It should be a habit that every time you come off of the truck for an alarm there should be a tool in your hand. And take a tool that you can do something with. Some of the most common tools are the Halligan and a flat head ax. You can take a pick headed ax and/or a sledge hammer, depending on what your function or task is.
We hear it all of the time in the fire service and many of us agree; we don’t spend enough time training and learning building construction and fire behavior. So, in the spirit of practicing what I preach, here is a short lesson on Type I construction, or otherwise referred to Fire Resistive construction.
I still believe that a size up is a size up and the information you gather during it, along with experience, training and knowledge, will direct you into the right direction. If the building is tenable or not; if it has burned before; if it is in poor condition; it doesn’t change how you size up. What changes is how you use the information.