Firefighting

PREPLANNING FOR INCIDENTS AT SELF-STORAGE WAREHOUSES

Issue 1 and Volume 155.

Any preplan must take into account the maze-like conditions created by the identical looking rows of metal lockers found inside warehouses with enclosed storage units. The self-storage warehouse industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years; today, these structures are quite common nationwide. As this type of occupancy takes over existing buildings or is found in newly created buildings, it presents firefighters with new challenges. The public’s ability to freely access and store items that are virtually unchecked will mean that responding firefighters will not know what hazards they will be facing. As with any other structure, preplanning must begin before the fire department finds itself responding to calls at the location. Although some of the preincident concerns are similar to others associated with commercial occupancies, the public storage warehouse also holds additional hazards of which firefighters must be aware prior to having to operate in the building during a…

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