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What is a Fire Protection Engineer? What do they do?

Fire Protection Engineering

Overview

One of the greatest threats to lives and property is the threat of fire. Indeed, fires can lead to a high level of destruction as well as lives. Businesses have been crippled due to fires, and human beings have been left nursing injuries after a fire.

Having stated that, it is important that the American residential buildings seek the intervention of a fire protection engineer. Otherwise known as a fire prevention engineer, the fire protection engineer is a professional who is well versed on how fire occurs, the damage it causes, how to prevent fire, and how to control it. The main aim of a fire protection engineer is to identify risks concerning fire, and prevent damage that could be caused by fire.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Fire Protection Engineer

The most pronounced role of a fire protection engineer is risk assessment. In this case, the engineer will identify the emergency routes as well as the exits that every business or building must have, and assess if such opportunities will be of help in case of fire. With the use of modern technology, managers can invest in a fire warning system. A fire protection engineer will be in a position to inform the owners of a building on the possibility of a building catching fire, and what to do should such a thing happen.

The fire protection engineer can help the business prepare on how to help the most vulnerable people in case of fire. Such groups of people include the elderly people, the people with disability, and the young people. Almost all authorities will have a comprehensive risk of all the risk assessment guidelines concerning fire. However, much as the local authorities can guide you, they cannot carry out the risk assessment for you.

Fire protection engineers do understand the building code of practice. This is a prescriptive approach which identifies the best practices in the industry. In some cases, a fire protection engineer will be available at the stage of construction. In other cases, the fire protection comes at a later stage. It is advisable that the fire protection engineer is consulted at an early stage of the construction. By then, it will be easier to employ the right fire prevention measures, and perhaps cheaper.

Dangerous substances are a key contributor to cases of fire. The fire protection engineer assesses how dangerous some substances are, and advises on the best way of storage. The professional could advise the business to initiate total removal of the dangerous materials. Such an under-taking may have to be done by a removal list company which is well versed in the most efficient ways of managing dangerous substances.

Buildings which are old could be vulnerable to fire. This is because of the materials that were used in the construction. Modern buildings benefit from construction decisions which are based on research and the modern legal landscape is more sensitive to the safety recommendations.

Fire protection engineering also envisions a situation where the fire occurs and lays down the appropriate mitigation measures. What is important is to contain the spread of fire and give the rescue time to reach the building and control the fire. In turn, this is going to lead to the prevention of monetary losses.

Thus, the fire protection engineer understands the variables that cause fire to escalate. These include ventilation and fuel load. When laying down the fire protection measures, they have such factors in mind. Like in most professionals anyway, the fire protection engineer cannot work in isolation. He or she needs to work in collaboration with teams in order to realize optimal outcomes.

Fire protection engineers play a critical role in ensuring the quality assurance position of a company. When authorities are assessing the health of a company, they are particular in ensuring that a business meets the safety requirements. A fire protection engineer helps in this process. For example, he could assess if the fire equipment is working in order.

The science of fire protection should ensure that the issues of sustainability are addressed. In particular, any fire protection infrastructure should bear in mind the cost of planting the structure, the cost of running it, and the cost of training. Going for a cheaper option does not necessary mean that one goes for less quality. Rather, the market provides cheaper alternatives which will still serve the purpose.

A fire protection engineer can help a building install a fire detection system. A fire detection system can work either through heat or smoke sensors. The main rationale behind the installation of a fire protection system is to warn the people living or working in a building about an upcoming fire. In addition to that, the emergency service providers get to receive information early enough.

Fire protection engineers can use active or passive fire protection. Active fire protection strategies require motion as well as responses if they are to work. In connection to this, manual fire suppression can be done through fire blanket, fire extinguisher, and standpipe. Automatic fire suppression can be done through sprinkler systems, and gaseous clean agents. Foam suppression can be done through low expansion, medium expansion, and high expansion.

Passive fire protection methods aim at preventing fire in the first place, or controlling the spread of fire in the first place. The modern market has products and building materials which are fore-resistant. In addition to that, parts of the building can be segregated in order to prevent the destruction of an entire building. In other words, it is about maintaining the safety integrity of a building.

smoke control rational analysis

How to be a Fire Engineer

Institutions of higher education do offer fire science and engineering. One can choose to take a specialization in structural, physical, or mechanical engineering. As a fire protection engineer, you may opt for a focus in stairwells, evacuation portals, sprinkler systems, and alarm systems. As a fire professional, you are going to work hand in hand with interior designers, city planners, and architects.

A fire protection engineering curriculum focuses on the history of fire-fighting, principles of fire prevention, suppression, and fire engineering. You are also going to take courses in research methods, economics, smoke management, and risk analysis. Students can also learn how to report the chase findings, writing up a report, and participation in a court process. For example, University of Maryland has a dedicated Department of Fire Engineering that offers both undergraduate and graduate courses in fire engineering.

In some cases, you may take a course in fire engineering from outside the country, and still practice in the US. However, before you do so, make sure that you have the facts well, and that you will be able to practice in the US. For example, under the Washington Accord, one can take a course in fire engineering at the University of Canterbury and come back to the US to practice.

Individuals interested with a career in firefighting should consider signing up as a volunteer fire fighter early enough. This is not just good for the CV, but it gives such individuals a chance for exposure and experience. Again, by signing up as a volunteer, you are going to learn about the sources of fire, and how they spread. For example, you will learn that cooking contributes to very many cases of fires in buildings, whether residential or non-residential. Much as theory is important, some professions require practical skills.

If you settle down for a career in fire protection, do not sit in a comfort zone. Rather, think about taking the refresher courses as well as attend workshops. This is because the field of fire engineering is constantly evolving. In addition to that, new construction developments could initiate a new set of challenges related to fire. Again, meeting other professionals in the field will expose you to unlimited networking opportunities that you can use in order to advance your career. Learning is a continuous process, and you need to take advantage of the learning opportunities that are available for the fire protection career.

Fire protection engineers can be employed by the government to work in places with a lot of plants and wildlife. For example, California faces existential threats in wild fires. When you assume such a position, you have to understand what causes the fire (in most cases), and teach the population on fire prevention. In California, 90 % of the fire sparks are started by people. The Californian eco-system is known to be highly flammable.

Insurance companies regularly need to investigate causes of fire. This is more so due to the high cases of fraud that insurance companies face every way. For example, fire protection engineers could be hired to investigate if a certain fire was deliberate. In such cases, as a fire professional, you will save the insurance company a lot of money.

Like any other professional, social skills come in handy in helping a fire protection engineer achieve his career objectives. For example, communication skills play a critical in working with an integrated team of professionals. Similarly, organizational skills come in handy in carrying out a successful project.

If you are a passionate fire protection engineer, consider contributing to national and local policy. For example, there is a strong correlation between climate change and the probability of fires. In addition to that, low-income and marginalized populations can be vulnerable to adverse effects of fires. The modern professional is thinking about earning an income, and at the same time, making an impact in the world. In fact, some professionals are worried about the legacy they will leave behind. By managing fires in the US, through little or big ways, you are taking part in a noble cause.

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers states that the average salary of a fire protection engineer is $ 85 k. The organization adds that a quarter of the engineers earn over $ 100 k. Some companies have a clear way of enhancing the promotion of employees. It is assumed that with more years of experience, the employee is going to be compensated accordingly.

computer fire and egress modeling

Benefits of Fire Protection

If a business employs the right protection fire prevention strategies, it can play a critical role in ensuring that employees have peace of mind when they are at work. When employees work in a place without safety measures, they get worried about what could happen to them. Moreover, they get worried about what could happen to their families should they become incapacitated or in the case of death.

Buildings which employ the right safety procedures, fire protection for instance, are in good books with the government and the insurance companies. The government lays a strong emphasis on the safety of the public. Therefore, some safety measures are in fact a matter of law and not necessarily a choice.

By preventing a fire, you are preventing the loss of documents and records. Fires can cause a huge damage on the filing system. Even in the case of electronic health records, with its back-up system, the computer could be burnt down leading to heavy losses. What is important is to hire a fire protection engineer in order to ensure that possible damage is prevented.

A fire incident could bring down a business. Some of the businesses have faced fire incidences that interrupted their ability to serve the clients. If a business faces a fire incidence due to negligence, the clients can be disappointed, and they may not want to do business with the company in question.

Conclusion

A fire protection engineering company prides itself in the ability to save life and property. You will be contributing to better lives and a better business environment. The market will be in high demand for fire protection engineers as it seeks to enhance safety measures.

The trend in the American landscape is that more Americans are going to make investments, both big and small. And in that case, employers are always going to be in need of a fire protection engineer.

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Business News

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Should You File for It?

chapter 11

 

Do you want to know what Chapter 11 bankruptcy is? Many people don’t have a clear idea about this debt reorganization strategy. Should you file for it if you’re in financial trouble? If you make efforts to study Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, you will get the best answers to these questions. Let us explore the pros and cons of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – An overview

Named after Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, it is a form of bankruptcy that allows businesses and individuals to reorganize debts, assets, and business affairs. Though it is open to all types of businesses, including sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, and also to individuals; corporate establishments are the most prominent ones to make use of this bankruptcy option.

Should you opt for Chapter 11?

Should you file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if you’re in financial trouble? To answer this question properly, you need to check the pros and cons of this reorganization bankruptcy. It involves many more complexities than other bankruptcy cases. Further, it stands taller in terms of expenses involved. That is to say, Chapter 11 is the most expensive form of a bankruptcy proceeding.

What do these aspects indicate?

You must carefully consider all options available before choosing this one. Smart business owners always analyze things deeply and find out Chapter 11 is the best among all other possible alternatives.

Two conditions make a company/individual eligible to file a Chapter 11 case. If your business liabilities are higher compared to assets, you can file a Chapter 11 case. Your case must be substantiated with a balance sheet test. If your business cannot pay off its debts as they come due, you can file a case for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 code. An income statement test should be used to make your arguments logical and convincing.

chapter 11 bankruptcy

Let us check the pros of Chapter 11 bankruptcy;

1. Chapter 11 helps you restructure the debts and other liabilities

When you file for this type of bankruptcy, you will get ample time to reorganize the debt. During the proceeding, the court assists your business in restructuring the debts and obligations. Critically, this bankruptcy version offers you a fresh start. You get some breathing time and space to reorganize all affairs systematically. The terms and conditions are determined based on your fulfillment of the liabilities under the reorganization plan.

2. Your business stays open

Most of the businesses remain open and stay functional even after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is one of the most prominent advantages of this bankruptcy plan. Several large U.S. companies file for this reorganization plan and continue their operations to ensure speedy revival.

3. Minimal intervention from the court under normal circumstances

In most cases, the court allows the debtor to run the business as usual. A trusty is appointed only when the court finds any mismanagement, incompetence, dishonesty, or fraudulent practice. So, you can expect minimal intervention while running your business during a crisis. The only restriction is that you need to get permission from the court while making critical decisions.

4. Fast acceptance for a feasible reorganization plan

As an individual or business, you get an opportunity to propose a reorganization plan under Chapter 11. If you submit a feasible restructuring plan, you can expect fast approval. A good plan always includes the best strategies for:

– Downsizing of business operations to lower expenses

– Renegotiating of current debts

– Liquidating all assets to repay creditors

If your method of approach is sensible and practical, the court gives a fast approval. You can move forward with confidence to tackle the challenges and recover fast.

5. Safeguards the interests of all stakeholders

The bankruptcy court approves only a proposal that safeguards the interests of the creditors. As a debtor in possession, you need to come up with a reorganization plan that accommodates the needs and interests of all stakeholders. If the debtor cannot design a program, the court asks the creditors to submit a plan.

All stakeholders, including shareholders and creditors, have the right to support or oppose your plan and other suggestions that need bankruptcy court approval. After assessing their feedback and suggestions, the bankruptcy court decides the course of action.

With the help of a special committee, unsecured creditors are allowed to participate in the Chapter 11 case. The constituted committee can hire attorneys and other professionals for the necessary guidance and support. The debtor needs to pay these expenses.

6. Flexible terms and conditions

You need to propose a restructuring plan within four months of filing a Chapter 11 case. The date for plan submission (exclusivity period) can be extended up to 18 months if you convince the court with a genuine reason.

After the completion of the exclusivity period, the creditors and shareholders can submit their competing reorganization plans. These people can move to the bankruptcy court to dismiss the restructuring plan if they are not satisfied with the steps taken by the debtor. In such a situation, the court dismisses the case or converts it to Chapter 7.

Some Chapter 11 cases may end within a few months. Complex cases always need more time for the final settlement. Generally speaking, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case is settled between 6 months and 2 years.

7. Businesses can emerge as stronger from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

If you develop a concrete restructuring plan and follow it with uncompromising discipline, your company can emerge as a stronger business. It is a time for reflection and to learn about the mistakes. You need to evaluate your mistakes and develop a Chapter 11 plan that takes care of the needs of all stakeholders. This method of approach helps you emerge as a winner.

A Chapter 11 plan is a contract between the debtor and creditors and/or shareholders. This contract clearly shows how your business operates and pays its liabilities or obligations in the future. You can seek professional help to design a well-thought-out plan. Experienced Chapter 11 financial advisors teach you how to reorganize your business to solve the current crisis and deal with future challenges with improved efficiency.

loan restructuring

Cons

1. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the most complex plan available

Chapter 11 is the most complex of all bankruptcy plans available. If you don’t have a clear plan, you may end up facing many more challenges and complexities. So, you need to check all other options carefully before making a decision.

2. Making major business decisions need permission from the court

One of the difficulties is that you need to seek permission from the court to make major business decisions. Bankruptcy court permission is needed for:

– Sale of assets except for inventory

– Starting or closing a lease or rental agreement on personal or real property

– Expending or closing down business operations

– Mortgaging or securing other types of loans or borrowings

– Making decisions on retaining and paying attorneys

– Signing up new contracts or modifying the existing ones with unions and vendors

Though the debtor stays in charge of the business after filing Chapter 11, he/she needs permission from the bankruptcy court to make critical decisions.

3. Confirmation of a proposed Chapter 11 plan is not easy

Several factors influence the confirmation of a proposed Chapter 11 plan. It is not easy to get your plan approved. Your plan needs to fulfill several requirements. The approval of your plan is known as confirmation. After assessing all relevant factors, the bankruptcy court takes the final decision. It can be a daunting task even for qualified business professionals.

4. Chapter 11 is highly expensive

Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves high reporting and oversight expenses. Further, the debtor has to spend more money on procedure-related tasks. Extensive procedural requirements demand professional expertise, especially legal work on behalf of several parties, including the debtor, creditors, and shareholders. All these aspects make this type of bankruptcy highly expensive.

So, you have a clear idea about the pros and cons of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now, let us explore the most important factors that make a powerful impact on the approval of a Chapter 11 plan.

Feasibility is a vital factor

The feasibility of your proposed plan is critical. The court checks the feasibility carefully before granting approval. The debtor has to prove that the proposal is good enough to raise the expected revenues during the plan term to cover all debts and other types of expenses.

Good Faith

Being a debtor in possession, you have to convince the bankruptcy court that the plan has been proposed in good faith. If the court finds any forbidden methods under applicable law, your plan will be rejected.

Creditors’ best interests are highly important

The court accepts your proposed plan if it meets the best interests of the creditors. The test for best interests’ in Chapter 11 demands that creditors have to be repaid as much as they would have received under Chapter 7 liquidation.

The debtor has to pay the debt in full to on certain occasions to meet the best interests’ test. On most occasions, Chapter 11 applicants might be neck-deep in debt. These people can fulfill the best interests’ test requirements by paying creditors a certain percentage of what they actually owe.

Fairness and equitability are extremely significant

You need to submit a fair and equitable Chapter 11 plan to get the confirmation from the court. Certain conditions are being laid out to meet the fair and equitable’ test. The debtor in possession must pay the secured creditors at least the value equivalent to their collateral. Your plan should fair and equitable enough to protect the interests of the secured and unsecured creditors. The fair and equipment test becomes valid only if the creditors vote against your proposal.

Generally speaking, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a good plan to overcome your debt issues. However, you must convince the court about the recovery plan. Submitting a well-thought-out, feasible, and practical reorganization plan; the debtor in possession can expect fast acceptance from the court. Chapter 11 allows you to keep the business functional while making efforts to deal with the existing debts and other related challenges.

Why should you hire an attorney when you decide to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy-related legal processes have always been highly confusing and complicated. The debtor in possession has to be knowledgeable about a wide variety of aspects. You should also prepare a perfect plan to convince the bankruptcy court and get the confirmation. That is why you need to hire an experienced attorney who specializes in this area.

Accomplished experts can offer you the best guidance and support and walk you through every step responsibly and efficiently. That is to say, professional help always helps you solve this stressful and complicated process without any hassles.

Proper assessment of your financial situation

Experienced bankruptcy lawyers analyze your finances in detail. These people apply their expertise judiciously to review your existing financial situation before offering the right advice that protects your interests. Moreover, they make you aware of your responsibilities and rights when it comes to filing a Chapter 11 case.

Preparation of an error-free petition

Trusted bankruptcy lawyers explain all regulations that make an impact on your case and guide you through all steps like a trusted companion. Filing a Chapter 11 petition involves strenuous paperwork. These experts make sure that all the necessary information is included and listed in your petition. Preparing an accurate and detailed petition, an attorney makes your life a lot easier.

The best protection from creditors

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can offer you the best protection against the harassment from the creditors. You can learn what creditor behavior is termed as offensive or abusive by the governing rules. This awareness makes you aware of your rights during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing process.

So, professional help is inevitable. Seeking professional expertise offers you much-needed peace of mind as a debtor. Under the expert counsel and support of an accomplished attorney, you can make the right decisions and create the best Chapter 11 plan that solves your existing problem efficiently.

 

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