Saturday, July 20, 2013

Why Does The FD Tear Apart So Much "Stuff" at a Building Fire?

By: Battalion Chief Mark Davis

One of the biggest concerns of an Incident Commander at the scene of a building fire is the spread of fire throughout the building via void (or concealed) spaces. While infrared camera technology certainly helps firefighters detect such fire spread, the definitive action is to "open up the area." 

Fires in kitchens and bathrooms are particularly notorious for fire spread because of the numerous void spaces such as pipe chases and exhaust fans. This is why firefighters need to poke holes in walls or pull cabinets off of walls or remove entire ceilings.

The easy way to prevent this type of damage? Residential sprinklers!

The attached photo shows the pipe chase for a bathroom. The photo is taken from below the bathroom - so you can see that a fire on the floor below can easily spread to the upper floor. Many thanks to Captain Barber (15-A) for sharing the photo. 

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