Recognizing a Void Space Fire
Engineer Eric Paloski - Cobb County Fire and Emergency (GA)
Recognizing a void space fire can help to produce a better outcome. Miss one and it can go horribly wrong. It can be a tricky process and the process must be slowed to see what is truly going on. This presentation will open with a discussion on void spaces and what, why and where they are. This interaction with the group will provide not only a common ground, but a forum for all to learn something. Commercial structures, as well as residential structures, fit this description and will be equally represented in the content. Void spaces exist during most phases of building construction and in many types of buildings. Fire service legend Frank Brannigan taught us to fear the truss. These trusses create voids that allow a fire to turn the structure into a house of cards. Using NFPA recognized classes of construction, information will be given on which types are likely or not to contain void spaces and how to recognize them. Construction information on remodels, abandoned/vacant structures, and occupancy changes will also be covered. Regardless of what building is discussed, three things need to be addressed: Safety, Size Up and Situational Awareness. This class is a guide to developing the skills needed to increase our chance of everyone going home.