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Draining Water from a Floor

Mon, 28 Jan 2013|

Joe Alvarez and crew discuss different methods for draining water from a floor where firefighters are operating using either power saws or hand tools.



[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Joe Alvarez. Welcome to Fire Engineering's Training Minutes. Today's episode, we're gonna talk about alleviating the water buildup on a floor. Okay today, we're gonna cut a hole on a floor to alleviate the water buildup. When we cut this hole, we're gonna actually cut a triangle. By cutting a triangle, it's only gonna be three cuts, not four, so it's a lot quicker. The other thing is we're gonna put it off to the side wall. The reason why we're gonna put it off to the side wall, is because firefighters are gonna be traveling in and out of this room the rest of this scene to do over haul. We don't want the firefighter to twist her ankle inside the hole that's in the center of the floor. The other way that we can do this is by removing the baseboard and punching a hole in either the sheet rock, dry wall, or plaster. The only thing you need to remember is when you do that, if this is platform construction, we need to remove that little piece of the wood. If this is a balloon construction building by removing that, it's very simple, the water's going to go just like it's a regular drain. We're removing this water load from the floor only because we have firefighters walking around. You're talking anywhere between two and three hundred pounds of weight per firefighter with turnout gear and equipment. Then we're going to add a load of water. Which is, everybody uses that 8.34 pounds, but we're gonna use 8 pounds per gallon. If you have a couple of gallons up on the floor, you're adding that extra load that is not safe for us to be operating. [SOUND]. [NOISE]. What we've done here is we've made a simple triangle cut. Now we have a drain in a floor. Sometimes this little cut will fall through all on it's own, but if it doesn't we need firefighters to remove that. So a firefighter with a pipe pole, or a halligan tool, might be able to remove this. [SOUND]. [NOISE] Okay what we've done is we've cut the triangle and now the firefighters have removed the block of wood that was still in there. After that's done, water is going to flow freely through this hole. It's best said by Mike Ciampo you should always have two tools because you have two hands. I agree with him a 100%. Things that we need to remember though is, when we talk about two tools, a lot of people will sit there and they'll bring this in. This is great that these are married up together, but you are limited with what they can and can't do. Plus, 90 percent of the time, whether I'm at work, or whether I'm home at my volunteer fire department. I've seen this setup, just like this, laying at the front door more times than none. Why? Because people don't like to carry heavy things around with them, we have a lot of heavy things we carry around with us. Normally, this is just one more added thing that we have to carry. There are other techniques. Two tools. [SOUND] This is a little bit lighter, to marry up, a pipe pole, and a halligan tool. The halligan tool, is one of the most versatile tools that you're gonna find in the fire service. It can cut, it could pry, it could pick at something, whereas an axe has it's chopping, and it's hammer technique. Well you can get that same hammer technique. Out of two Halligan tools or a Halligan tool and a pipe pole married up together. And it's a lot easier for the firefighter. Now, things that we can do. If we were to go do a vent denter and search, and we bring our pipe pole with us in the window, we could hook this pipe pole onto the sill. We now have a Halligan tool to go about our business and search this building. This pike pole that's been placed inside the window, it gives us a good vantage point as to where the window is because it reaches, what? Six feet into a room. It's giving us that six foot edge across this room, and if you look across the room, it's not that far from the other side of the wall. One other thing. If each firefighter brought in a halligan tool, and we had to force a door, we could marry these two tools up to give us leverage to pry something, after forcing. Once we use an axe to force, the axe really doesn't give us any good leverage points. People sit there and say well we can do this and try to pry. But, guys, let's be real. You're not getting the leverage. You're not getting that straight off pull that you get by marrying two Halligan tools together. So, just remember, guys, when we go into burning buildings, two hands, two tools. Even if you're an engine boss, you should always have a tool with you. The Halligan tool, I feel, is the tool of choice. Okay, these two firefighters each have a hallagan tool in their hands. If you notice, the one firefighter put the pick end into the floor. The other firefighter's gonna take his hallagan tool, and drive that pick down into the floor. [NOISE] Strike. [NOISE] Strike. [NOISE] Strike. [SOUND] Strike. [SOUND] Strike. [SOUND] Strike. [SOUND] Strike. [SOUND]. [NOISE] Strike. Okay. As you can see, with a series of strikes, between eight and ten strikes, they've made a hole in the floor. They've now made that same drain that we've used the power saw for. These two firefighters didn't have the option of using a power saw. They had to use their hand tools. Another technique for removing water from a floor is to remove the baseboard. Now, this was a balloon frame house. By removing that baseboard it's gonna allow the water to channel freely to that opening, and then down to the lower areas. Alleviating all that extra load that's been put up here by the water from firefighting. [SOUND] by them working together, they're gonna find a stud. They're gonna use their tool to pry and get this baseboard to break away. [BLANK_AUDIO] Once the firefighters have removed all the debris you can see that water will flow freely through this opening. This house is platform frame so we would need to cut that with a saw. If this was balloon framed, they'd have no issues. Water would just channel right through here and go down to the lower levels. Thank you for watching Fire Engineering's training minutes. I'm Joe Alvarez. I'd also like to thank the Oakland, New Jersey Fire Department. [SOUND]

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