Monday, March 19, 2018

Guide to NFPA 13 Occupancy and Commodity Classifications

Perhaps you are conducting a fire inspection or survey and you notice that the hazard or commodity classification on the hydraulic calculation plate at the riser seems odd for the actual contents of the structure.  Or, you are sitting down to do a plan review, the occupancy hazard and commodity class is listed. Are these classifications correct based on the use of the structure?

NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, chapter five defines occupancy hazard and commodities classifications for the design and installation of sprinkler systems. In book form, this information can sometimes be difficult to recall. This slideshow presentation can be utilized as a reference to quickly review and confirm occupancy and commodity classifications.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

8 Factors for Avoiding a FF Close Call

In the January 2018 issue of Firehouse Magazine, Billy Goldfeder shares “a simple list to help you consider some of the key factors in avoiding a firefighter close call, line-of-duty injury or line-of-duty death".

This article is recommended reading for all members of the fire service, and can be accessed here.

Eight critical factors discussed are:

  1. Learn about fire behavior
  2. Conducting a size-up
  3. When, how, and why to perform ventilation
  4. Getting water on the fire
  5. Rapid-intervention crews/teams
  6. Love your apparatus, tools, and equipment
  7. Clear fireground communication
  8. Deployment staffing

Firehouse Magazine, January 2018, Close Calls: New Year, New Lessons: 8 Critical Fireground Factors, Billy Goldfeder.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Five Lessons from, "A Message to Garcia"

It is not a “millenials” problem, it’s a people problem. We seem to constantly hear the millenials getting blamed for a poor work ethic. However, a book published in 1899 shows that the problem of poor work ethic and lack of quality in workmanship has been a people problem throughout the history of humanity.

A Message to Garcia, has long held a place on the Marine Corps Commandant’s reading list.  Written by Elbert Hubbard, this is short parable of a man named Rowan who must get a message to a man named Garcia. The parable presents the lessons learned through Rowans diligence and success in accomplishing the task he was assigned and agreed to complete.

The opening paragraph sets the scene:

When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents.  Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastness of Cuba - no one knew where. No mail or telegraph message could reach him. The PResident must secure his co-operation, and quickly. What to do!

Someone said to the President, “There is a fellow by the name of Rowan who will find Garcia for you, if anybody can....”

“...The point that I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, “Where is he at?”

This short booklet provides a wealth of value into the insight of human behavior and work.  All people entering the workforce would be well served to read and observe the statutes presented within its pages.  This booklet serves as a great reminder and motivator of the importance of the work we do, and why we must strive to be the best at what we do.  

Here are 5 lessons learned about work from, A Message to Garcia:

Attitude -- “If you work for a man, in Heaven’s name work for him. If he pays wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, and stand by him, and and stand by the institution he represents.”

Competence -- “...but out and forever out the incompetent and unworthy go. It is survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best - those who can carry a message to Garcia.”

Motivation -- “...He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled Number Nine boot.”

Demand -- “Civilization is one long, anxious search for just such individuals. Anything wuch a man asks shall be granted. His kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go.  He is wanted in every city, town, and village - in every office, shop, store and factory.”

Accomplishment -- “It is not book learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing.”

Thursday, March 8, 2018

MGOSIPs for Fire Proof Homes

Innova Eco Building System manufactures ready-to-assemble panels made with a magnesium oxide board (MGO).  These MGO panels are made with magnesium skins which are stronger and have a more superior fire ratings than fiber cement and OSB SIPs panels. These are being used to replace concrete block and wood framing.  These panels are 60% lighter than masonry block and concrete, do not rot or mold, are not subject to destruction by termites, are toxin free, can withstand 200 mph winds, and are fire resistant.

Have you seen these?
Are these in your community?
Are there any specific firefighting or construction challenges that they may pose?