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An asset is defined as something that holds value and is capable of being owned. It represents a resource or property that an individual or organisation possesses and can utilise to produce value or generate future benefits. Assets can take various forms, with two primary categories being tangible assets and intangible assets.

  • Tangible assets are physical items that have a physical presence and can be seen and touched. These include buildings, equipment, machinery, vehicles, inventory, and other similar items. Tangible assets are often essential for conducting business operations, as they enable the production of goods or provision of services.
  • In contrast, intangible assets do not have a physical form but still hold significant value. They typically represent intellectual property, knowledge, or rights. Examples of intangible assets include patents, trademarks, copyrights, brand names, customer databases, software, trade secrets, and proprietary technology. These assets contribute to a company's competitive advantage, reputation, and ability to innovate.

Regardless of their form, assets are typically recorded and reported on a balance sheet, a financial statement that provides an overview of an entity's financial position. This statement lists the assets, liabilities, and equity, giving stakeholders insights into the resources owned by the organisation.

In regard to fire safety, the typical tangible assets of a building include;

  1. Fire detection and alarm systems: These include smoke detectors, heat detectors, flame detectors, and manual call points.

  2. Fire suppression systems: This category includes fire sprinkler systems, fire suppression agents such as foam or gas, and automatic fire extinguishing systems.

  3. Fire extinguishers: Portable fire extinguishers are essential assets for initial firefighting efforts. They come in different types, such as water, foam, powder, or carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers.

  4. Emergency lighting: This refers to lighting systems that automatically activate during a power outage or emergency situation, ensuring visibility and safe evacuation.

  5. Exit signs and emergency exit doors: These assets provide clear direction and guidance during an emergency, indicating the nearest exit points.

  6. Fire hydrants and fire hose reels: These assets are essential for connecting firefighting equipment, such as fire hoses, to a water supply for manual firefighting efforts.


In preparing this definition, we have drawn from various sources including Legislation, Codes, Standards and industry information, research and knowledge.  Like the english language, these definitions may subtly change from time to time. As such these definitions are provided solely on the basis that users will be responsible for making their own assessment of the definition and and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.