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You respond to a sprinkler water flow alarm in the middle of the night. It is a two story comercial building. It is 300'x300'. You see no smoke and no fire. What do you do?

Train to stay safe,
Chief M

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Chief, I would have the first arriving Engine stage at the nearest hydrant & prepare for stand pipe operations. The crew would enter & locate the alarm panel to isolate where the system has been activated. The rest of the first alarm assignment would be held on scene until it was confirmed to not be a fire & if needed, salvage operations would begin.
Hopefully a representative of the company is on scene to assist with getting the IC all information on the building we may need. If more resources are needed, I wouldn't hesitate to get a second alarm on the road. That way at least if needed, time isn't wasted ensuring enough resources are on scene.
We are trying to train our people to respond to every alarm as a real fire until proved otherwise so we can get away from "Routine Response" mindset. Great question.
I had a terrible experience the first year I was chief, um about 7 years ago. The scenario was closely described in this post. We had water flow and a slight odor of something burning. Anyway, it was the infamous parachute incident where we took 2 guys to the hospital. NOW, whenever I have a waterflow confirmed, I always suspect a smoldering fire with CARBON MONOXIDE present. We had no heat, with 23 heads activated. Unbeknownst to us, the CO was off the charts. No smoke, just a waterfall of sprinklers- guess what- no SCBA worn. The guys dropped within 2 minutes of exposure, thats how high the concentration was !!!
so, confirmed waterflow = smoldering fire = CARBON MONOXIDE

THANKS for everything


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