My department has never really pre planned any of our homes or buisness in our area. I need some ideas of what you guys are doing and how you have them distributed in the department. My department borders 2 departments in the same county, one in another state and one in a different county. do you distribute to these departments as well?
We have preplans for most of the non-residential buildings in our area, but not private residences. We have a sketch of the building and interior floor plans where possible; utility locations, hazardous material locations/types, other hazard areas, and so on. There are also apparatus placement drawings for reference only since daytime shortages may preclude all apparatus from showing up.
We also list mutual aid companies in order of proximity for additional mutual aid requests.
Our county has a GIS (government information system) mapping web site that has surveys and tax maps on line. They are a great resource.
It is a good idea to share these plans with your neighboring departments especially if they are included in the plans.
We pre-plan our commercial properties much like Joe. One thing which helps with the drawings is to get a copy of the businesses fire escape maps. It saves time by allowing you to mark on the drawings where the utilities come in. We also go by the sales offices in subdivisions being built and pick up the info sheets on the different styles of homes being constructed. It gives us the chance to see construction methods as well as matching a particular style with a floor plan.
We are pre planning some of our homes because we have multiple challenges to to overcome on several of them and trying to get the solutions work out first could help save time and maybe lives. We have some multi-million dollar homes built on top of hills that our trucks might not be able to get up let alone the bridges they have to get to them. we have some smaller pumpers that can get up to the house but we would have to relay pump the water up to them to make an effective suppresion attempt.
We pre-fire plan all commercial businesses, high occupancy buildings (Churches and Schools) and multifamily dwellings.
I want a detailed drawing of both inside and outside the building. Where are the utility isolation points both inside and outside of the building. Show the location of critical documents. In the early stages of a fire the IC may make the decision to try to recover the documents before the fire spreads to that area of the building. You are going to want to document Knox Box location if they have one. Documenting that they dont have one is just as important. If the pre-plan doesn't say you could end up wasting peoples time looking for one because they dont know if you just forgot to list it on the pre-plan.
When is the building normally occupied? What is the normal occupancy load for the building?
Are there any unique evacuation issues? Example: Is the building a Rehab Center for people who recently had knee or hip replacement surgery.
Show all at risk exposures and any significant risk associated with that exposure. Example: You have a used book store that catches fire. At the rear of the building 20 feet away is a welding company. There are some significant hazards to be considered should the fire start to spread to that business. It could alter the IC's initial plan of attack.
I want to identify unique hazards such as chlorine tanks being use for a private water system or swimming pool sales and service company.
Where are the fire alarm monitoring locations and the main alarm panel location?
What is the reset code for the fire alarm system? I started asking for this because I had a few back to back calls were the owner was out of the country on vacation for the next three weeks. No one had the code to reset the alarm. If the reset code is the same code to disable the burglary alarm do not list it in the pre-plan.
Who is the alarm company? What is the 24 hour service tech phone number. What is the phone number to the monitoring company.
I want as many key holders as I can get. I want their cell phone, home phone and home addresses. At 2am in the morning I will send a police car to their home if I can't get them to answer the phone.
Are there any building features that aid or hinder fire suppression? Example standpipe locations, Sprinkler system, FDC locations. Emergency lighting is supplied by a generator that would leave the interior dark if it failed or electical wiring between the generator an the emergency lighting burns.
Finally base your departments manning and equipment limitations subjectively state your opinion how to best attack a fire should one occur in the building. Make you pre-plan a usable document. Remember that in the event of a fire your pre-plan could become part of a civil and/or criminal investigation in to the origin and cause of the fire. As a fire investigator I always review the pre-plan to aid me in reconstructing the fire scene for the purposes of determining the origin and cause of the fire. A really good detailed building drawing can be critical tool in the investigation.
We have the floor plans of the businesses with the utilites marked as well as exits. Some even have where they store potentially hazardous materials. Some even give us updated plans if something changes. My question is, can we ask Joe Public to submit the floor plans to their homes and any other buildings on their property or is that a no, no?
Stay safe all!!!
All of the other posts give great information. These things I would suggest. We invite the 1st alarm companies to join us when we update our preplans or when we do do walk thrus. We have too many building to do them all so we preplan hospitals, nursing homes, schools, malls, and any special hazards. We do a walk thru each target hazard annually. Preplans need to be updated yearly.
We keep the preplans in the 1st due engine. The chief will pull it when they arrive on the scene.
Perhaps touring some of the businesses with the chief or a crew would be worthwhile? Or if you can't get a tour of the inside, at least scope out the building? That way you get to see what the building is like, not just on paper. And more people would be familiar with the building. I'm in a volunteer and we don't have set staffing during the day, but almost every night we have a crew of different people stay at the station - the chief encourages us to take the engine and go drive around our district, learn road, find hydrants, stop by one of the commercial buildings and get a good look at it. I also think we're going to try and get permission to tour some of the larger commercial buildings as a group.
When I complete pre-plans or tours if the pre-plan has been completed for the year. I explain to the person in charge of the building. I am here to decide the most efficent way to fight a fire should one occur in your building. Also to make sure we know who to call and give the bad news too should a fire occur. I have always gotten a smile or laugh from the person in charge of the building. Then permission is given to complete the tour or pre-plan.
In Australia we have to do a PIP ( pre incident planning) on all the businesses in our area so if in case of a fire or whatever we basically know what we are going to do, we only have one fire service here and it government run so we dont have to share it goes into the system and anyone can look at it.
You should have the legal right to entry in any commercial building under both state and federal law. In my jurisdiction refusal to allow inspection can result in the revocation of "certificate of occupancy" and "business license". This action is authorized under state law. If there are hazardous materials on site you have a legal right to entry under federal law. However if you can't get voluntary entry you should re-evaluate your approach. I would also be concerned about illegal activity in the building if you are refused entry.