The Work Environment

Learn from real-world examples of how redundancy through fire codes can create a safe work environment for fighters.

Learning from Past Tragedies

Reviewing the lessons learned from past accident investigations demonstrates the critical role building codes play in keeping fire fighters safe on the fire scene:

How can the fire service ensure that tragedies like these never occur again? By getting involved with local fire and building code adoption and enforcement procedures to make sure our codes:

  • Reflect the most current research on fire safety
  • Address emerging hazards associated with green building design and lightweight building materials
  • Are adopted by local jurisdictions
  • Are properly enforced with consequences for property owners who do not comply
  • Are robust and incorporate all aspects of fire safety

Click here to learn how to get involved.

How Codes Improve Your Work Environment

Fire fighters often ask why they should be concerned with building or fire codes if their job is to put out fires. But, as this graphic shows, codes impact a fire fighter’s work environment in many ways.

  • Are fire fighters concerned about ventilation? Required ventilation systems can be found in the codes.
  • Do fire fighters care if automatic suppression systems are installed and maintained? You can find the installation and maintenance requirements in the codes.

All topics outlined in the building code regulations graphic can impact a fire fighter’s work environment and safety. And each one is addressed in the codes and standards. By changing the building code, you changing your work environment and creating a safer work environment for yourself and your coworkers.


When all three elements of fire safety (detection, prevention, and suppression) are addressed in building codes, the result is a safer building for occupants and a safer workplace for fire fighters. Every available level of fire protection is needed to achieve a safe building. This is called redundancy, a concept in safety engineering that ensures a system works correctly even if one part fails. The same concept can be applied to building codes. A building code that only addresses fire suppression but not fire detection and prevention is not an effective code and can lead to building collapse and loss of life.