Fire protection has three aspects and this can applied to all kinds of buildings such as land-based buildings, offshore construction or onboard ships. The three aspects are what I will call 'passive', 'active' and education. Let's first look at the passive category. Examples of passive protection are things like applying reducing systems and methods which minimize the likelihood of danger to property as well as human life. Two that come to mind are resistance rated wall and foor assemblies. Both will greatly reduce the spread of an inferno. Other forms of passive protection also include occupancy separations, also known as physical firewalls that are useful in keeping high temperatures and flue gases within the originating area. Passive protection comes in particularly useful during fire fighting and evacuation as well as being a preventive measure.
Active fire protection, as the name suggests, involves the manual or automatic discovery of danger through systems installed in the building. A good example would be the use and installation of an automatic Fire Sprinkler system
With regards to education, the building owners, operators and residents are given copies and a working understanding of the building and codes that would apply to their specific contexts. Other aspects of education include having a safety plan that applies specifically to that area as well as educating affected people such as building occupants, operators and emergency personnel so that they know their way around the building and are aware of where the sprinklers and fire cylinders are stored. They also need to know the building's weak spots and strengths.
Interestingly, all the types of fire protection weren't invented at the same time. It started with passive protection. So buildings when built were constructed with various passive fire protection aspects inbuilt into the design. Afterwards, came active protection in the form of sprinkler systems which made people feel more secure. Of course, the ideal situation is to have a combination of active and passive protection supplemented with a good eduation. If you miss an element, you are not fully protected and are opening you and your building up to real risks.