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?