Are You Preplanning Your Buildings?

Issue 1 and Volume 162.

BY JACK J. MURPHY Over the years, the need for preincident building information has been cited in National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) line-of-duty death reports. NIOSH noted that the fire departments involved were deficient in conducting a preincident survey prior to the fatal incidents. Developing and improving building intelligence skills enhance firefighters’ tactical capabilities of anticipating fire behavior and water supply needs, preparing for search and rescue, meeting forcible entry challenges, placing hose and ladders, performing ventilation, containing the fire, and improving firefighter safety and survival. A preincident plan also gives the incident commander (IC) “inside information” about the structure and its contents and allows fire officers to use their resources more efficiently, improving overall fireground strategy, tactics, and the application of risk management. Each year the construction industry has been coming up with ways to lighten construction structural members, reduce fire protection redundancy through trade-offs, and…

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