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Size-Up Indicators - Hoarding Conditions

Hoarding Conditions are more prevalent than you may be aware of. Taking a second during your 360 to take in some of these clues can pay off. Although nothing is ever truly set in stone on the fireground, more times than not the following can be a strong indicator of hoarding conditions.

Photo 1: Residential single family Dwelling in a "well to do" neighborhood.

Note the front entrance is blocked with overgrown bushes, out of season holiday decorations are present, house and lawn appear unkempt, blinds are closed and it is difficult to see into the dwelling. This is most likely not the main entry/egress for occupants.


Photo 2: Same residence as above street view

Note present signs of occupancy such as recycling bins at the street, recent trash mixed in with large volumes of clutter on the B side of the residence. Also note a growing pile of clutter that flows from the rear of the home around to the B side of the dwelling. Once again window blinds are closed and the home and property is appearing increasingly unkempt.

Photo 3: Same residence view from the B / C Corner

Large amounts of clutter are present again flowing from the rear entrance to the sides of the home, hinting that the rear entrance is the main entry/egress for occupants. Large storage "rubbermaid style" containers are strewn about showing an unsuccessful attempt to store items. A commode or handicapped toilet is seen which can represent the presence of elderly or even handicapped victims at an incident. All of the above mentioned indicators and clues should paint a picture of possible conditions to expect within the structure.

In conclusion the picture below shows the inside of the rear door to the above residence. The previously mentioned size-up indicators gave us the clues to these hoarding conditions. The next time you are out and about in your response area keep an eye out for some of these indicators, you'll be surprised at what you might find. 

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