In most cities, firefighters are trained members of government-supported organizations, such as fire departments. Elsewhere, fire-fighting organizations are primarily composed of volunteers, or "vols." Fire-fighting organizations also help design and implement fire-prevention programs, which may include such measures as building codes requiring fire alarms, regularly located fire-extinguishing equipment, internal fire walls to help contain a fire, sprinkler systems, the use of fire-retardant construction materials, and safe electrical wiring. Educating the public about fire safety and fire-prevention practices is an important part of all fire-prevention programs.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.