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I do numerous fire inspections a month scattered between me and my four other colleagues and if you think that any inspection is routine you are dropping your guard. This particular set of photos I am going to show you from inside this facility is on my installation and located right down the road from the office. It's an older building from the 40's or 50's and luckily for these guys they should be moving into their new building in the next few months. Needless to say that the post and beam bolted together and additional metal plating over the wood cracks construction does scare me a bit and it's age. In this case was built the same way as one of the firehouses we just tore down and rebuilt. We should seriously look harder for violations in these older types of buildings more than we might in newer buildings that are up to code and just one of the reasons for the pictures.

While doing my inspection we were going from room to room in a methodic manner and as I was coming back out of one room and closing it back up, the occupant proceeds to open a set of locker doors. (see pic 1)


I said to myself "What the hell is he going to show me inside that locker? Is he storing hazardous stuff in a non approved locker"? As I was walking over he opens up the other door and my eyes about fell out of my head. Now in 24 years I have seen a few things but nothing this ingenius and deceptive but oh so deadly at the same time. (see pic 2)


They had taken off the back of the locker and pushed it back against the wall to hide the door of a former office and turned into a secret room containing some furniture and a ping pong table. (see pic 3)


Had he not shown me this I would have not even noticed it unless I was smart enough to look at the room numbers and wonder why it went from 112 to 114 and 113 was missing. It just looked like any other normal locker. I didn't know whether to slap them on the back or close them down!

So here is the question: How do you know you are getting everything out of a pre-fire or fire inspection and catching a majpority of the problems. I know it's impossible to catch them all but what if there were an incident in this building? Would the firefighters know to go and open the lockers and perform a search?

What else have you seen that you can add to this that can be a hinderance or a hazard to us in your response area when searching for victims or fire location?

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Great find Brad!! Not in a million years would I have guessed that there would be a door behind a "locker". Excellent picture to prove that pre-planning and company inspections are a "MUST"!!
Wow! Nice find, seems we all find crazy things when we do the inspections properly, I've found a gas can under a bathroom sink before, several years ago. The company is no longer there. The manager said he had no idea it was there
I find crazy stuff all the time around here. Last week it was a can full of gas and no cap in an exterior heated room with an overhead heater unit and boxes of styrofaom cups and supplies piled up next to the heater. Seems that some people think gas freezes at temps below zero. Propane tanks are another culprit in the "I can't barbeque with frozen propane" and propane won't vaporize at 40 below so they think it needs to stay inside.
GOOD STUFF BROTHER! THANK YOU FOR THIS POST Todd McKee
"So here is the question: How do you know you are getting everything out of a pre-fire or fire inspection and catching a majpority of the problems. I know it's impossible to catch them all but what if there were an incident in this building? Would the firefighters know to go and open the lockers and perform a search?"

Darwinism.

At some point you cannot fix everything. You could not be faulted for not knowing this existed if you weren't shown, though a lawyer would likely try. While we are expected to be absolutely professional, no one can be 100% accurate all of the time. In fact probably none of us are 100% accurate at all when inspecting. Or what is your obligation if you see violations when your out on your day off? You see the issue, you know the problem, are you now responsible if some one dies? The answer is no. Will you feel terrible? Probably. But I always like to remember that code compliance is required of the building/occupancy owner regardless of inspections or violation notices. Just because I don't catch it doesn't let them off the hook.

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