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Boarded Up: What Would You Do?

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  • #61
    Simple solution...Have the place condemned and burn it under your own terms.

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    • #62
      Easier said than done in many jurisdictions.In ours for example the building has to be unfit and in dangerous condition for the village to tear it down.A sound building,merely boarded up fits neither of the requirements.We occasionally have NEW buildings that look similar to this one,they sheath the entire building leaving only one or two access points.That way the building is easier to heat and secure during construction.Then they cut out the rest of the window and door openings, install the doors and windows and finish it up.So I think that will depend on your jurisdiction. T.C.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Rescue101
        Easier said than done in many jurisdictions.In ours for example the building has to be unfit and in dangerous condition for the village to tear it down.A sound building,merely boarded up fits neither of the requirements.We occasionally have NEW buildings that look similar to this one,they sheath the entire building leaving only one or two access points.That way the building is easier to heat and secure during construction.Then they cut out the rest of the window and door openings, install the doors and windows and finish it up.So I think that will depend on your jurisdiction. T.C.
        We also have new buildings (99.9% of the time,they are SFD's) that are built in the same manner during the winter months.
        ‎"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

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Rescue101
          Easier said than done in many jurisdictions.In ours for example the building has to be unfit and in dangerous condition for the village to tear it down.A sound building,merely boarded up fits neither of the requirements.
          That's why pre-planning is so important. You want to know before the building catchs fire if it's structurally sound and/or if it has any unusual safety hazards. That's not something you want to leave to the first-in crew if you can get a handle on it beforehand instead.

          You also want to be sure that the building meets code and abate it if it doesn't. (There are typically code requirements even for buildings under construction.)

          The more you know about the building before it burns, the better your risk-benefit analysis will be when it does. If the risk outwieghs the benefit, you stay outside and put the deck guns into service. Period.
          "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
          sigpic
          The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by FyredUp
            Please tell me there are no firefighters here that are that ignorant. Please...I don't want to believe that firefighters would assume that no teenagers have snuck in there to use it as a place to get high or drunk or well...go bowling. Or that no vagrants or homeless persons might think it was a perfect place to crash for a while. Or for that matter the property owner is in there doing renovation work.

            Have we sunk so far in basic firefighting skills that we don't search anymore IF the building gives the appearance of not being occupied? I was taught both in fire school and by the old crusties that helped me in the beginning of my career that EVERY building is occupied until WE as firefighters say it isn't.

            I am just shaking my head once again...I would imagine that the IC has a cool looking command vest on though.

            FyredUp
            FyredUp, I understand what you are saying but sometimes a department's demographics plays into the decision making process too. For example, our department covers small town rural America. Vagrants can be found everywhere but based on past history and occurances most vacant home fires we respond to are the result of arson or meth making or both and not squatters. Should we rush into every vacant building fire with the expectation that someone could be there especially if we have no confirmation? I would not put my crew into that position. If 99.9% of our vacant homes are just that, vacant, then we will treat them all as vacant unless we have some other reason not to. Your area will influence your policies. If you have a lot of vacant homes with numerous squatters then I would expect your approach to be different and every deparment is different. If your deparment policies are in place for these situations and everyone knows what they are to do when they occur then I think you've won half the battle already.
            SFPD Member MABAS Division 47
            Told my wife I'm at work. Told my boss I'm sick. I'm really at the fire station.
            I.A.C.O.J.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by DeputyMarshal
              That's why pre-planning is so important. You want to know before the building catchs fire if it's structurally sound and/or if it has any unusual safety hazards. That's not something you want to leave to the first-in crew if you can get a handle on it beforehand instead.

              You also want to be sure that the building meets code and abate it if it doesn't. (There are typically code requirements even for buildings under construction.)

              The more you know about the building before it burns, the better your risk-benefit analysis will be when it does. If the risk outwieghs the benefit, you stay outside and put the deck guns into service. Period.

              Your jurisidiction allows you to inspect private dwellings?
              Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

              Comment


              • #67
                Dep,If you look back a few posts you'll find I said the same thing. Kinda hard to "hide" things in a village of 5000.We have some "target hazards"in town,this building would fall under that category.We know where they are,what they are and the interior conditions at the time they were boarded up.Periodic follow up inspections will occur.That still DOES NOT remove the wild card of the building being occupied by trespassers;it does however give us a basic knowledge of the building,exposures,location of water source and first in crew assignments.Different agencies will have different ways to look at this building. Some will devote very little in the way of search/suppression efforts.Some will go at it like it was their own. You do with what you have to do with,in that regard I'm blessed.I've got 5 Class A pumps with big(1000 gal plus)water tanks,a 1000 and a 2500 gal tanker,100' stick,Reel truck with 3000" of 5" plus "bullheads",and a fully stocked Hazmat truck.Plus plenty of help(MA)within 15 minutes. And since most of us work across town lines all affected depts usually know about any building like this that poses a threat to firefighters. T.C.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by DeputyMarshal
                  That's why pre-planning is so important. You want to know before the building catchs fire if it's structurally sound and/or if it has any unusual safety hazards. That's not something you want to leave to the first-in crew if you can get a handle on it beforehand instead.

                  You also want to be sure that the building meets code and abate it if it doesn't. (There are typically code requirements even for buildings under construction.)

                  The more you know about the building before it burns, the better your risk-benefit analysis will be when it does. If the risk outwieghs the benefit, you stay outside and put the deck guns into service. Period.
                  Again, you are suggesting breaking and entering on private property.
                  I am a complacent liability to the fire service

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Once again, no building is vacant until it is searched, and proven to be vacant. As others have said, what or who started the fire?
                    There are many variables to look at with a decision, but any competent company officer would have to gain entry and try to search, at the very least. I can also guarantee that here, those outside walls would be opened up as much as we could.
                    If you force entry, and face conditions that are too rough, change your approach; you are allowed to do that. However, if all you have is a smoke condition showing on arrival, you HAVE to at least try to get inside to search and extinguish.
                    Also, if you put this building in my first due, exposures are a real issue. If you make the decision to not enter, and set up a defensive operation, your going to have a problem with other buildings not involved when it finally burns through the roof and walls.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by nyckftbl
                      Your jurisidiction allows you to inspect private dwellings?
                      A boarded up building isn't necessarily a "private dwelling." Even if it is, it's likely to fall under the authority of regulations other than our own. If it's clearly a fire hazard, it can be inspected (and abated) as such under the authority of the Fire Chief; if it's under construction, the Building Official has the authority to inspect it; if it's boarded up with no utilities and someone is clearly living in it anyway, the Health Department can usually get a foot inside the door; Planning & Zoning may view it as an "attractive nuisance", etc.

                      Or, simply outline your concerns to the owner and ask the same way you'd ask for permission to do any other pre-plan. In this neck of the woods odds are that they'll allow you check out the building if you just ask.

                      At the very least, it's important to make the effort and not just wait for the building to catch fire to start planning what you're going to do about it when it does...
                      Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 11-25-2006, 09:59 AM.
                      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                      sigpic
                      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by ChicagoFF
                        Again, you are suggesting breaking and entering on private property.
                        Please go back and quote exactly where I've suggested any such thing.

                        (Let me save you some time: I haven't suggested any such thing. Perhaps B&E is the way your department does pre-plans -- I wouldn't know -- but that's not how we do them here.)
                        Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 11-25-2006, 11:07 AM.
                        "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                        sigpic
                        The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by DeputyMarshal
                          A boarded up building isn't necessarily a "private dwelling." Even if it is, it's likely to fall under the authority of regulations other than our own. If it's clearly a fire hazard, it can be inspected (and abated) as such under the authority of the Fire Chief; if it's under construction, the Building Official has the authority to inspect it; if it's boarded up with no utilities and someone is clearly living in it anyway, the Health Department can usually get a foot inside the door; Planning & Zoning may view it as an "attractive nuisance", etc.

                          Or, simply outline your concerns to the owner and ask the same way you'd ask for permission to do any other pre-plan. In this neck of the woods odds are that they'll allow you check out the building if you just ask.

                          At the very least, it's important to make the effort and not just wait for the building to catch fire to start planning what you're going to do about it when it does...
                          Unless that building in the photo is a former SRO or legal 3 family+ MD, that is a private dwelling and unless it is on fire we(the Fire dept) have no legal right to be on the property or in it for that matter.

                          As for the other agencies...they might be able to access the property however they would have a number of legal issues to clear first.

                          FTM-PTB

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by DeputyMarshal
                            Please go abck and quote exactly where I've suggested any such thing.

                            (Let me save you some time: I haven't suggested any such thing. Perhaps B&E is the way your department does pre-plans -- I wouldn't know -- but that's not how we do them here.)
                            Then how do you get inside a boarded up home to do your pre-plan? Can't wait to hear how you "do them here".
                            I am a complacent liability to the fire service

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by FFFRED
                              Unless that building in the photo is a former SRO or legal 3 family+ MD, that is a private dwelling and unless it is on fire we(the Fire dept) have no legal right to be on the property or in it for that matter.
                              It's not clear from the picture what the building's last use was. It may very well have been a 1 or 2 family dwelling or it may have been something else. You can't tell for sure just by looking at a boarded up box. (Want to bet that it doesn't meet code even for a dwelling as it sits right now? If it was a single family, it isn't anymore.)

                              Originally posted by FFFRED
                              As for the other agencies...they might be able to access the property however they would have a number of legal issues to clear first.
                              Let's look at the picture again... The plywood looks fairly new and there is a jack in place. Looks like pretty current construction going on to me. Is there a current building permit? Was there a ever permit for boarding up the entire structure and altering the required egress?

                              If that's the case, the "number of legal issues" the building official will have getting in is effectively "0" in most jurisdictions. At worst it might require a simple administrative warrant.

                              I don't know how well your fire inspection office gets along with the building inspection office but, if it isn't "well", you need to work on it.
                              "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                              sigpic
                              The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by ChicagoFF
                                Then how do you get inside a boarded up home to do your pre-plan? Can't wait to hear how you "do them here".
                                Have somebody read the thread to you. I've already pretty well drawn a picture for you.
                                "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                                sigpic
                                The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                                Comment

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