Introduction to Fire Science

I.     Course Prefix/Number: FIR 101

       Course Name: Introduction to Fire Science

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces aspects of fire science. Content includes history of fire protection; fire protection organization; magnitude and causes of fire losses; properties of hostile fires; and principles of fire preventing, detecting, confining, and extinguishing fires.

IV.   Learning Objectives

The objectives of this course is to instruct the students in fire safety for people and property, the characteristics and behavior of fire, basic building design and construction, fire alarm and detection systems, fire department organization, administration, and operation.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  • Introduction and scene size-up
  • Characteristics and Behavior of Fire
  • Process of combustion at the molecular level and affect upon forms of matter
  • Fire Hazards of Materials
  • Emergency incident management
  • Investigating the Fire Loss Problem
  • Fire Protection through Building Design and Construction
  • Water-Based Fire Protection Systems & Equipment
  • Non-Water Based Fire Protection Systems & Equipment
  • Alarm and Detection systems and Devices
  • Municipal Fire Defenses
  • Fire Department Organization, Administration and Operation
  • Codes and Standards

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  • Lectures
  • Handouts
  • Video/PowerPoint
  • Case Study
  • Scenarios
  • Class Discussion
  • Group Discussion
  • Individual Presentations

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Using References
  • Decision Making
  • Group Participation
  • Class Discussion
  • Practical Exercises

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Fundamentals of Fire and Emergency Services, Loyd, Jason B., and Richardson, James D., Brady Fire Series, Second Edition, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0-13-341923-8

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Practical Skills, Discussion & Participation 10 points
Written Project and Presentation Assignment 20 points
Quizzes 20 points
Homework 10 points
Mid-Term 15 points
Final Exam 25 points
Total 100 points

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.