A recent fire in a fire station in North Carolina resulted in loss of a building and fire apparatus. You have to wonder, should there a NFPA requirement for systems to protection the building and apparatus within? Most new fire stations are having sprinklers systems built in as the buildings go up or in areas where they are required by law for new construction. Should they be required in buildings that have stood for time or in areas where sprinkler or other protections systems have not been made law in area structures? Should it be a water sprinkler system, dry chemical or foam system for some fire stations?
I have heard stories of stations with no crews in the station when they caught fire or a crew asleep when a fire started in a piece of apparatus and then spread to units around it and almost trapping the crew in the bunkroom.
Another thought detection systems to alert a dispatch system of a problem in a fire station when no one is in the station either on call or on a call. I have also known of break ins in stations so maybe security of fire stations should also be important. Video cameras and door and windows contacts. Some systems could be purchased at big box bulk stores or even Radio Shack and connected to a phone system or internet.
I would think that would be left up to departments to decide. When we built our new house in 2003 we had smoke and heat detectors installed. We also had a couple of pull boxes installed. Which to this day i'm not sure way because they do not go to any monitor company. So unless somebody was walking by no one would here the alarm going off anyways. It is my own opinion if we are going to preach to the people in our communities to install smoke detectors and sprinkler systems then we should be the first to do so. The old saying practice what you preach. Just my simple minded opinion.
All of what you are talking about comes down to state and or local ordinance. Making such a NFPA requirement doesn't matter unless that NFPA standard is adopted by the authority having jurisdiction. Building codes will be the determining factor for new construction, but retro-fitting older buildings can be costly and the only time you may see a requirement for older buildings is if there are renovations.
While it would be prudent to have such protections in place, there is more to the decision making than just a FD input. If the local building codes don't reflect such protections are in place, it is on the local governing body to decide to protect their investments. I would think you would have a tougher time to outfit older buildings that are grandfathered by the codes when they were built.
The idea of having a monitoring system in place is a good idea, but still cost money. There are companies out there that have such features that automatically turn off appliances, turn on lights, etc with a dispatch. Having a security type of systemmay not be a bad idea either, but everything comes down to justifying the cost, I don't think you would ever see such requirements made from a national scale.
That costs money. A couple of our renovated houses have sprinkler systems but it would cost a lot of money to put that in all of them. We've got 34 fire houses and several other buildings. It's hard enough to get new things in the fire house already. My current house is actually falling apart.
The things to think about. How many fire depts. have insurance for replacement of apparatus , contents, equipment and the building itself? Would the local governments or state help with the replacement of fire dept losses? Some governments are self insured to pay for replacement but would budgets be able to cover everything? Could Federal money come into play? Some states might have money to help depts. Todays cost would be in the millions for many depts. Would depts. have enough money in the bank to help them? Donations and fund raisers to help a dept back on their feet?
Question is ashfire, Does your department?
All new stations are required to have fire and security systems and any rehabbed are required to have systems put in. We have sprinklers in a storage area in our station because one of our members working with a plumber put the system in. Smoke detectors are by county law required in the station and we have a extinguishing system in the fire station's activity hall kitchen. I know a few stations have had sprinklers systems when are county enacted the law for residence and other structures.
The next new law as of July 1 are that all residences to have carbon monoxide detectors on all floors near living areas. Would think we will have them in the fire station too.
Security systems many of the stations put them in themselves. We have one room alarmed because of money being handled in there. We are talking that we needed to expand due to the number of apparatus and apparatus that our chief wants to add, so if we add we will have to meet requirements set by the county for the needed protection. Plus our chief is a plumber and contractor. The other system was put in by a member that worked for him.
It seems that since I posted this, there have been a number of stations and lost apparatus due to a fire in the station in states around the U.S. New York the other day. Then you also have the break ins and theft of equipment and fire apparatus in fire stations.
Recently I have seen where one dept. lost a squad truck and the building was damage because of a short in the electrical system of the squad. There was a alarm system to alert the crew of the fire. The building was repaired and the crew returned but now they have left the building because something has made the crew sick so the county is investigating that. Another story of a entire station and all apparatus burned be on use in another part of the country. Something should get pushed to do some sort of protection of fire stations from fires and security of them for theft and vandalism.