1. #1
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    Svfman's Avatar
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    Default Alarms in multiple occupancies

    We have a university in our town, and one of the dorms has a bad reputation for burning popcorn,pizza, etc. When i first joined my dept. we were running there twice a week. We even ran there 4 times in one night. it had gotten bad enough that we were having a hard time filling initial engines with personnel to respond up there, let alone a full truck company. It has gotten better since we decided to put our foot down and make the university administration do upgrades to the building alarms, and formed a college relations committee to have better communications with university admin. and security. I recently became chairman of the college relations commitee and I need ideas from you guys on how to approach this without totally making people go ballistic.

    Here is the situation, if an alarm comes in, our initial engine responds with six, four people in packs, and they start an investigation to determine the nature of the alarm. The truck company comes in about 2 min. behind the intial engine and the crew comes in to make sure everyone has evac'd. 2nd due engine from station 2 is 10 mins out and usually makes it there just in time for the chiefs to tell them to head back to quarters.

    Problem is the college asked us to go room by room, on every alarm to make sure everyone has evacuated, security has also asked us to look for illegal stuff, which i guess in my mind is not our job, and does not make us look good in the students eyes. This has also lead to some students complaining to campus security that they have had stuff missing from their rooms after alarms, none of which have ever been founded of course.

    My chief does not like the idea of going through every room on every alarm. He agrees that if there is a fire that we should definetly do a primary search on all floors to make sure the building is cleared out. I suggested that a possible compromise on confirmed alarms only. would be to walk the halls, and only check the room the alarm originated in.
    any help would be greatly appreciated, any tips, SOP's, anything i guess!!

    thanks
    Last edited by Svfman; 03-04-2004 at 10:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    The University of Maien and Orono Fd have a Fire Marshal program where a student works for the department as a Volly and lives in each dorm.It has been very sucessfull and helped with problem of false alarms.The studnets are trained for this duty.
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  3. #3
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    We dont have any of those occupancies in our town, but one thing I do know ......I would not being "looking for illegal stuff" that is flat out NOT your job. As far the room to room goes, keep posting and call around to other Universities and se what they do, sounds like you are already on the right track and maybe need to just polish it up some.
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    Thanks for your replies. I was thinking about the whole mess at training tonight, and also remebered a memo that went around the department telling us what we should look for in the rooms, like candles, open coil toasters, stuff like that, but they also made it quite evident that we notify them if we find anything else. On the other hand, we have had a lot of students that lately are stashing things in the drop ceiling and leaving the tiles all messed up, which is kind of a hazard for them and us if the tile should give way while we are tryin to get a knockdown or chechink for extension, anyways, any more advice would be really great guys, thanks


    Ryan

  5. #5
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    We have a 4 story Senior Citizen complex in our local. The building is fairly new about 2 years old, has about 120 individual units. during and after construction we have had weekly drills there, We have also had seminars there once the building became occupied, We teach and practice emergency evacuations in the event of an actual fire. To our surprising we have had several alarms there and when we did a primary search we were really surprised how well the seniors have evacuated the building, We have a 4 master keys to all the doors, 1 key for each floor,we came up with a procedure similar to the do not disturb signs you find in hotels,once they have exited the room they would put the fire dept signs on their door,as an indicator that everyone has exited that room, We show the importance of getting out safely. when ever their fire alarm goes off, they immediately fill the recreation facility on the premises, the first floor are for those with major disabilities that may hinder them or slow them down so our firsr crew sweeps the first floor,then the second, the second crew goes to the fourth and then third floor. This is where your fire prevention comes in. you may need to have set up appointments with the fire marshal and school officials and determine what type of evacuation plans can be established, then you must practice.

    As far as searching, I wouldnt wanna touch that. I would only search for survivors or fire thats it, we are not police.
    Last edited by hotboy; 03-05-2004 at 01:18 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Amen to the we are not police comment!!! And the sign idea is nice, except for the fact that at any given time half of the building occupancy could be gone, so that still leaves us w/ those rooms to search.

    We do hold 6 month fire drills in all the residence halls, so that is a small start. In the last 3 years i can think of only one time that we ever found anybody inside the building when an alarm went off, and he got a butt chewin from our then chief that he will never forget.

    I guess i just dont feel its really neccesary to search the entire building when our initial engine crew confirms that it is popcorn, pizza, etc. Like I said, the next meeting the chief and i have, i think i will try to get it so our crews just walk the halls.
    Hopefully the chief and the college administration will find that to be a happy medium.

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