Precautions Can Avert Death In Manhole, Tunnel Rescues

Issue 2 and Volume 127.

Precautions Can Avert Death In Manhole, Tunnel Rescues Entering a below-grade structure, such as a manhole, tank, or tunnel, without first considering the potential dangers can result in death. Fire and rescue personnel must become familiar with the problems of incidents in such enclosures and establish safety precautions. They should survey below-ground enclosures in their first response district and should confer with representatives of local utility companies. When responding to an emergency involving people in a manhole, tank, tunnel, or similar enclosures, certain safety precautions must be considered. Hazardous atmospheres First of all, the nature of an enclosed area lends itself to a high probability that a hazardous atmosphere may be present. There are three situations which may be present singularly or in combination: (1) a flammable or explosive atmosphere, (2) a toxic atmosphere and (3) an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. Unfortunately proper testing equipment is not always available at the outset…

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