We know the importance of inspections and identifying hazards in the buildings that we serve and respond to. This is just a simple reminder of one hazard that depending on it's location in the building, can be missed.
Combustible storage under stairs or in the stairwell can cause some serious problems. Even in sprinklered buildings this is a hazard.
The pictures you seeshows a pile of combustible storage in the stairwell and under the stairs in a hotel. You can also see that this is in the means of egress area next to the exit door.
Smoke from a fire from these combustible materials can make the use of the stairwell almost impossible and access for firefighters difficult. Occupants are expected to use the stairs during a fire and a large mass of people filling a smoke filled stairwell is disastrous.
This building also is equipped with standpipes in the stairwells, so making that connection would be difficult for fire crews trying to make the connection.
Keep an eye on your buildings and explain this situations to your crews to impress the importance of inspections and mitigating these hazards before they become problems.
Train hard and stay safe.