Dunn's Dispatch: Recognizing Wall Collapse Dangers

The most dangerous parts of a front wall are: a parapet, a marquee, a canopy and a cornice. These deadly front wall architectural decorations, hanging off the front, side and rear of a building, can collapse and kill firefighters.

Could you identify a parapet, a marquee, a canopy and a cornice at a fire? Would you recognize these structures during a fire size up, and do you know the different ways they collapse and kill firefighters? Finally, do you know safe firefighting procedures to protect firefighters from being buried beneath these wall cantilever beams?

Fireground commanders must be able to size-up a burning building and identify dangerous construction features. We must be able to recognize collapse warning signs, of a parapet, marquee, canopy or cornice.

And, most importantly, commanders must direct safe strategy and tactics at a burning building that has these deadly construction features.

For more information go to www.vincentdunn.com and use the Google search feature with keywords "Front Wall Collapse".

Vincent Dunn, a Firehouse Magazine contributing editor, is a 42-year veteran of the FDNY and a deputy chief (ret.), serving as division commander for midtown Manhattan. A nationally renowned lecturer, he is the author of the best-selling text and video series Collapse of Burning Buildings and the textbooks Safety and Survival on the Fireground and Command and Control of Fires and Emergencies. A new book, Strategy of Firefighting - How to Extinguish Fires will be published in April. Dunn has a master's degree in urban studies, a bachelor's degree in sociology and an associate's degree in fire administration from Queens College, City University of New York. He can be reached at 1-800-231-3388 or via through his website at www.vincentdunn.com.