FDIC Preview: Adam Hansen Looks at ‘Smells and Bells: Rooftop Units’

Adam Hansen/YouTube

On Thursday, August 5, 2021, at FDIC International 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m., Milford (CT) Fire Department Lieutenant Adam Hansen will offer best practices to crews looking for smoke on the roof in his classroom session, “Smells and Bells: Rooftop Units.”

When we respond for a report of an odor of smoke in a building at a commercial occupancy, a crew is almost always ordered to the roof. Why? What are we investigating? A good majority of the 911 calls reported from commercial buildings are attributed to rooftop units (RTUs).

Whether in the busiest urban environments or the most reclusive suburbs, RTUs will always be present and be the cause of many of 911 responses. Discussion will include a description of RTUs, how to access infill panels, what lies within the individual compartments, and how to safely investigate these units. Without this knowledge, firefighters on these calls will be forced to close down a storefront when there is no emergency or, even worse, leave a business open with an immediately dangerous to life or health environment present.

Hansen is an 18-year veteran of the fire service, with 13 of those as a career firefighter. He is a lieutenant and an instructor with Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut. He has been an elected official of his hometown’s legislative body for eight years and has been involved in issues ranging from budgetary/fiscal constraints to deep-seated constitutional issues. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from the University of New Haven and is completing the requirements for a master’ degree in public administration also at the University of New Haven. He is a certified fire instructor 1 and 2 and has other fire service-related certifications.


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