amounting to about one-eight of the GDP.
The quality of these systems and facilities are vital and fundamental to industrial productivity, progress and development and the level of quality of life enjoyed by the masses. The safety of these vital installations from accidental fires and other similar natural, incidental and willful hazards and dangers is critical and extremely significant for the safety of life, avoidance and prevention of injuries, protection and maintenance of property, and the most important issue which is the issue of national security.
The basic phenomena around Fire’s include ignition which is largely unintended and accidental, growth due to the unintended materials fueling the fire and ultimately the usage of extinguishing materials suppression of fires, the effects on people and the general public of fires and combustion products, and the resultant negative effects on society of destruction caused by fire and the ensuing losses and investments in fire safety.
The various aspects involved in the performance of developed and constructed facilities involve important and critical factors like structural stability which means the structures should be strong enough to sustain and withstand very high temperatures and should not collapse under intense heat, durability and strength of materials and equipment vital for safety and security of the structures and the human lives depending on them, environmental controls which are in place for building occupants in order to ensure their safety and security, functionality intended for the express purpose of the facility, the included costs of construction of the structures, operations within these facilities and structures, maintenance and renovation of facilities making them safe and secure and resistant to any accidental damage, and all other social and environmental effects. (Richardson, 30) This paper basically provides an overview of the history of the fire loss controls efforts in the United States resulting from research and development and new techniques and fire control technologies.
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