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Pre Incident Survey Page
Pre- Incident Plan Initiative
The Southwick Fire Department has begun an initiative to pre-plan structures in our Town. The primary purpose is to familiarize the firefighters with the structures they are likely to enter during a fire. Our first priority will be life safety, with particular attention to safety of our firefighters during incidents.
First, we will do a comprehensive risk analysis of our Town, identifying potential locations with the highest threat of fire and life safety.
We will then develop written plans showing types of construction, available water supplies, hazards, floor plans, etc. These plans will be stored in our responding apparatus for review while responding and during incidents.
If you are a business owner in Southwick, you may be contacted by our Department to schedule a pre incident survey of your facility.
Pre Incident Plan Purpose:
Pre Incident plans are designed to provide the emergency response personnel with information about the occupancy that they will need should a fire or other emergency develop on the premises. They also focus on any potential hazards to firefighter safety that may exist on the premises, including hazardous materials, high voltage equipment, unprotected openings, etc.
In short, Pre Incident Plans are there to determine what firefighters will need to know about the occupancy in order to function there safely when their vision is totally obscured by darkness and/or smoke. They are also there to determine whether the Department is adequately prepared to deal safely and successfully with the emergencies that are most likely to occur in the occupancy.
Pre Incident Plan Strategy
Prioritization: Life Safety, Fire control, Property Conservation
Step 1 - Identify Pre Plan Team
Canvass members of Fire Department to create a working team of planners. Desired skills include but are not limited to computer operation, building construction, and firefighting tactics.
Step 2 - Conduct Risk Assessment:
The Town-wide risk assessment will prioritize structures for pre plans and identify target hazards. Assessment will focus on the structures which are most likely to have incidents, how the fires are likely to behave, and what resources will be required. The priorities are normally based on Life Safety Risk (with special consideration for risk to firefighters), property values at risk, and the likelihood of fires or other emergencies occurring. Once these TARGET HAZARDS are identified, Pre Incident Plans will be developed addressing those specific sites.
Step 3 - Schedule Pre-Incident Surveys:
Contact building occupants to arrange convenient time for survey. Care will be given to occupant’s schedules and business responsibilities.
Step 4 - Conduct Pre Incident Survey:
An on site survey will be performed and will capture all appropriate information on the occupancy including dimensions, construction type, occupancy, hours of operation, hazards, etc. Also captured will be locations and types of fuel load, locations of exposures, hydrants and other water sources, valves, utility shutoffs, fences, landscaping, power lines, obstructions, sprinkler and standpipe connections, and underground tanks, number of exits, locations of elevators, windows and other openings suitable for rescue, flammable and toxic interior finishes or processes. The Team will also consider special evacuation considerations such as disabled occupants and large numbers of occupants.
As our Team records information about occupant life safety, they will also gather information about conditions in the building that may threaten or enhance their own safety.
Flammable and combustible liquids
Processes performed in the building that is inherently dangerous
Structural components, which may fail during a fire
Construction materials susceptible to fail during fire
Ornamental building fascia, awnings, etc.
Unsupported partitions or walls
Stacked or piled storage
Heavy objects on the roof or floor, which could cause collapse
Building features that may confuse or trap firefighters
Large open areas
Open vats, pits, or shafts
Openings to underground utility shafts or tunnels
Multilevel floor arrangement
Mazelike room divisions or partitions
Alterations that disguise the original construction
The Team will also identify building construction types such as:
Type 1 – Fire-resistive construction. Type 1 construction consists of structural members, including walls, columns, beams, floors, and roofs, that are made of noncombustible or limited combustible materials. Buildings of this type were originally designed to confine any fire and its resulting products of combustion to a given location. Because of the limited combustibility of the materials of construction, the primary fuel load is the contents of the structure.
Type II – Noncombustible construction. Type II is similar to Type I except that the degree of resistance is lower. In some cases, materials with no fire-resistance rating, such as untreated wood, may be used. Again, the primary fuel load is the contents of the building.
Type III – Ordinary construction. Type III construction consists of exterior walls and structural members that are of noncombustible or limited combustible materials. Interior structural members, including walls, columns, beams, floors, and roofs may be completely or partially constructed of wood.
Type IV –Heavy timber construction. Type IV construction consists of exterior and interior walls and their associated structural members that are of noncombustible or limited combustible material. Other interior structural members, including beams, columns, arches, floors and roofs, are made of solid or laminated wood with no concealed spaces.
Step 4 - Formulate Pre Plan:
Develop written pre plan on “pre plan forms” utilizing NFPA codes and symbols. We will utilize occupant provided plot plans if available and any other data as needed.
Step 5 - Manage Pre Incident Data:
Plans are published into apparatus based notebooks. Dispatchers will be alerted through IMC (Fire/Police/Dispatch software) at time of call of an existing Pre Incident Plan. That information will then be transmitted to responding units.
Step 6 - Manage Pre Incident Database 2: (Future)
Phase 2 will transition the Pre incident Plans from basic hand drawn documents to computer generated plans. (SFD has applicable software)
Step 7 - Phase 3: (Future)
Phase 3 will transition the Pre Incident Plans from paper to electronic media resident in apparatus mounted laptops. Initially, one laptop will be mounted in Rescue 1 Command Center for Pre Plan review at large incidents.
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Southwick Fire Department