Fire protection is the study and practice of mitigating the unwanted effects of potentially destructive fires. It involves the study of the behavior, compartmentalization, suppression and investigation of fire and its related emergencies, as well as the research and development, production, testing and application of mitigating systems. In structures, be they land-based, offshore or even ships, the owners and operators are responsible to maintain their facilities in accordance with a design-basis that is rooted in laws, including the local building code and fire code, which are enforced by the authority having jurisdiction. Buildings must be constructed in accordance with the version of the building code that is in effect when an application for a building permit is made. Building inspectors check on compliance of a building under construction with the building code.

Once construction is complete, a building must be maintained in accordance with the current fire code, which is enforced by the fire prevention officers of a local fire department. In the event of fire emergencies, firefighters, fire investigators, and other fire prevention personnel called to mitigate, investigate and learn from the damage of a fire. Lessons learned from fires are applied to the authoring of both building codes and fire codes.