Changes in Building Features

Changes in building features.

These pictures show how buildings are altered over the years and with change of ownership and/or occupancy type.

You can see that what used to be windows are now bricked in.

This is very common on older buildings that had numerous windows and in some cases they are not very efficient.  Owners will frame or brick them in just to eliminate the problem all together.

The problem is we don’t know what the inside sill and frame-out of the inside of the window is like.

This is important to note when your doing your 360 or pre-planning.

When firefighters become lost or disoriented we are taught to find a window or door on an outside wall.  The inside of this building may feel like windows to the gloved hand, but in reality it has been blocked up.

A firefighter may spend a great deal of time and energy trying to get out the “window” and not move on to an actual egress point.

Keep these things in mind and get to know your area. We probably all have these buildings with these feature changes in our area and we have an obligation to point these out to our newer firefighters.  Stay prudent and be involved in your jurisdiction’s building construction and occupancy types.

Stay safe and keep cool.

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Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.

AFFOWE Calandar

July 2010
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