Saturday, September 12, 2015

Have you noticed many old buildings no longer have Fire Hoses in their Fire Hose cabinets? There is a good reason why

At one time it seemed almost every commercial building, school , civic  center etc. over 1 story had a Fire Hose Cabinet in it where you found a fire hose and fire extinguisher.
but more and more you will find the cabinet empty.

There is a very good reason why these cabinets no longer have a hose and new buildings are being built with out them..

 It comes down to the fact many hoses where never being properly inspected and replaced as needed
 they where just ragged and tagged as its known  and also came down to the fact Fire Officials  would rather you flee a building instead of trying to fight a fire with an inadequate hose especially if you are not properly trained.

the 1 -1/4 hose is far smaller than the 2- 1/2 inch hose firefighters carry in there High Rise Fire Fighting packs  and the other problem is adequate water supply as many of the pipes supplying these hoses where not maintained and are all barnacled up and corroded causing blockages. improperly tested and not replaced fire hoses also present a very significant danger to a user as well if they attempt to use it. 

Fire Officials would much rather you flee a building and allow them to go in and fight the fire than them having to worry about  locating and rescuing you.

Also since firefighters are connecting to 2 1/2  dry pipes in buildings where with there high rise hose packs  where water is pumped in from a fire engine  and pipes must be rigidly inspected on an annual basis there is a much better chance a fire will be knocked down faster than citizens using old 1- 1/4  hoses.  and less danger to firefighters.

The other problem is the actual fire load in buildings has dramatically increased with modern plastics etc and being able to fight the fire with a hose and avoid dangerous fumes is all but impossible  if you can not stop it with a hand extinguisher then its time to flee and get out . 


Additions added onto buildings can be a Death Trap for Firefighters

Building additions are common  as a business grows but they can pose significant risks to firefighters when not properly thought thru. especially when it comes to covering over old Windows and Doors
from the existing structure  as you can see in the pictures below.

When this building was added onto the window was left in place and not properly covered over a firefighter trapped during a fire  inside the old building could be feeling around in the smoke trying to find a way out feel the window ledge in the above photo think he has found a way out when in fact he has not even if he successfully breaks thru it all he has done is broken into the addition.

This is exactly what happened when 3 Pittsburgh Firefighters where killed in a Home in Brushton when a window was covered over with heavy Plexiglas  and they thought they could make there way out  when they felt the window ledge and could not when the steps collapsed and trapped them in a basement.

Take this building in the picture below  looks like a normal building right?

 You would be wrong on the left side of this building underneath is an old Boron gas station this building on the left is a shell built over the original structure I would be willing to bet if I went down to local fire station not one of the fireman there would know this as it was done over 20 years ago.
 Like Francis Brannigan always said  " THE BUILDING IS THE ENEMY  KNOW THE ENEMY"

So what buildings do you have in your district which have been built over layer after layer that are waiting to get you? this is why it is important to do company tours and know how buildings have been modified or be prepared to suffer the consequences.

More Examples of Church Elders not caring to folow Building Codes and putting Public at Danger

Yes once again a glaring example of putting the public at danger and this time it involves children
The First case involves a church in South Hills of Pittsburgh .

Where an elder lets call him Mr. Smith has taken it upon himself to fix a problem where children are swinging on a outside handicapped railing. 
And he was worried they could fall and get hurt .
his solution instead of putting in a metal strip to stop them from swinging under the railing. the proper way code requires he takes some plastic fence pieces  left over from a project and uses indoor rated plastic tie wraps and attaches the fence pieces to the railing.  which now leaves 8 inch gap[ underneath a child could be impaled on and blocks use of the hand rail by a handicapped person so not only is Mr. Smith putting children at danger he is violating Federal handicapped accessibility rules. when I offered to fix it properly for cost he said whats the problem. Well Mr Smith the problem is a child can and will get hurt the tie wraps will eventually break and some one is going to get hurt and the church sued. It is just a matter of time till a building inspector riding buy sees this monstrosity and the church gets cited. But they never do learn they have been cited in the past and if they last another 5 years it will be a miracle but this is what happens when you allow untrained in building codes and construction knowledge and  unethical individuals into a position of power in a church which drives good members away and ends up killing a church because there are not enough donations to maintain it.

Monday, September 7, 2015

More Stupidity from NFPA why do residental R 13 systems not have valve shut off tampers? Especially when used in Small Apartment Houses and Personnel Care Homes etc.

Yes right along with the Daisy Chain Smoke Alarm debacle NFPA has caused there  is an even bigger issue and it involves the one thing they have been pushing on there agenda and thats residential sprinklers .
In small apartment houses and town homes etc. where sprinklers are tapped off the house water line   there is no requirement for a tamper switch to warn  the sprinklers are shut off . I have even seen this with small office buildings and personel care homes.

Anyone can just walk up and turn off the water valve to the sprinkler system and ou would never know.
 Water Line tapped for sprinklers and no tamper in  Small Office Building 

As you can see in the above pictures there is not even any kind of markings telling you the lien and valve are feeding a sprinkler system and all too often these valves are located where the public can easily come upon them and turn them off. 

There are thousands of small apartment units Personnel care homes and offices set up this exact way and all a potential disaster waiting to happen. As you can see this room is jammed full of boxes and junk and a valve could easily be turned off by a box falling against it. Yet codes do not call for these valves to be at least chained off and better yet electrically tampered. But because often these small places do not require a fire system just daisy chain smokes code makers feel it is a burden on owner to install dedicated panel for this purpose  .

Yes the very systems designed to save lives daisy chain smokes and sprinklers  can be fully interrupted and no one knows and no one cares. Dam shame  how little code makers care about those who live in small apartments and personnel care homes .