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 www.nfscnagpur.nic.in
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.
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
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.
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
Job Prospects and Career Options
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.