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Online Courses and Classes in Fire Protection

Colleges, universities and fire academies offer online fire protection courses for prospective fire service personnel and interested students. Most degree and certificate programs in fire protection are available entirely online or through hybrid on-campus and online formats.

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Online Fire Protection Courses

The online courses listed below are some of the most commonly offered in fire protection programs.

  • Basic Firefighting Course: This course prepares students for certification as basic fire fighters and is taught in consecutive 2-6 month sessions. The course focuses on fire fighter safety, fire science, personal protective equipment and firefighting equipment, such as service hoses, ladders and emergency service communication systems. Students also examine correct procedure for forcible entry, ventilation, salvage, overhaul, and hazardous material management at the fire site.
  • Fire Safety Systems Course: Courses on fire safety systems cover the operations and applications of heat and smoke control systems, automatic sprinkler systems, portable fire extinguishers, fire detection alarm systems and water supply. Students also review fire protection systems installation and current approval standards.
  • Fire Inspection Course: Classes in fire inspection vary by state, but usually include studies of potential fire hazards, the types of fire protection systems, and inspection practices. Students also study different types of construction and occupancy classifications, building service equipment and local fire safety standards.
  • Fire Service Water Systems Course: In this class, students examine the use of water in fire protection and study the mechanics of water flow through hydrants, sprinklers, water mains, fire hoses and standpipes. Course content includes studies of hydraulic principles, components of a water distribution system, the use of fire pumps, and the applications of nozzles and pumps.
  • Hazardous Materials Course: This course prepares students to be able to identify hazardous materials for risk assessment. Students also learn the appropriate procedures for transporting, storing and using hazardous materials. Another important component of this course is instructing students about how to react in hazardous material emergency situations.
  • Fire Protection Hydraulics Course: This more advanced course focuses on establishing whether a water supply is adequate for providing fire protection. It will teach students how to calculate velocity pressure and friction loss in sprinkler systems.
  • Life Safety Course: Classes on life safety instill students with a greater knowledge of the Lift Safety Code from the National Fire Protection Association. In an attempt to reduce fire-related fatalities, students will learn about the history of fire safety, exit markings and occupancy limits.

Program Information

Online fire protection courses are usually offered as part of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs designed to train students in fire safety science. These programs prepare students for state certification as fire fighters, fire officers, fire inspectors or fire investigators. Degree programs commonly require 15 months to four years of study and can be found at the associate's, bachelor's and master's levels. Some courses with on-site modules require students to purchase firefighting equipment, such as helmets, bunker coats and gloves. Fire fighters often work at local fire stations as first responders for fires, medical emergencies and traffic accidents. Fire service personnel also work as safety officers in chemical plants, airports or other industrial sites.

Fire protection courses are available to students online at undergraduate and graduate degree levels and through certificate programs, though some may require an on-campus element. Those enrolled will learn about fire inspection, hazardous materials and water systems.


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