WASHINGTON-The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is offering a new publication, Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems, that will help increase the safety of building occupants and emergency responders by streamlining fire service interaction with building features and fire protection systems.
“Our new booklet offers practical and important information that can help save lives,” said Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “Fire service can be very dangerous work and our new manual is one more resource that can be used to help keep firefighters and other emergency responders safe.”
Fire service operations take place in stressful and time sensitive environments. Decisions are often made in unfamiliar settings and without vital information, such as what is burning, where the fire is spreading, or the location of occupants. Poorly located fire hydrants, inaccessible fire department connections, confusing zone information, unmarked valves, or improperly designed standpipes are examples of features that can slow fire service operations. Delays, however brief, can dramatically affect an operation and its outcome.
OSHA’s new manual explains how fire service operations can be influenced by different building features and offers considerations for design professionals that can help facilitate these operations. The manual includes chapters and narratives on building and site design, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire department connections, fire alarm and communications systems, as well as various firefighting systems.
The material in Fire Service Features of Building and Fire Protection Systems is appropriate for all fire service organizations, including fire brigades and fire departments. Many of the discussions can help during responses for other emergencies such as hazardous material releases, emergency medical care, non-fire rescues and terrorist events.
The new booklet can be downloaded from OSHA’s web site on the publications page or by calling OSHA’s publications office at (202) 693-1888.