The 360: Basement Bulk Heads

Look for secondary means of egress for basements too.

Look for secondary means of egress for basements too.

We have all heard  and been taught to do a 360 of the structure during a working fire.

There is some debate, but this is becoming common practice and there are several things to look for.

The picture is a bulk head for a basement.  We have always been taught and trained to look for and create a secondary means of egress for upper floors.  Well, it’s no different for basements.

When you make entry, especially if the fire has not been isolated, make sure that either you open it during the 360 if it’s not locked or that the information is relayed to the next in crew to cut the lock.

Cut the locks to ensure crews can exit if needed.

Cut the locks to ensure crews can exit if needed.

It may be as simple as cutting a padlock or as difficult as forcing a door or security bars.

It is important to create this exit to safety for the crews operating inside.  It might just be what saves their lives.

Stay safe, be smart and train hard.

1 Comment

  • Frreddie says:

    Glad to see a reminder to think about what is “under” the fire building. Basements are a rarity in my part of the country; however, I’ll add this to my 360.

    As an aside, if I don’t have the time (or tools) to remove the lock, I’d have my second in company attempt to pry the hasp (in the picture)off the doors and open the doors. Not cutting the lock will allow the homeowner to more quickly secure the property after the emergency is over. A quick and easy public relations trick would be to have a firefighter “assist” the homeowner and replace the hasp and lock for the property owner.

    Just another reason to keep a screwdriver readily available..

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