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Demand for Fire Protection Engineers Exceeds
August 5, 2008

Fire is a danger that can affect entire communities. For example, each year in the United States more than 3,000 people die as a result of fire. To combat its destructive force, fire protections engineers use their own skills and the latest technology.

Using science and technology, fire protection engineers perform a wide range of roles that make the world safer from fire. Fire protection engineers:

  • Evaluate buildings to pinpoint the risks of fires and the means to prevent them;
  • Review building design documents for fire departments, fire marshal offices and/or code enforcement agencies to assure compliance with the applicable building and fire regulations;
  • Design building systems that: detect fires, control the spread of fires, control the movement of smoke, alert people to danger and provide a safe means for building occupants to exit a building;
  • Conduct fire safety research on consumer products and construction materials;
  • Investigate fires to discover how they spread, why protective measures failed, and how those measures could have been designed more effectively.

“Fire protection engineers are in high demand and short supply,” said Chris Jelenewicz a fire protection engineer with the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). In a recent survey by SFPE of the largest employers of fire protection engineers, an overwhelming majority currently have difficulty recruiting enough qualified engineers. “Those surveyed believe this imbalance in demand will continue at least five years into the future,” said Jelenewicz.

These employers cover a wide range of industries, including private consulting firms, large corporations, fire departments, local building code officials, insurance firms, federal, state and local government agencies and architectural and design firms. Frequently, fire protection engineers assist architects, builders and fire departments in the design and construction of new facilities.

For more information about a career in fire protection engineering go to SFPE’s career website at:

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