By Ron Kanterman
These are just a few of the many examples of how fire inspections and code enforcement have a direct and indirect impact on firefighter safety. The opening scenario about the fire in the store was based on an actual inspection that took place. Looking at photo 1, would you have guessed that this was a person’s home? We didn’t. We thought this was going to be a quick inspection of a storage building. As you can see in photos 2 and 3, this is not your average storage building. This apartment was added illegally and was ordered to be removed.
(1) The structure in question resembles a storage facility…
(2-3) …However, a portion of the structure had been illegally converted into an apartment.
Special thanks to Public Fire Safety Officer Robert Yaiser of the Tom’s River (NJ) Fire Prevention Bureau and Firefighter Chris Collier, FDNY Ladder 49 for their invaluable input to this journal entry. Thanks to Chris for the concept.
Ron Kanterman is a 35-year veteran of the fire service. He holds a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees and is a career fire chief in southeast Connecticut. He is an advocate for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and serves as chief of operations for the annual Memorial Weekend ceremonies each year in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He lectures on a variety of topics around the country.