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10 Advantages of visually based fire Pre-Plans
DETERMINE THE LOCATIONS OF FIRE ALARM AND RISER ZONES
Dispatch: "Alarm company reporting a zone 7 water flow"
What does that mean? A visual representation of fire alarm zones allows responding units to properly position apparatus and know the location of an alarm activation or water flow.
Zones are most commonly found by contacting the health/safety department or the life-safety engineers for the building.
APPARATUS PLACEMENT FOR RESCUES
Dispatch: "Resident reporting they are trapped in apartment 746 and are unable to get out"
Aerial positioning is vital. A visual representation of where apartment 746 is will allow responding aerial apparatus to position for rescue.
If the fire is reported in unit 746, additional aerial positioning on the A/D corner can be taken on arrival.
ESTABLISH THE A/B/C/D SIDES
Incident Command: "Truck 2, position on the alpha side and go to the roof"
On a structure with two front doors, which side is the alpha side? The alpha side can be established on most structures before the bells.
Ensuring all units have the same understanding of the A/B/C/D sides can prevent a potentially severe miscommunication on the scene.
Dispatch: "Callers reporting a fire in Cohen's Furniture"
Where is your first line entering and how long does that line need to be? It doesn't need to be a science- just an estimate. As the apparatus officer, a quick glance at the 300' market can give you a good idea as to the needed length of your 2.5" line.
Equally as important is the knowledge of that stretch length before the bells!
ESTIMATE STRETCH LENGTHS
Dispatch: "Engine 3- a fire alarm. 200 Windsor Hills Way Building 104"
Your CAD or Google maps will get you to the anchor address- and from there it shouldn't be a guessing game. Ensure your crews have the right site maps/guides and do not have to rely on road signs or security crews to be guided in.
A pre-plan with a multi-structure property should start with a site map such as the one to the left.
Locating a structure under a
single development address
Engine 3: "We will be utilizing the FDC for zone B2. Stairwell 1 will be our attack stairwell".
The function of an FDC on a high-hazard building can make or break a fire attack. An FDC can be labeled as "Auto-Sprinkler" but not function as such- or as a combination of sprinkler and standpipe.
DEFINE THE USE OF FIRE DEPARTMENT CONNECTIONS
For every minute a sprinkler head flows, it releases 20-40 GPM of water.
That could mean tens of thousands in damage for the property owner. Locating the fire protection system in a timely manner directly correlates to the preservation of property.
Not only do we need the location of a fire protection system, but the knowledge of controlling that system.
LOCATE FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND WATER SHUT-OFFS
Engine 1: "We are utilizing the standpipe in Stairwell B for fire attack"
Ensuring your stairwells are labeled allows the designation between fire attack and evacuation stairwells. Not only will your first engine report their attack stairwell, but search crews may identify the stairwell they are bringing victims out of.
Another benefit of labeling stairwells is the ability to determine which stairwell has a bulk-head door for roof access.
LABEL STAIRWELLS AND LOCATE STANDPIPES
LABELING YOUR KNOX-BOX KEYS (AND DOOR CODES)
Entering the front door of a 7-story mid-rise, you have 350 parts per million of CO.
Opening a Knox box can be overwhelming at times, especially when there are 5+ keys to figure out. Coordinating key numbers with their use can save time when it counts- and ensure you get those doors open without inflicting property damage.
You have to search every room- know what key to bring with you upstairs.
INCLUDE PHOTOS WITH LABELS FOR DETAIL
Imagery is one of the many tools that will benefit your pre-plans before, during, and after an incident.
Before the incident: Utilizing your visually based pre-plans for training on a rainy day is a great way to ensure your crews have an understanding of the high-hazard structures in your local. Images are more likely to stick with your crew than a birds-ey view.
During the incident: A stationary incident command post will greatly benefit from the ability to have an inside look at the structure and its features at the click of a button. When fire or smoke conditions are not in your favor, imagery may assist incident command in describing the location of features over the radio.
After the incident: Incident review, or a hot wash, can benefit from the imagery of the scene. Portions of the structure that were destroyed or not visualized by crews can be reviewed with pre-plan images.
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