Dumpster Firefighting

While fires in dumpsters may not present a loss of property in terms of value, we should avoid being complacent. The content of a dumpster is unknown. Topic: Dumpster Firefighting Time Required: 2 Hours Materials: Appropriate visuals...


While fires in dumpsters may not present a loss of property in terms of value, we should avoid being complacent. The content of a dumpster is unknown.

Topic: Dumpster Firefighting

Time Required: 2 Hours

Materials:

Appropriate visuals

• Water supply

• Fully equipped fire engine

• PPE and SCBA for each participant

• Dumpster

• Class A fuel if there is to be a fire in the dumpster

• One instructor for each five students

• A safety officer

References:

· Essentials Of Fire Fighting, Fourth Edition, IFSTA

Preparation: If fire is to be set in the dumpster, make sure there are no hazardous contents before ignition

Motivation: While fires in dumpsters may not present a loss of property in terms of value, we should avoid being complacent. The content of a dumpster is unknown. There is a potential for hazardous materials being involved. It is important that we use proper attack techniques, adequate size attack lines, and PPE and SCBA.

Objective (SPO): Given hazards and extinguishment techniques, the student will be able to demonstrate the process to safely extinguish a fire in a dumpster.

Overview: Dumpster Firefighting

• Types and Construction

• Safety Hazards

• Extinguishment

• Fire Attack Practical

Instructors Notes: The practical activity can be conducted with or without fire but should involve the use of a dumpster that can be used for this purpose. The content of the container must be known before the practical activity starts if the contents are to be ignited.

Dumpster Firefighting

SPO 1-1 Given hazards and extinguishment techniques, the student will be able to demonstrate the process to safely extinguish a fire in a dumpster.

EO 1-1 Identify and describe the various types of dumpsters and their construction characteristics.

EO 1-2 Identify and describe safety hazards posed by dumpster fires.

EO 1-3 Identify and describe the proper extinguishment techniques for dumpster fires.

EO 1-4 Demonstrate the proper extinguishment techniques for a dumpster fire.

Instructional Guide

I. TYPES AND CONSTRUCTION (1-1)

Types - discuss the potential hazards with each type of container

• Open-top, roll-off - generally at construction sites; may also be on trucks being hauled to disposal facilities for emptying

• Compactor/closed, roll-off - generally at commercial sites; may also be vehicles in a non-roll mode; could be attached to a building

• Flip-top - generally at smaller businesses or multi-family occupancies

Construction Features - discuss the impact of the various construction features on fire attack

• Heavy gauge steel for all types - difficult to make an opening

• Sliding side doors on flip-top type

• Drains in bottom on roll-off and flip-top type

• Rear hinges and swing doors on flip-top type

• Square to oblong shape

• Hydraulic compactor cylinder, trash blade on truck mounted and roll-off compactors

• Fire hose portal on top of compactor and roll-off types

• Flip-top metal or plastic

Fire Behavior Characteristics

• Unknown quantity of various combustibles inside - fire behavior and reaction unpredictable

• Closed container will smolder from pockets of fire- may keep fire small due to limited oxygen supply

• Large open-top will radiate heat

• Plastic lids on flip-top type will melt from fire exposure

• Heat may affect springs on hinged tops and sliding side doors

II. SAFETY HAZARDS (1-2)

Location of Container

• Near exposures - could be attached to a building or even inside it

• Narrow, confined area - may be located in an alley

Contents of Containers

• Unknown contents - cannot rely on container markings; contents may be in plastic bags

• Hazardous materials possible - may not be marked or obvious; any closed container can explode when heated regardless of whether the contents are combustible

• Warning labels on container - may contain illegally disposed of waste

• Explosives - may include blasting caps and ammunition

• Fuels/petroleum products such as used motor oil and filters

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