Know Your Buildings

Where is your means of egress?
Where is your means of egress?

 

This picture is something that needs to be noticed when you are pre-planning or doing inspections.

This is an old commercial building with a large basement.  The sprinkler system is down here and there is a huge fire load.

What you are looking at in this picture are the windows boarded up in the basement. These windows exit directly to the outside and the bottom sill is even with the ground outside.

We are taught that when we get disoriented, to get to an outside wall and feel for doors and windows for escape.  We might not recognize this as a way out with the plywood over the windows. 

Additionally, this is a good example of why you should always have a tool with you when you make the interior.  If you did recognize this for what it is, you could breach it and get out.

Remember, we need to train and plan for the unexpected and use sound, basic skills to keep us out of trouble.  If we do these  things, that is the best way to stay safe and still do our job effectively and as expected by the public.

Stay safe and be careful out there.

1 Comment

  • Lance C. Peeples says:

    A number of years ago a similar circumstance may have contributed to the deaths of three firefighters in Pittsburgh. As I recall, the cellar windows had plexiglass mounted on the inside and flush with the wall. It is possible that the firefighters were unable to locate this potential exit due to the obstruction. Good catch!

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