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Ok! On March 22nd. I asked "HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE FLOOR YOU ARE CRAWLING ON IS BECOMING WEAKENED BY FIRE?" I had one fire officer post a comment. One!
Billy Goldfeder recently put out another e-mail on his "Secret List" about another firefighter falling into a basement in a floor collapse. PLEASE don't tell me that as an officer, don't have a method of determining the fire conditions below you. Please. Pass on to other firefighters how you know if the floor assembly you are crawling on is becoming weakened by fire.

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Comment by Skip Coleman on July 4, 2010 at 4:20pm
Your second suggestion concerning the method of crawling is an excellent point. Thank's so much for the great advice for the "newbies".
Comment by CAPNCRNCH on July 4, 2010 at 4:05pm
I will say the first and most important thing is to perform the 360 of the structure, that will prevent 3/4's of the collapse incidents.
My second suggestion is that they need to stop teaching firefighters to crawl into structures the same way that babies crawl. We should be doing a modified duck walk, one foot out front with our weight on our back foot and knee, this way our head is up looking at the changing conditions not down looking at the carpet.
Comment by Skip Coleman on June 11, 2010 at 11:43am
I'm not sure what a good floor sounds like! You can use your tool and "sound" the floor and be hitting right on top of a floor joist. It will sound great. Crawl 6 inches off the joist and you could hit a weak spot. Sounding a floor is 1 tool or option - but it's not foolproof. I hear and read account after account of guys sounding floors and still ending up in the basement.
Comment by Michael Bricault (ret) on June 11, 2010 at 1:25am
-How about using good, old fashioned, time tested, firefighting tactics like sounding the damn floor with a tool?!?!
Comment by Larry Creekmore on May 22, 2010 at 6:53pm
John, when i said I look for any heat or smoke form the crea spce that's is done in my 360*
Comment by John on May 14, 2010 at 1:27am
I think all this discussion is great, but I have not heard one person mention a 360 of the building. This, before anyone goes in, gives you an idea of the structure layout. Stairs leading to a basement, and lower windows in the foundation for a basement. We also have been dealing with daylight basements that have hidden accesses to large crawl spaces that serve as storage areas of huge fire fire loads. These can serve as so many visuals for smoke and obviously fire which can lead an IC to change his/her tactic on fighting a fire.( we don't always have to go into the front door people)

Skip thanks for coming out to Graham - Great class!
Comment by Larry Creekmore on May 13, 2010 at 5:00pm
I believe that just sounding the floor is not the best tool to gage any structural soundness of the floors integrity, think about how far you can reach. When you realize that it has been compromised it’s a bit late.

Fire below you is not good and I’m sure we all can agree on that, what I do is feel for heat, I also sound the floor as well as use the TIC. Floor integrity one of the things I consider in my size up, do I have smoke or heat coming from the crawl space vents ( I used my senses)?? My dept did have a fire where the vinyl siding melted from an exterior fire, and the now liquid siding flowed into the crawl space causing a fire that weaken the floor. So just because there isn’t fire now there maybe later into the fire. So keep your eyes open to any exterior fires on homes with this type of siding.
Comment by Jeff Schwering on May 6, 2010 at 10:36am
I agree completly Brother! Some time we need to step back and take a long hard look at many things.
Comment by Kennyt on May 6, 2010 at 9:50am
For sure Jeff! I'm with you all the way. I'm just concerned that folks have let the "sound the floor thing" become the staple of performance that keeps us from falling into a burning basement. I don't disagree with the posts here, just chatting about a concern. Lots of time is spent training on window bail-outs, (Great training) while I see the biggest risk is of FF fall though. Thoughts only.
Comment by Jeff Schwering on May 6, 2010 at 9:20am
I was not as clear as I should have been guys. Kenny we should know, or at least have an idea if we have a basement job in the works before we go in. That's the Officer's job, to know where the fire is. When we do go in sound that floor and continue to sound, that's why we carry tools. In today's world we must rely on each other to be aware of the surroundings.

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