Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Does the fire service, in general, risk safety too much at commerical fires?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    I think we are beginning to spend too much time teaching what we CAN"T do and not enought time on what we CAN do. Don't get me wrong, I am not for total disregard for the safety of anyone. We must take the necessary steps to provide as safe an environment as possible, but we must not lose sight of our goals. Quick notification, quick arrival, quick attack, will, in most cases allow us to enter and do some good. If we spend all our time teaching what we can't do we will instill a a totally defensive attitude for every alarm. This mindset will lead to a bit of a lazy attitude and that is when we are going to get people injured and killed. Think aggressive, but with control. We can't let our emotions run amok, but we must have a certain edge about us. I once received a complaint about some of the personnel on my department being arrogant and having the attitude that they were the best. Hell, that is exactly the type of people I want on my department. We will teach agressive tactics without overly exposing our personnel to undue dangers.

    Comment


    • #17
      Halligan's point on approaching Commercial fires like residences is a good one -- and can be expanded.

      How many of us approach the new 2500 to 3000 square foot houses with 30x30' size living rooms...with the same hoselines/flows and crew sizes we've used to attack 1200 square foot ranch houses that used to be built in our area? Tactics vary by structure.

      As for saving jobs, again, it's relative. Yeah, maybe if the bathroom is fully involved you can save it.
      **ANY** fire beyond the control of a fire extinguisher in the Kitchen/Dining area will see the business shut down for at least a few weeks as they gut the interior. Any involvement of the roof? Bring in the excavators.

      With the exception of the frame, the interior, attic trusses, and roof is gonna be gutted and replaced -- along with all the appliances, counters, and HVAC by order of the Health Department. For the cost of framers for two days, it's cheaper to hire an excavator to knock the whole thing down and start with a clean slab. Guess what the insurance company will choose to do?

      Heck, it happens often with houses in our area -- truss roof ranch with any extension beyond a room & contents? The house will be knocked down and either rebuilt or more likely replaced with a modular by the insurance company. The houses however have lots of things insurance *can't* replace -- like your family bible & photos that an solid interior attack & salvage efforts can save. The local or small business can have it's business records saved. What are we trying to save in these buildings like a CVS or McD or any other suburban strip store that transmit their business records to HQ every day?

      Doesn't mean we write them off right away. But does mean there is less to save in them -- what's the phrase, Risk a lot to save a lot, Risk a little to save a little? What are we saving when we know the building is going to be totalled by the insurer and there's no intangibles like family heirlooms or business records inside?
      IACOJ Canine Officer
      20/50

      Comment


      • #18
        It seems everyone agrees that firefighting efforts should never put firefighter safety or lives at risk. There have also been some excellent theories as to why mistakes are made, and to how they can be avoided.

        It seems the disagreement is over firefighting efforts at disposable property.

        To me, an example of a disposable property would be a tire farm, a leaf collection site, a junk yard, a superfund site, or a sara site, and not a national chain store.

        I would never take any unnecessary risks and I would never order or ask anyone else to, but I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I let a property and jobs go up in smoke because they are a national chain and can buy and sell my fire department one hundred times over.

        Comment


        • #19
          My department uses this Risk Analysis for every fire:

          We will risk alot to save a life.

          We will risk a little to save property.

          We will risk nothing for that which is already lost.


          In my very humble opinion, if there is no occupancy then estimated time it's been burning and extent of involvement are the two main factors in an offensive/defensive decision.

          Just my 1/2 cent, Probies can't spare much more than that
          FTM-PTB-DTRT

          Comment


          • #20
            I have 2 follow up comments:

            #1. I still can't buy into the disposable building concept. The only buildings we won't enter are those already gone upon arrival, or those that we have already had multiple fires at and know are unsafe; such as those long abandoned by owners, vacant, derelict, and boarded and blocked up.

            #2. I stopped at a chain fast food place this afternoon and got into a conversation with a young assistant manager. There are over 20 full time and 9 part time workers employed there. Their jobs mean as much to them as mine means to me and yours does to you. Commercial buildings = jobs.

            Disposable? What nitwit made that up?

            Comment


            • #21
              I like the way you think E229lt I agree go in and put the fire out and don't be [email protected]#$%around on the outside waiting for it to come to you. If conditions change while inside then go defensive,but until then go deep and hit em hard.

              Comment


              • #22
                Disposable? What nitwit made that up?

                Probably the same person who decided to put wood truss roofs in a commericial structure and not sprinkler the attic.

                Probably the same person who decided not to compartmentalize these buildings, so the Kitchen is totally open to the Serving and Dining areas.
                IACOJ Canine Officer
                20/50

                Comment


                • #23
                  XXLdogg...this is why I consider a stand alone fast food building to be disposable.

                  1. Lack of fire protection for the building. They may have a local alarm to warn the employees and customers of a fire... if someone pulls the hook. Why do they have the damn grill and fryolators hooked up to a fire supression system when the rest of the building goes unprotected?

                  2. Construction methods. They are built on concrete slabs. They have lightweight steel and/or wood truss construction. Tons of HVAC and cooking area ventilation systems on the roof. They are cheap to build, fast to build, and can kill firefighters (Don't forget what happened in Houston..the LODD's of Kim Smith and Louis Mayo)

                  In the case of an abandoned building, it has been considered disposable by it's previous owner.
                  ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                  Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Dalmation90 and Captain Gonzo--great points about the basically cheap and unsafe construction of the type of buildings we are talking about. The owners don't give a flying *$^! about the possible consequences of this type of building construction, it's all about putting up the building as fast and cheaply as possible.

                    That's not to say that I think we should stand back and watch it go down or not do an interior attack. The bottom line of what I've been saying and why I started this topic is I think at these type of structures, whether it is a small locally owned company or a giant, the line we draw between not going in or going in should be moved back atleast a little towards the side of more caution and safety.

                    I know your own experience and that of your officers is a huge thing, but as far as training goes, and I could be wrong, but when you read an article by Vincent Dunn about fires in these type of structures, he seems to side with more caution and safety needed than some of the contents of this discussion.

                    And once again, yes I know every situation is different and you should proceed as conditions dictate but I still think we should be more cautious with these type of structures.

                    There have been several deaths in the last year or so that have made me think about these types of fires more than anytime since I first became a f/f. I'm not getting soft and I will still do an agressive interior attack at a commerical or residential structure, but I think lives are risked a little too much at times for these types of structures and *even more* caution should be given.

                    Sorry for being repetitive on this----maybe my last comment on it.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Good topic .... tip of the leather to RRR.

                      There aren't too many "firefighter friendly" structures in my town .... too much new lightweight construction .... too many old bowstring truss roofs .... and I hope we never get anything going good in the old 'Pat Boone Auto Mat' (anyone remember them?) building.

                      I might sound like a big chicken ... but the fire I hate and fear most is in those old two and a half story balloon construction homes that 'Handyman Hank Homeowner' has had a couple of years to turn into a death trap.

                      Mr. Hanky cuts collar ties and prurlins out of his roof system, uses two and three quarter inch hole saws to run half inch pipe through the floor, wacks floor joists in half to run drain pipe, knocks down bearing walls, screws a new ceiling into the sagging old one, does his own electrical work, and has a basement full of paint cans, gasoline, propane, and Lord knows what else.

                      I prefer running a line into Micky D's than Mr. Hanky's anytime.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The question of interior attack at a commercial fire is a difficult one. I think it depends on training, staffing, pre-fire planning, and experience. My agency is a public safety department, so, we only have one on the truck with three more cross-trained fire fighter/cops on the road. At a significant fire, we will only have four personnel until we can either get mutual aid or start calling in other shifts. In addition, we do not have many experienced fire fighters to work or even size up a significant fire. I would be VERY wary about sending in a crew with minimal back up and experience. I'm in this business to save lives and property, but, not by taking unnecessary risks. If I don't think we can get out alive, we're not going in. Period.
                        Stay safe
                        Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Excellent point, Diabolical! There are a lot of people Who think that because they watch "This Old House" or "Hometime" and buy a few of Bob Vila's books that they are qualified to make home repairs. Most are done without the necessary permits, and while there are some homeowners who know what they are doing, there are many who don't.

                          The difference between a residential occupancy and a commercial one is that in a residential structure fire at 03:00, there's an excellent chance that the occupants will be home, will be trapped and will need to be rescued. Even then, firefighters will have to make difficult decisions if the building is well involved... and I hope I will never have to make that decision on the fireground.

                          [ 09-04-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]

                          [ 09-04-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
                          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Number one, you never know for sure if there is absolutely no life hazard. Number two, I still believe in protecting lives AND property. The value that property may have to people should not be underestimated. It could mean the whole world to them. It could be all they have. It could be their livelihood. I take pride in protecting this for them. Who wants to be on a department that surrounds and drowns just because its a commercial occupancy? Sure as hell not me. You're not a fireman if you actually want to be on a department like this. There is no justification for the existence of such a department. It doesn't take paid, professional firemen to stand outside and squirt water on the fire. What a waste...of money...of skill...of a noble profession. If you don't mind the fire building becoming a total loss because you're afraid to go in, why not just let the thing burn until it goes out itself? Why not just let the citizens squirt water on it with garden hoses? What a joke. Have some pride in what you do, go INSIDE the f*cking building and put the fire out.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Number one, you never know for sure if there is absolutely no life hazard.

                              Bull****.
                              IACOJ Canine Officer
                              20/50

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Here's what happened today:

                                diabolical: "Chief, we got any 'disposable buildings' here?"

                                Chief: "Uh, Go ask Public Relations."

                                PR: "No, we have 'SDSs' Structurally Dysfunctional Structures."

                                Comment

                                300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                                Collapse

                                Upper 300x250

                                Collapse

                                Taboola

                                Collapse

                                Leader

                                Collapse
                                Working...
                                X