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Don’t Forget the Obvious: Basement Self Rescue

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In our classes we spend a lot of time showing firefighters how to stay out of and how to get out of bad situations. Our fire service is seeing an increase in firefighters who are falling through floors into basements or sub-levels. This is large part due to the engineered flooring systems that do not […]

Basement Considerations

By seeing all four sides of the fire building we can see if the seat of the fire is in the basement and may allow us a more direct attack from the same level as the fire reducing the chances of floor failure.

Type V Construction-Wood Frame

We just need to remember the hazards and myths of this type of construction. One is that if one truss fails they all fail. I like to ask the classes that I teach if any of them has seen a house constructed with wood truss systems with a part of the roof burnt off and the rest of it still intact? The answer is always yes.

What Do You See?

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As an officer that will be making the initial decisions on this building you have a great responsibility to know as much about this structure as you can. It will certainly help you to make the best possible decision about your tactics.

Residential or Commercial Alarm?

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Firefighters are falling through floors immediately after entering. Roofs are collapsing much earlier than before. Contents are causing fires to burn faster and reach untenable temperatures much earlier in the fire. The larger area requires the firefighters to search longer and further into a building than in the past.

Apply the Lessons Learned

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Above all, don’t let the lives lost at any LODD be lives lost in vain. Learn from their mistakes, but don’t be critical, we have all screwed up and been lucky enough to get away with it. Be constructive and train on the recommendations so that you don’t repeat history.

What Is Above You?

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By lifting the tiles and breaching the ceiling, we know how far the fire has advanced before committing people into these buildings. The concealed spaces are important for initial fire attack in these situations. It might indicate that the front door is as far as you go.

Light Weight Strip Malls

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As you look at this building you can see that it seems to be a series of stores or spaces in a commercial building. Most likely a strip mall type building.

Making Sure Beams Fail

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Steel will deform and twist and this beam will meet little, if any, resistance during a fire. I understand that a pocket of concrete will not keep this beam from dislodging, but it there is a reason for properly pocketing these beams.

Making I-joists More Dangerous

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This is a weak spot in this floor and will sag. It will fail much faster if contacted with fire.

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