1. #1
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    Default Fast food restaurant fires.

    Food for thought.......no pun intended.

    I know this has been hashed before and I know George specifically has mentioned it before but it bears repeating.

    About 2 months ago my company (opposite shift) made a relatively minor fire at a Sonic Drive In. I know they layed a preconnect and made quick work of the fire which was in the kitchen area. The fire didn't even smoke the glass in the building up good.

    I said that to say that they tore it completely down and are rebuilding. Looking from the exterior one would have guessed that there was maybe $20,000 in damages. The same thing has happened here with similar type occupancies.

    Those of you familiar with my posts know that I advocate aggressive attacks and doing our jobs, but keep this in mind when you pull up on one with a significant smoke condition or fire showing. They are gonna tear it down anyway. They are so lightweight and cheaply made that there is essentially nothing to save. Its easier for them to rebuild.

    No rant, just saying.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 11-16-2008 at 12:52 AM.
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    I saw the same thing out in the Palm Springs area of California. Sonic fast food place with a kitchen fire. They tore it down and rebuilt it faster then you can imagine.
    This space for rent

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    These rants of yours are getting out of hand. Calm down.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    stand alone fast food restaurants are disposable buildings.

    They are built with lightweight steel truss, and they put the HVAC units on the roof.

    Unless someone is inside and trapped.. there is no reason at all to put our brothers and sisters in harms way for something they can bulldoze and rebuild within a month or two.

    Whenever you think you are going to save a Mickey D's, Sonic, BurgerKing, Wendy's or any other fast food joint... think of two names...

    Lewis Mayo and Kim Smith...read their story here...

    http://www.houstonfirememorial.org/L..._3-11_fire.htm
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    Yup, what Gonz said.

    The company itself considers it cheaper to knock it down and start over than to fix it. Then there is no question of food contamination either.
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    Isn't Walmart self insured? I recall somebody telling me that they expected to write off something like a store a year in damages?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    stand alone fast food restaurants are disposable buildings.

    They are built with lightweight steel truss, and they put the HVAC units on the roof.

    Unless someone is inside and trapped.. there is no reason at all to put our brothers and sisters in harms way for something they can bulldoze and rebuild within a month or two.
    First off I'm not advocating standing out side and spraying water!!! But, could this not be said for new residential structures as well? We all know that the contractors use "premium" materials and stick-built trusses that are nailed and not glued.

    We had a fire a few days ago in a very nice subdivision. They made a very quick stop to the fire, but in all honesty the house will have major repairs and cleaning costs. In this subdivision the contractor built the houses and then sold most of them. So speed of construction is critical to getting the house on the market and recouping his expense and hopefully turning a profit.

    Read this again before someone busts my balls, I am not saying to not go interior and put the fire out! All I am saying, based on the Good Captain's comment, the same thing could / would apply in a residential setting as well.

    P.S. the Good Captain comment was not a slam! FYI
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    Another consideration in ANY food related structure is everything is going to get thrown out. As mentioned,the expense(and delay)in gutting/remodeling can and is more quickly dealt with by building new with any upgrades from the original building specs.Good points all. T.C.

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    Default Fast Food Restaurant Fires

    A majority of fires in restaurants start in the cooking appliances, and can very easily spread up into the ductwork. If the ductwork isn't installed correctly, the fire can easily extend outside of the ductwork into the open attic space. Also, depending on the volume of sales a particular restaurant may have, grease build-up in the hood plenum and exhaust duct can add significantly to the fire, and can even sometimes overwhelm the Ansul systems.

    Rigid enforcement of fire codes, to include ensuring that the wet chemical fire suppression systems meet UL 300 standards, are operational, and that the systems are being maintained by competent persons. Also ensuring that the exhaust hood and ducts are cleaned of all grease at regular intervals. As for maintenance of these systems, the larger and/or major corporate fire extinguisher service companies are not always the best for maintaining these systems. I prefer the family-owned, smaller companies because they seem to care more about customer service, but thats just me. Many larger companies have a high turnover rate of employees, poor treatment, and many work for low wages, and really don't respect their jobs. I have walked into several restaurant kitchens and found major mistakes with the systems, systems that were out of service, systems that had been discharged but never reported/recharged, and cooking operations were ongoing. I have also found systems that were disconnected or disabled. If I found a restaurant in operation with a suppression system deficiency, or out of service system, I would shut the restaurant down until the deficiency is repaired, and require a reinspection prior to allowing the restaurant to reopen.
    There was a McDonalds in Big Lake, MN. that was completely destroyed in November, 2003 when a high limit switch in the auxiliary fryer malfunctioned, allowing the fryer to go over temperature thus causing an oil fire. When the manager of the restaurant activated the Ansul system, there was just a short "puff", but nothing came out of the nozzles. The Big Lake, MN. Fire Dept. Fire Chief arrived on scene first, approximately 1 minute of receiving the call, and attempted to put the fire out with a hand portable fire extinguisher to no avail. Arriving fire crews encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions and had to withdraw to a defensive operation. HVAC units on the roof fell into the restaurant after the roof gave way.
    The investigation afterward revealed that the gasket for the expellent gas cartridge was not re-installed by the Ansul service technician from a large service company based in the Twin Cities of Mpls/St. Paul, MN. during the last service (said company is still in business, miraculously there wasn't a lawsuit!). The entire fryer assembly, with the Ansul system in place was removed intact and taken to a warehouse for the forensic examination, at which time the missing gasket was discovered.

    In my experience, Chinese Restaurants or Asian Restaurants in general are very dangerous in their cooking practices. Often times, they use woks as deep fryers, and have spillage of hot oil. In an effort to save money, many of them also do not get their hoods and ducts cleaned, often choosing to do it themselves by just scraping the grease that can be seen with scrapers on a weekend, or during the night. They miss the grease high up inside the duct. Also hood penetrations are a major threat to hood and duct systems. Many of these systems are not adequately checked out when they are put into service initially, or when a restaurant upgrades their fire suppression system to UL 300. And some installation companies take shortcuts. The cheaper they can do the install, the higher their profit margin.

    Any restaurant out there today that has a pre UL-300 system in place or a Dry Chemical system should be considered a very high risk location. Pre UL-300 systems lack the agent capacity to adequately extinguish a fire in todays more modern, better insulated cooking equipment. Factor in the use of vegetable oils, which burn hotter, and are harder to extinguish, and it is a recipe for disaster. Dry Chemical is even worse. No Dry Chemical fire suppression system has ever passed UL 300 testing criteria. The likelyhood of a Dry Chemical system suppressing a fire in commercial cooking equipment is very unlikely.

    ALL Restaurants/commercial kitchens should also have a K-Class wet chemical fire extinguisher on the premises for use in the event of a grease fire. Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers are also unsuitable for fires in modern kitchen appliances. There is a video out there where a firefighter attempts to put out a fire in a deep fat fryer using a 20lb. ABC fire extinguisher. He is not successful, and the fire grows significantly in size.

    Another word on UL 300:
    Some States have not adopted or mandated UL 300 requirements. Although more and more insurance companies are getting on board with it by forcing restaurants to upgrade or replace their older systems or face significantly higher insurance premiums, or outright cancelling insurance policies. The UL 300 standard was first introduced around the end of 1994. Newer restaurants should be built with these systems in place. Older restaurants, or those that that have changed ownership several times may not have UL 300 systems in place. Find out if your State or Municipality mandates UL 300 fire suppression systems, or if the older ones have been grandfathered.

    Pay close attention to what is out there! It may save the lives of an engine crew, the employees of the restaurant, or the public.
    Last edited by FireOfficerTrue; 11-14-2008 at 09:14 PM.

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    I agree these box stores / resturants are all disposable. I am not against interior attack at all but when all life safety issues are resolved unless you can be sure of the attack team safety how can the risk / reward equation allow you to send firefighters into danger? The other side to this is as firefighters we want to "go inside" and get the fire no matter if there is nothing to save and sometimes the "macho" effect can get us killed year after year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Food for thought.......no pun intended.

    I know this has been hashed before and I know George specifically has mentioned it before but it bears repeating.

    About 2 months ago my company (opposite shift) made a realatively minor fire at a Sonic Drive In. I know they layed a preconnect and made wuick work of the fire which was in the kitchen area. The fire didn't even smoke the glass in the building up good.

    I said that to say that they tore it completely down and are rebuilding. Looking from the exterior one would have guessed that there was maybe $20,000 in damages. The same thing has happened here with similar type occupancies.

    Those of you familiar with my posts know that I advocate aggressive attacks and doing our jobs, but keep this in mind when you pull up on one with a significant smoke condition or fire showing. They are gonna tear it down anyway. They are so lightweight and cheaply made that there is essentially nothing to save. Its easier for them to rebuild.

    No rant, just saying.
    C'mon LT you're takin' all the fun out of the job...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgaines78 View Post
    I agree these box stores / resturants are all disposable. I am not against interior attack at all but when all life safety issues are resolved unless you can be sure of the attack team safety how can the risk / reward equation allow you to send firefighters into danger? The other side to this is as firefighters we want to "go inside" and get the fire no matter if there is nothing to save and sometimes the "macho" effect can get us killed year after year.

    Chris
    -Malvern FD
    Malvern,AR

    No no no no no no!

    Big box stores are NOT disposable buildings. They are built out of fire resistant material and have fire suppression systems. Most of the time, they are subject to more stringent code enforcement. They cannot in any way be compared to a McDonald's.

    Fire fighters can safely enter a big box store for a fairly significant fire IF they have properly trained and familiarized with the premises before the fire.

    This has been a great discussion so far. We should not get off track by lumping big box stores in here.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireOfficerTrue View Post
    A majority of fires in restaurants start in the cooking appliances, and can very easily spread up into the ductwork. If the ductwork isn't installed correctly, the fire can easily extend outside of the ductwork into the open attic space. Also, depending on the volume of sales a particular restaurant may have, grease build-up in the hood plenum and exhaust duct can add significantly to the fire, and can even sometimes overwhelm the Ansul systems.

    Rigid enforcement of fire codes, to include ensuring that the wet chemical fire suppression systems meet UL 300 standards, are operational, and that the systems are being maintained by competent persons. Also ensuring that the exhaust hood and ducts are cleaned of all grease at regular intervals. As for maintenance of these systems, the larger and/or major corporate fire extinguisher service companies are not always the best for maintaining these systems. I prefer the family-owned, smaller companies because they seem to care more about customer service, but thats just me. Many larger companies have a high turnover rate of employees, poor treatment, and many work for low wages, and really don't respect their jobs. I have walked into several restaurant kitchens and found major mistakes with the systems, systems that were out of service, systems that had been discharged but never reported/recharged, and cooking operations were ongoing. I have also found systems that were disconnected or disabled. If I found a restaurant in operation with a suppression system deficiency, or out of service system, I would shut the restaurant down until the deficiency is repaired, and require a reinspection prior to allowing the restaurant to reopen.
    There was a McDonalds in Big Lake, MN. that was completely destroyed in November, 2003 when a high limit switch in the auxiliary fryer malfunctioned, allowing the fryer to go over temperature thus causing an oil fire. When the manager of the restaurant activated the Ansul system, there was just a short "puff", but nothing came out of the nozzles. The Big Lake, MN. Fire Dept. Fire Chief arrived on scene first, approximately 1 minute of receiving the call, and attempted to put the fire out with a hand portable fire extinguisher to no avail. Arriving fire crews encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions and had to withdraw to a defensive operation. HVAC units on the roof fell into the restaurant after the roof gave way.
    The investigation afterward revealed that the gasket for the expellent gas cartridge was not re-installed by the Ansul service technician from a large service company based in the Twin Cities of Mpls/St. Paul, MN. during the last service (said company is still in business, miraculously there wasn't a lawsuit!). The entire fryer assembly, with the Ansul system in place was removed intact and taken to a warehouse for the forensic examination, at which time the missing gasket was discovered.

    In my experience, Chinese Restaurants or Asian Restaurants in general are very dangerous in their cooking practices. Often times, they use woks as deep fryers, and have spillage of hot oil. In an effort to save money, many of them also do not get their hoods and ducts cleaned, often choosing to do it themselves by just scraping the grease that can be seen with scrapers on a weekend, or during the night. They miss the grease high up inside the duct. Also hood penetrations are a major threat to hood and duct systems. Many of these systems are not adequately checked out when they are put into service initially, or when a restaurant upgrades their fire suppression system to UL 300. And some installation companies take shortcuts. The cheaper they can do the install, the higher their profit margin.

    Any restaurant out there today that has a pre UL-300 system in place or a Dry Chemical system should be considered a very high risk location. Pre UL-300 systems lack the agent capacity to adequately extinguish a fire in todays more modern, better insulated cooking equipment. Factor in the use of vegetable oils, which burn hotter, and are harder to extinguish, and it is a recipe for disaster. Dry Chemical is even worse. No Dry Chemical fire suppression system has ever passed UL 300 testing criteria. The likelyhood of a Dry Chemical system suppressing a fire in commercial cooking equipment is very unlikely.

    ALL Restaurants/commercial kitchens should also have a K-Class wet chemical fire extinguisher on the premises for use in the event of a grease fire. Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers are also unsuitable for fires in modern kitchen appliances. There is a video out there where a firefighter attempts to put out a fire in a deep fat fryer using a 20lb. ABC fire extinguisher. He is not successful, and the fire grows significantly in size.

    Another word on UL 300:
    Some States have not adopted or mandated UL 300 requirements. Although more and more insurance companies are getting on board with it by forcing restaurants to upgrade or replace their older systems or face significantly higher insurance premiums, or outright cancelling insurance policies. The UL 300 standard was first introduced around the end of 1994. Newer restaurants should be built with these systems in place. Older restaurants, or those that that have changed ownership several times may not have UL 300 systems in place. Find out if your State or Municipality mandates UL 300 fire suppression systems, or if the older ones have been grandfathered.

    Pay close attention to what is out there! It may save the lives of an engine crew, the employees of the restaurant, or the public.
    This is a great post with tons of info. Read it twice to make sure you get it all.

    I would like to add one point about ductwork and suppression systems.

    If the ductwork has not been properly cleaned and there is a fire on the cooking surface, it is possible that the fire will get past the suppression system and into the ductwork prior to the suppression system activating. If the ductwork is not constructed with welded seams (older system), that fire could be in the cockloft very early in the job. This will compromise the roof system and complicate the attack.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Where is there literature or more of an explanation on the basics of a restaurant kitchen from the ground up.
    Specifically all the parts andwhat they are for and where to check for fire extension etc.
    I'll be honest that if I walked into a restaurant I wouldn't know what equipment was for what or how it worked or what to look for as a FF.

    Also what chemicals do they use for fire suppression in the systems?
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcfdDan View Post
    Where is there literature or more of an explanation on the basics of a restaurant kitchen from the ground up.
    Specifically all the parts andwhat they are for and where to check for fire extension etc.
    I'll be honest that if I walked into a restaurant I wouldn't know what equipment was for what or how it worked or what to look for as a FF.

    Also what chemicals do they use for fire suppression in the systems?
    Thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Big box stores are NOT disposable buildings. They are built out of fire resistant material and have fire suppression systems. Most of the time, they are subject to more stringent code enforcement. They cannot in any way be compared to a McDonald's.
    I agree that most big box stores fall under much more rigid code enforcement and further note they exceed the codes as they have far more to lose by cutting corners and getting lawsuits. Obviously the key is training. One must understand that few of the codes protect the building, but most protect occupant egress. Aggressive firefighting in big box stores under adverse conditions is very high on the risk scale, make sure the benefit side has merit.

    But recently it sounds like an alarming trend is starting to surface: Big-box stores self-insuring. One fire marshal in Westchester Co. NY reported that one big-box regional exec pointed out that they don't insure the stores against fire or other catastrophic events as they can save enough money to rebuild every 10th store and no way will 1 in 10 stores suffer an event. This was echoed in a few other areas to my understanding.

    Lastly, one more word of caution. We've seen many large corporate big-box stores close up only to be infilled by the large discount wholesalers who have no standards for employees, no training programs, and no clue about running a store that size as compared to a Lowes, Walmart or Home Depot. These places tend to accumulate stuff and neglect building systems. Only strict code enforcement will keep these budget big boxes relatively safe.

    Sorry to keep taking this thread in a direction other than the stated purpose.

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    Self insurance is a complicated animal that really doesn't mean what it sounds like. A compnay still has to contract with an insurance co. to administer their self-insurance policy. They also have to keep significant amounts of money in reserve to pay for losses. They simply can't waslk away from a loss and say "Oh well". Very often, you will find that the companies operating under a self insured program will have much stricter loss preventiona nd risk management standards. I have personal experience with Home Depot and I was quite impressed with their corporate commitment to fire safety. (That said, they are not going to do more than the code states). They did have a corporate fire safety program run thourhg Loss Prevention.

    You also have to look at the monetary commitment in a boig box store as oppposed to a fast food restaurant. A fast food restaurant has minial stock inside, because it is food and food expires. A big box store may stock millions of dollars in merchandise-especially at this time of the year.

    Which reminds me-you giys need to be out in the stores during the Christmas season and doing your inspections. some of the these stores will stack merchandise anywhere during the Christmas season. Especially check your exits and exitways.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Default Restaurant/Commercial Kitchen Systems

    Someone asked for some info on these systems, and what kind of chemical they contain. So here goes:

    Most of the systems out there are basically a liquid solution of organic and inorganic salts. Some are more toxic than others, as also some are a higher ph, thus more acidic. Colors of the liquids range from a clear water-looking liquid to a fluorescent green (looks alot like anti-freeze), and blue.

    Most of the systems manufactured today will indicate on the label whether or not it is UL-300 or not. Pyrochem systems will have a label on the bottle with blue lettering on a grey/silver background if it is. Ansul systems are normally in a silver (stainless steel) box, and will say UL-300 in the black label in the center.

    The basic components of a suppression system are the detection line, which runs through the hood from one end, has fusible links as the heat detectors above the appliances and terminates toward the other end. The detection conduit, links and cable is located behind the filters.
    There is the agent distribution line, which runs from the system tanks/bottles and runs the length of the hood, with nozzles placed to discharge the chimical horizontally across the plenum (space behind the filters), upward into the exhaust duct, and down onto the appliances that require protection ie; fryers, grills, charbroilers, etc. The nozzles normally have a cap on them which is normally rubber or metal, and will blow off when the system discharges.

    If the appliances are gas fired, there is a gas shut-off valve that will trip when the system activates, there are 2 basic types: mechanical and electrical. I prefer the mechanical type because they are not as easily reset. The electric valves just require the push of a button and the gas is reset. I've seen kitchens where the system discharges, and the manager, owner or employees cleans up the mess of the discharged chemical agent, resets the gas and viola! They're back in business! WITHOUT getting the system reserviced. For that reason alone, I prefer the mechanical gas valves.

    There is the manual pull station which when pulled, will activate the suppression system. This is the preferred system activation, as it can be activated faster than the fusible links. Provided the employees or manager know how to operate it, which is usually just a firm pull on the ring. Manual activation stations cannot be located further than 20 feet from the hazard, and not located within the hazard area being protected.

    Then there is the electrical: Most systems, when they are activated, will shut off ALL electrical power within the hood area. Also, most (but not all) jurisdictions will require the hood to stay running, or to turn on if off at the time. This exhausts the smoke and fumes out of the building. Also, the make-up air normally shuts off, preventing fresh air from being brought in from the outside. Again, this may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

    Also, some systems may be connected to an alarm system. Either a monitored system or just a local alarm that will sound when the system activates.

    Systems require a lot more explanation than I listed here, but those are the basics.

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    Big box stores are typically constructed of unprotected steel roof assemblies and masonry walls. It was my understanding they are considered non-combustible; a misleading term for buildings that seem to be as dangerous if not moreso than wood frame depending on any number of fire variables. There are few (if any) of these I have ever seen that are "fire resistive."

    Unprotected steel is often overlooked as to its dangers relative to massive and catastrophic collapse potential. We seem terrified of wood trusses but at times blissfully unaware of the dangers steel poses. It seems we are quite likely to second guess running into new lightweight wood homes but not so much into steel truss/frame buildings. This is just my opinion.

    The big box stores in our local don't seem terribly interested in fire safety, as the files will reflect the number of recurring violations and fines that are issued.

    The fast food joints also pose some other issues, one of which is the grease on the kitchen floor that renders the place almost impossible to work in. Another thing to remember is that many of these places have suspended ceilings and a hose stream will dislodge tiles and light fixtures, sending them down like pendulums, swinging by the armored cable that powers them (personal espierence). A final thought relative to dangers is the stainless steel appliances will cause a serious reflectivity (mirroring) problem if using thermal imagers. All of these add to the list of why to stay out.
    Last edited by MG3610; 11-18-2008 at 08:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Big box stores are typically constructed of unprotected steel roof assemblies and masonry walls. It was my understanding they are considered non-combustible; a misleading term for buildings that seem to be as dangerous if not moreso than wood frame depending on any number of fire variables. There are few (if any) of these I have ever seen that are "fire resistive."

    Unprotected steel is often overlooked as to its dangers relative to massive and catastrophic collapse potential. We seem terrified of wood trusses but at times blissfully unaware of the dangers steel poses. It seems we are quite likely to second guess running into new lightweight wood homes but not so much into steel truss/frame buildings. This is just my opinion.

    The bog box stores in our local don't seem terribly interested in fire safety, as the files will reflect the number of recurring violations and fines that are issued.

    The fast food joints also pose some other issues, one of which is the grease on the kitchen floor that renders the place almost impossible to work in. Another thing to remember is that many of these places have suspended ceilings and a hose stream will dislodge tiles and light fixtures, sending them down like pendulums, swinging by the armored cable that powers them (personal espierence). A final thought relative to dangers is the stainless steel appliances will cause a serious reflectivity (mirroring) problem if using thermal imagers. All of these add to the list of why to stay out.
    The other misleading thought about the term "fire resistive" is that it means THE BUILDNG not THE STUFF. ( I know you know this). The fire load in most big box stores is incredible. That is why it is so important for the FPB to develop a relationship with store management so you are in a position to be welcome into the store and can offer suggesstions and advice instead of violations.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Lastly, one more word of caution. We've seen many large corporate big-box stores close up only to be infilled by the large discount wholesalers who have no standards for employees, no training programs, and no clue about running a store that size as compared to a Lowes, Walmart or Home Depot. These places tend to accumulate stuff and neglect building systems. Only strict code enforcement will keep these budget big boxes relatively safe.
    Great Advice.

    In our town the Wal-mart stores the pallets down all the main aisles in the middle when they get a delivery.

    I've also noticed the vertical storage also gets higher this time of year.

    Know your response area and your immediate alarm/mutual aid areas, too.


    .
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    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    The difference between "big box stores" and "fast food joints"...

    They both have sprinkler systems... the big box store has it to protect the building, its contents and its occupants.

    The fast food joint has one to make the lawn and flower beds nice, green and colorful.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Great Advice.

    In our town the Wal-mart stores the pallets down all the main aisles in the middle when they get a delivery.

    I've also noticed the vertical storage also gets higher this time of year.

    Know your response area and your immediate alarm/mutual aid areas, too.


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    International Drive?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    The other misleading thought about the term "fire resistive" is that it means THE BUILDNG not THE STUFF. ( I know you know this). The fire load in most big box stores is incredible. That is why it is so important for the FPB to develop a relationship with store management so you are in a position to be welcome into the store and can offer suggesstions and advice instead of violations.
    Good point; this is why our office is very proactive and spends time with property owners and agents to devise solutions and come to agreements about situations that are or will become violations. Fines are a last resort here. Unfortunately, regardless of a corporate policy, some managers run a sloppy show and they choose to do as they will. In other cases we've understood that corporate builds money into the budget to pay fines because the revenue will offset the miniscule fines we levy (when we do). Sometimes you can only tell and show a manager so many times how dangerous something is before you have to fine them, and when you have hundreds of business to inspect, theres only so much that can be done.

    A good example is recurring stoprage above the 18" from ceiling clearance in sprinklered buildings. We offer suggestions to outline the walls with colored tape to signify the storage limit, lower top shelves, install signs etc. The issue isnt usually the managment, its the minimum wage employees who dont know or dont care and managers who can't be everywhere at once.

    In NJ, most fast food joints arent sprinklered (that Ive seen, and I look). I've seen them in other states sprinklered. It is my understanding that one strategy in building them involves doing so to the last allowable square foot of space before sprinklers are mandatory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Good point; this is why our office is very proactive and spends time with property owners and agents to devise solutions and come to agreements about situations that are or will become violations. Fines are a last resort here. Unfortunately, regardless of a corporate policy, some managers run a sloppy show and they choose to do as they will. In other cases we've understood that corporate builds money into the budget to pay fines because the revenue will offset the miniscule fines we levy (when we do). Sometimes you can only tell and show a manager so many times how dangerous something is before you have to fine them, and when you have hundreds of business to inspect, theres only so much that can be done.

    A good example is recurring stoprage above the 18" from ceiling clearance in sprinklered buildings. We offer suggestions to outline the walls with colored tape to signify the storage limit, lower top shelves, install signs etc. The issue isnt usually the managment, its the minimum wage employees who dont know or dont care and managers who can't be everywhere at once.

    In NJ, most fast food joints arent sprinklered (that Ive seen, and I look). I've seen them in other states sprinklered. It is my understanding that one strategy in building them involves doing so to the last allowable square foot of space before sprinklers are mandatory.
    Evac their store just once for a dumpster fire and you will be surprised how much cooperation you get the next time.
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