The following terms and definitions are just some that are used by fire protection professionals in the Bay Area and across the country. They will help you better communicate with your fire system installation contractor and your fire monitoring system service.
As a consumer, you deserve to completely understand the terms of your agreement and your fire protection system. Be sure to ask your fire protection company personnel for an explanation or definitions of terms, ideas or equipment you don’t understand.
active fire protection
Fire sprinkler systems, fire alarms and other manual or automatic systems that detect and fight fires to protect properties and lives.
Also known as: AFP
The act of purposely and maliciously setting fire to property.
Also known as: malicious fire-setting, home arson, business arson, felony arson
A toxic gas that is odorless and colorless, and that is created when substances are not completely burned.
Also known as: CO2
civil fire protection services
Civil fire protection is for civil buildings and public buildings including government buildings, schools, and other public buildings. These services may include smoke detectors, fire detectors, fire extinguisher refilling and certification, fire sprinklers, fire monitoring, fire emergency response and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fire should it break out.
Also known as: civil building fire protection, government building fire sprinklers, school fire protection services
A solid, liquid or gas that can burn if ignited.
Also known as: combustible liquid, combustible materials, fire-prone materials
commercial fire protection services
Commercial fire protection services are those for commercial buildings including businesses, business parks, office buildings, public buildings, stores, shopping centers and other commercial buildings. Fire protection services for commercial buildings may include fire detectors, fire extinguisher, fire sprinklers, fire monitoring, and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fire.
Also known as: fire protection for office buildings, business fire protection, fire sprinklers for stores, commercial fire extinguishers, business fire prevention services
Conduction is the transfer of heat within and item or object or between items and objects by direct contact.
Also known as: heat conduction, fire conduction
Convection is the transfer of heat by circulation in a liquid or gas.
Also known as: heat convection
An exit or opening in a building in which individuals can exit.
Also known as: exit, fire escape
A legal set of rules or regulations that are in place to prevent fires in homes and buildings and save lives and property in the event of a fire.
Also known as: fire protection code, local fire codes, city fire codes
The first person or persons to arrive at the scene of a fire or other emergency that is trained to provide initial assistance, such as medical or fire protection personnel.
Also known as: emergency responders, fire responders, firefighters
The fast spread of flames and fire over surfaces in a home, building or outside.
Also known as: flame rollover
When all surfaces and objects in a home, building or outside are heated to their flash point and the surfaces all catch fire at once.
Also known as: flashpoint ignition
The temperature at which solid surfaces, liquids and gasses ignite and catch fire.
Also known as: flashpoint, flash-point, ignition point
Fire alarms are single alarm boxes or integrated systems that sense flames or smoke and set of an audible alarm, warning occupants to exit the premises. Codes in most cities require fire alarms or smoke alarms in every residence and business where people spend time.
Also known as: fire alarm systems, smoke alarms
A canister of fire retardant and flame retardant that can be sprayed directly onto a fire or flame to put out or stop a fire before it spreads. Local codes usually require all residential and commercial buildings to have fire extinguishers present and in easy-to-reach places in the event of a fire.
Also known as: hand-held fire extinguishers
The science of avoiding and mitigating the damage from fires in homes, buildings and outdoor areas.
Also known as: fire protection services
fire protection engineering
Building engineering that takes fire protection and planning into account to make buildings safer for residents and occupants.
Also known as: engineering for fire protection
head of the fire
The outside edge of a fire. The head of the fire is the main part of the fire that spreads the fastest.
Also known as: the leading edge of the fire
The lowest temperature at which a substance or surface will burn.
Also known as: flashpoint, flash point, fire point, ignition temperature
The lowest temperature at which a substance, surface or gas will ignite and continue to burn.
Also known as: ignition point
A device used to intentionally set a fire. Incendiary devices may include matches, triggers, lighters or other devices.
Also known as: incendiary fire
industrial fire protection services
Industrial fire protection services include smoke and fire detectors, fire extinguisher services, fire sprinkler systems, fire monitoring, and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fires in industrial buildings including factories, manufacturing facilities, and other industrial plant buildings.
Also known as: industrial plant fire protection
life safety code
A code set by the National Fire Protection Association that describes structures, equipment and actions that will help save and protect life in the event of a fire. This code includes directions for exit locations and sizes, fire drills, safety information and other information to help protect life.
Also known as: life preservation code, code for safety, emergency safety code
life safety rope
A rope used to support and move people during emergency operations, including firefighting, rescue or other emergency situations.
Also known as: safety rope, emergency rope, rescue rope
monitored fire alarm system
Monitored fire alarm systems are fire alarms that are connected to an external facility that monitors the fire alarms for activation. These fire alarm monitoring services will often contact the fire department and emergency response authorities if your fire alarm is triggered.
Also known as: fire alarm monitoring services, monitored smoke alarms
National Fire Incident Reporting System
A computerized system in which fire departments enter, catalog and track fire incidents.
Also known as: NFIRS, NFIR System
A chemical reaction in which an element combines with oxygen. Fire is a form of oxidation, as an element combines with oxygen to create and maintain heat and flames.
Also known as: oxidized surfaces, oxidation danger
passive fire protection
Passive fire protection is using special building materials such as walls and floors that form fire compartments to help stop the spread of fires, high temperatures and fire gasses within a small area to aid in the extinguishing of fires.
Also known as: PFP
residential fire protection services
Residential fire protection services are those for residential buildings including individual homes, apartment buildings, condos and other buildings where people live. This may include smoke detectors, fire detectors, fire extinguisher refilling and certification, fire sprinklers, fire monitoring, and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fire should it break out.
Also known as: home fire protection services, fire protection services for apartments
The amount of time it takes an emergency alert system, firefighters or rescue personnel to respond to a fire or fire alarm.
Also known as: reaction time
Systems of water pipes and sprinkler heads, usually mounted in walls and ceilings, that activate when heat or flame is detected and put out flames or fires before they spread.
Also known as: fire protection sprinkler systems
thermal imaging device
A device that can detect the difference in temperature between objects and surfaces. Thermal imaging devices often use infrared technology to create an image of hot spots.
Also known as: thermal imaging software, thermal imaging technology, heat seeking devices, heat seeking technology, infrared imaging
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