© 2018 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Fire Safety Science


Only you can prevent fires. Yes, you personally.


Fire is the oldest of mankind's tools. For much of history, if you needed light, heat, or to burn something, you pretty much only had one option, and that was an open flame. This was seriously inefficient and ripe for disaster.

No caves were burned down, but as soon as the human race moved to place that could be, trouble started. Fire can destroy the very place we store it in. There's literally no other substance that's true of. It's not like we store our hydrochloric acid inside our burritos. Of course, it's not like that acid makes those burritos more delicious.

So we have this dangerous thing in the place it can do the most damage. That's not the best plan, but it's also completely unavoidable. This is where the idea for fire departments came from, and why some method of fire safety is one of the first things that springs up in a developing civilization.

After thousands of years, we've actually become pretty good at fire safety. You might even say we've got it down to a science. Actually, that's exactly what we did. It's right there in the name of the major.

What this means is that the techniques to prevent fire, to fight it, and to save the maximum amount of lives are pretty well tried and true. Not that there won't be amazing technological or societal breakdowns, but you're dealing with stuff that's been tested over thousands of years. This is also the kind of stuff that needs to work in order to save lives, so whatever doesn't work gets thrown out.

That's the crux of this major. It's all about saving lives. That sounds pretty great, right? Granted, you're not going to be an official superhero. Very few jobs tolerate wearing a cape and a unitard. Trust us. We have talked to many an HR person about our "dress code violations."

If you're looking for a way to make a concrete difference in people's lives, this is it. That difference? Keeping them from being burned. There is no greater difference you can make in anyone's life. Seriously. Try to think of one.

You'll get training in rescuing procedures, emergency medicine, putting fires out, and a whole lot more. You'll probably take at least one class on wearing all that heavy gear and not passing out, too.

The best part is that fire safety isn't going anywhere. Even if all the federal and state laws were repealed tomorrow, there would still be a demand for it. Sometimes it takes a disaster to bring that around—and that's where those laws come from—but it will be back.

In this field of study, there's a demand for fire safety and it's a way to do some good. That sounds like a winning combination to us. This is the kind of job you don't want to go into lightly, though. You're taking lives into your hands.

Now go out there and prevent some fires.

Famous People who majored in Fire Safety Science

  • Sir Ernest Rutherford, the man responsible for the modern smoke detector
  • Steve Buscemi. Former firemen count, right?
  • Smokey Bear, one of the only talking bears with a degree
  • Fire Marshall Bill. We're pretty sure he also has a second degree…burn.

Percentage of US students who major in Fire Safety Science:

N/A (figure not available)

Stats obtained from this source.