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This is just a reminder to get the whole picture when doing inspections and pre-plans. Just don’t get lazy when doing these prevention functions. Especially on larger buildings that require some effort to get around.

Recently I did an inspection at a local nursing home. It had been awhile since I had been there because we have the crews do most of these inspections. There were some things I had forgotten about and had I not taken some extra time, would have missed.

As I walked out the back of the building this is what I saw. Unremarkable, really. However, to the right is the drive that leads from the front of the building.

Apparatus coming to the rear would get a view similar to this if they were assigned to the rear.

This second picture is the view from the other corner. What do you notice? It is kind of tough to see and unless you are aware and really looking for it, you might miss it. Especially at night or in rain or snow and with smoke conditions.

If you look real hard you will see one end of an 1000 gallon LP tank jutting out from behind the shed.

If you were to walk over there and actually take a look, this is what you would see.

These are two 1ooo gallon LP tanks that are near the rear property lines. These feed the appliances in the building with the exception of the generator, which has it’s own smaller tank.

But, there are separate shut offs for each line going into the building, but it is not typical.

The lines and shut offs could easily be missed entirely if prior experience with this building is not known.

This is one of the numerous shut offs for the gas lines going into the building. They are all up high on the building and some are actually on the roof.

It just points out the importance of knowing your buildings, in particular your high life hazard buildings.

Take some extra time to ask the maintenance person a lot of questions, they usually like to show all of the little intricacies of the building.

Be safe and be familiar with your response area.

Stay safe and be careful.

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Comment by Michael Bricault (ret) on November 24, 2010 at 1:27pm
-Unfortunately with all the cuts taking place and the demands on our time with the multitasking the FD does we have very little time left for field inspections/preplanning of occupancies.
-Usually we will do a walk thru during the construction phase but how often does that really happen?
-Preincident planning is an invaluable tool that we should take advantage of more often. This is the best time to see the building.
-Information is key to a successful and safe outcome; knowledge is power.

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