1. #1
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    Unhappy Get Alarm Systems - Get Sprinklers...

    Although it is unknown by me at this time, I am assuming the alarm system in this firehouse was lacking. I will also hazard a guess there were no sprinklers. I implore fire companies to at least invest in monitored alarm systems, how can we expect the general public to have them when we don't ouselves. To hear of a building that was so commonly used by the public, it's unimaginable to me that there would be no alarm system at all.

    Best of luck to this fire department and thank God no one got hurt.



    From Firehouse.com front page...

    Nevada Fire Station Burns

    ............

    STEPHEN MILLS
    Mohave Valley News

    CALNEVARI, Nev. -- "Dispatch, we have a problem here," were the words of Jack McClintock arriving at his burning fire station Monday evening about 6:30 p.m. in the southeastern corner of Nevada on U.S. Highway 95, near the Nevada-California state line.

    Chief of the volunteer department for 12 years, McClintock had no equipment to fight the fire that damaged or destroyed four piece of rolling equipment and at least two-thirds of the community-built station.

    "The smoke was so low and heavy that we couldn't get in. If we'd had one air pack outside the hall we could have rescued the equipment," McClintock said.

    Tuesday, community neighbors dropped by to see the damage at the station, built in three stages through community efforts.

    "Booze, beer and barbecue built this station. Some of the best barbecue in the state came from that pit over there. We had a lot of fund raisers over the years. This was a community station," said McClintock as the process of cleaning up the mess continued Tuesday morning. "We built most of the station by hand. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into that structure."

    The station which was deeded over to Clark County about "five or six" years ago was a community meeting place and included a meeting room with a small stage for a band or entertainment and a large meeting room area. Tables and chairs stacked in a back storage room were visible through the blackened doorways. Strings of hardened melted foam insulation hung in some of the doorway openings.

    "The facility was here for everyone to use when needed and it was used often," said a one of the volunteers who surveyed the remains.

    "We're not sure how much of the equipment can be repaired. It was all hauled out to Las Vegas this morning for evaluation," said Steve McClintock, rural coordinator for the Clark County Fire Department.

    "We sent four pieces of equipment to Vegas; a squad, engine, tender and ambulance. I believe two of them will be lost completely, probably the ambulance and the tender," said the rural fire service coordinator.

    Steve McClintock oversees 13 volunteer stations and more than 400 volunteer fire fighters for the Clark County Fire Department.

    The fire was believed to have started at or near an electrical supply box in a storage room on the interior section of the three part structure.

    "We believe it was electrical. It worked up and into the attic from there and moved across the building," Steve McClintock said.

    Volunteers at the scene said the damage inside the attic area was extensive. One stated that a few pebbles thrown on the roof might collapse the normal appearing gray roof structure. Old glory still waved in the breeze over the center of the station with only a few darkened edges flapping in the wind.

    An estimate of the damage to the structure and the equipment could not be made until the rolling stock and structure were evaluated, according to Steve McClintock. It was reported by the Bob Lieinbach, Clark County public information officer, that the engine, the primary firefighting vehicle, was probably repairable.

    "We're hoping that Clark County's insurance covers this," Chief McClintock said.

    Fighting the fire was impossible for a while for arriving volunteers. "All we had here at the station was two garden hoses, and the water pressure is not much," Chief McClintock said.

    Firefighters were unable to get water on the fire until an engine from Searchlight arrived. Equipment and personnel from Searchlight and from Laughlin were used to extinguish the fire. Other equipment dispatched from the Henderson and Boulder City area was turned around en route to the remote area.

    Service from the station is now being provided by a rescue squad and engine from the Las Vegas area.

    "We moved up equipment and crews from Las Vegas to provide service in the area," Steve McClintock said. "The equipment is fully manned."

    The Calnevari Volunteer Fire Department, equipment and personnel get irregular but heavy use on the highway, approximately 100 calls, to Las Vegas working many injury accidents and vehicle fires and serving the small remote rural community.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I wish we could get our station sprinklered. I tried to get it included in 1992 when we built it, but our "civilian" board which includes two firefighters refused because of the additional cost.

    I also wanted to request it as part of the grant program this year but was told that fire stations do not need sprinklers. In both cases I presented what I thought was a pretty good package of arguements for the installation including NFPA, insurance savings, etc.

    The same board also refuses to install an alarm and detection system along with a back-up power system as we don't need it.

    There are no building codes to require any of the above in this area.

    Hopefully, we will have new board members some day and things will change. As it is we cannot even get the community to come to the annual meeting when elections are held. As a result some board members have been there for over twenty years because there is no one else to replace them.

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    Rayr49 - unfortunately, about once every 2 weeks, there is a story about a firehouse burning on Firehouse.com Go through their archives and find them. Print each one out, make copies, and hand them to your Board members. Show them, it happens, and the before hand cost is a lot less than your afterward cost.

    "Yes, it can happen here."


    Good Luck.
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    Default Bumping back to active...

    I'm getting a little heat on another thread, so I thought I would bring this discussion back to the fore front.

    Fires in firehouses happen. What suggestions do we have to help those without any kind of protection? There is a big thread going on about the "cultural change" needed for the fire service and I believe this would/should be part of it.
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    Bones...

    Hold onto your seat. I agree with you 100% that fire stations should have monitored alarm systems and sprinklers. In fact I think it is almost criminal to build a new fire station and not have that safety equipment installed.

    Now having said that, let me say why I know that it doesn't and won't happen in many places. Money. Plain and simple. Not that in most cases the fire department wouldn't spend the money. It is most often the governing body, whether city council or fire board, that doesn't see the need for them.

    Again to retell the story I told in the other post I lost the battle over trying to get my village's $1.3 million dollar community center/library/village hall/police staion/food and clothing pantry sprinklered. Heck I couldn't even get them to install a monitored alarm system. Why? Code didn't require it and they couldn't see spending the money on something not required. Heck it would have taken money away from decorative tile and other important items.

    We are talking about building a new fire station I will press for sprinklers and a monitored alarm system. Will I get it? I am not optimistic but it will be clear that they didn't want to install it if it doesn't happen. I will not in any way make nice about it.

    The only thing we disagreed about in the other post was timing.

    FyredUp

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    Originally posted by FyredUp
    Code didn't require it and they couldn't see spending the money on something not required. Heck it would have taken money away from decorative tile and other important items.
    FyredUp
    Who has oversight of "The Code"? Different Board? If so go to them with the evidence/logic why important for fire dept. Building unoccupied has critical high value contents. Fire Dept requests that "public owned buildings over 500ft2 or occupancy over 10 people or housing two or more vehicles must be sprinklered and alarmed". Write it so only applys to you (at least on the surface) and who would object. If you try to require such for private buildings you are asking for a fight.

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    The most common response I hear is money. Anyone have any ideas on "home made" systems or ideas to help those that are strapped for the cash? I mentioned in another about a home built sprinkler type system...simply a small tank of water with some piping. How about CO2 or dry chem extinguishers with sprinkler heads built on them? A water extinguisher with a sprinkler head? Let's try to come up with some ideas to help those that are in need.
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    Originally posted by FyredUp
    Bones...

    Hold onto your seat. I agree with you 100% that fire stations should have monitored alarm systems and sprinklers. In fact I think it is almost criminal to build a new fire station and not have that safety equipment installed.

    Now having said that, let me say why I know that it doesn't and won't happen in many places. Money. Plain and simple. Not that in most cases the fire department wouldn't spend the money. It is most often the governing body, whether city council or fire board, that doesn't see the need for them.

    Again to retell the story I told in the other post I lost the battle over trying to get my village's $1.3 million dollar community center/library/village hall/police staion/food and clothing pantry sprinklered. Heck I couldn't even get them to install a monitored alarm system. Why? Code didn't require it and they couldn't see spending the money on something not required. Heck it would have taken money away from decorative tile and other important items.

    We are talking about building a new fire station I will press for sprinklers and a monitored alarm system. Will I get it? I am not optimistic but it will be clear that they didn't want to install it if it doesn't happen. I will not in any way make nice about it.

    The only thing we disagreed about in the other post was timing.

    FyredUp
    That about sums it up. MONEY. Look around, how many government buildings have them? And you know what's worse than firehouses? public schools! As far as I know, all the public schools in my county have alarms, but not one has sprinklers

    Dave

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    The technology in use for sprinkler systems is chinging everyday. There are several manufacturers offering approved plastic piping that does not require the labor that the old black pipe systems did (of course, union pipefitters will probably complain bitterly about this one). The cost will come down in time.

    In the meantime, NJ has done a good job of collecting stories on fire fighter arson. You can do the same thing with stories about fire stations burning. If the genius on your "board" thinks that fire protection in a fire house, drop about 30 stories in his lap about fire stations that have burned and left the town w/o its fire suppression assets.

    Also, instead of saying "it will save on our insurance policy", bring in a insurance guy to give you concrete numbers on all of your policy options. With and without fire protection systems. Also, have him paint the best possible scenario to get you back in business after a total loss fire. Even with the assumption that you are insured to value (you won't be) it will be months if not years until you are back where you were. Not to mention your memorabilia. How would you replace that?

    BTW, this statement:

    >>"Booze, beer and barbecue built this station. <<

    Speaks volumes about the culture of this department.

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    George,

    I may be wrong in this opinion but I assumed that the booze, beer and barbecue comment referred to fundraisers they had done. I know more than a few FD's around here that have fundraising festivals that make the majority of their money from the beer and food stand sales.

    FyredUp

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    I was lucky in that our trustees were all about getting our new station sprinklered. since we'd had a fire in our station, there was no, "That kinda thing won't happen to us." But just in case, I had an argument....

    Again to retell the story I told in the other post I lost the battle over trying to get my village's $1.3 million dollar community center/library/village hall/police staion/food and clothing pantry sprinklered. Heck I couldn't even get them to install a monitored alarm system. Why? Code didn't require it and they couldn't see spending the money on something not required

    How DARE you spend $1.3 million of my TAX dollars on a building, and not spend $25 to $30 thousand to protect that investment. That is a criminal misuse of my money.

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    Hi all,

    Sprinklers are the way to go. I had an instructor years ago tell us "that God only sprinklerd buildings he wanted to keep". The smoke dectectors will give you early warning of a smoldering, low heat producing fire, but sprinklers when properly installed will suppress or hold the fire in check until the FD arrives.

    Be safe,

    Captain Lou

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    Default Anyone else out there?

    c'mon folks, been a couple days here. Can't anyone suggest some ideas? or just not an "important" topic?
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    First, the USFA site has data (NFDC section) on fire station fires. They average at 150 per year and $10,000 per fire (?).

    Second, In this case, “Something” is not always better than “Nothing”. “Something” is better than “Nothing ONLY if the “Something” extinguishes the fire. Otherwise, you have “Nothing”.

    Gaseous extinguishing systems work only if the compartment (read fire station) is substantially air tight. Also, these systems are “one shot and your done” types of systems. CO2 systems require 50% concentrations which is an untenable atmosphere.

    Sprinkler systems are the best bet. Where the water supply is limited or nonexistent, a water mist system may be a viable option. I strongly recommend not tampering with the system to reduce it below the minimum code (NFPA 13) requirements. You get what you pay for. Just as you wouldn’t buy your PPE at K-Mart (I understand you can get a good deal on Martha Stewart raincoats now) don’t skimp on the sprinkler system.

    CPVC pipe is listed for Light Hazard and Residential occupancies.. The fire station is Ordinary Hazard.

    To save money: If your’s is a VFD and not responsible for plan review or inspections, you may be able to get a group of sprinkler contractors to donate the material and expertise while you supply the labor. For the underground, find someone with a backhoe who is willing to donate their time. If you are responsible for plan review and inspections, you enter the world of “conflict of interest”.

    As for fire alarm systems, they will be useful only if the station is occupied at all times to intercept the fire at the incipient stage. If you have to wait for a receiving station to receive an alarm, transmit it to the fire dispatch center, then send the alarm to the firefighters, who in turn must drive to the station, you have lost too much time and may not be able to save much.

    It’s a game of risk. Not only does the community risk the station and its contents, but also all of the properties protected by that station are at risk if the station goes O.O.S. The governmental agency responsible for the FD’s finances must be convinced that sprinklers are the best option and well worth the expense. Whose house are they willing to sacrifice should a fire destroy the station and the apparatus.

    Providing fire sprinklers for fire stations is the best way to practice what we preach.

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    But it is OK for racists to support and be Democrats, just not Republicans. Remember, the Democrats are the party of inclusion.
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    >>As for fire alarm systems, they will be useful only if the station is occupied at all times to intercept the fire at the incipient stage. If you have to wait for a receiving station to receive an alarm, transmit it to the fire dispatch center, then send the alarm to the firefighters, who in turn must drive to the station, you have lost too much time and may not be able to save much. <<

    I can't buy this argument. A fire alarm system is an early warning system. Not every fire is a flash fire. Many electrical, trash and mechanical system fires start out as slow smoldering fires that can easily be detected in its incipient phase and dealt with by responding fire suppression crews. A fire alarm system is also ideally combined with a fire suppression system.

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    Talking Uhhh, Yeah,......

    First, Sharkie - Huh?????? Second, We built a station in 1964 that replaced a 1929 structure. Technology changes over the years, and at the time, we took what was thought to be dramatic action to protect our assets. We had a smoke/heat detection system installed, and tied it into the station siren. That technology, along with our 1945 Mack Engine, is somewhat archaic today, but both are still in good working order, and unlike modern systems, that one does not send in false signals. A three year old building nearby has had more false alarms this month than the old Fire Station has had since it was built. There are inexpensive ways to protect your station, think out of the box, and a few will come to mind. The plastic pipe for sprinklers item is worth noting, a few folks who understand plumbing can convert a few hundred dollars worth of material into a usable sprinkler system. sure, it's not a "Top of the line, professionally designed system" but it will work. A few inexpensive smoke detectors, wired together, and a relay to set off the station's alerting system. will give you a timely warning of a Fire. Again, Think Outside The Box.
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