Fire Prevention & Protection

Preplanning Building Demolition Sites

Issue 12 and Volume 173.

TRAINING NOTEBOOK ❘ BY BRANDON D. EPTING Many fire departments perform some level of inspection and preplanning for existing commercial buildings and new construction. Response preplanning is just as critical during the demolition of large or multistory buildings and complexes. Demolition sites are constantly changing; preplans from the prior occupancy quickly become obsolete. You must inspect these periodically and update your preplans to maintain your response readiness. Access Changes During demolition, property access could change. The usual entrances, exits, and parking lots may be closed off with temporary fencing and gates (Figure 1, photo 1). Fire apparatus may have to navigate around roll-off dumpsters, stationary crushing machinery, and rubble piles that are not easily moved. The site security personnel during demolition may not be the same ones who were there during the previous occupancy. They may be unfamiliar with the fire alarms, standpipe/sprinkler systems, and other utility controls (gas and…

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