Your Solution for SMART Response Plans

Fire Pre Plan Templates: How to Make them Work for You!

Posted on Thu, May 15, 2014

From industrial facilities to multi-story office buildings, creating site-specific fire pre-plans and sharing them with first responders prior to an actual emergency is critical to the safety of employees and responders. But for companies with numerous locations, establishing customized, company-wide response plan templates can ensure a cohesive, yet site-specific standardization of best practices.

Off the shelf, generic plan templates will not address every site-specific aspect of a facility. An enterprise-wide template should serve as an outline of required information, populated with site details, and may be useful to responders if highlighted in an stand-alone format.  The information listed in a fire pre-plan, such as floor plan(s) and details of on-site hazardous material(s), are required by multiple agencies (OSHA, DOT, EPA, USCG) as part of an overall emergency response plan.  However, other specific fire-fighting information, such as construction details, hydrant, and utility valve locations are specific to each location.  The information contained within a site’s fire pre plan should be shared with responders prior to an emergency.

The purpose of pre fire emergency plans are to ensure a coordinated, expedient, and safe response in the event of a fire. However, pre plans are only effective if accurate and pertinent information is included. Depending on the operation, pre-plan templates can range from the simple to complex. Utilizing a customizable template allows each site to provide the necessary data required to assist responders in determining the best response for the specific scenario.

Despite the response situation or circumstances, a fire pre plan template should include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Building/site layout information
  • Fire suppression information
  • Hazards locations
  • Utility information
  • Exposure information
  • Water supply
  • Evacuation needs
  • Occupancy information
  • Special procedures for handling, storage and control of items that have been identified as major fire hazards
  • Mutual aid resources
  • Strategies

Responders continually verify the importance for fire pre plan simplicity, clarity and accuracy. Template formats should reflect “best practices” and should be periodically reviewed by responding fire department. From the initial information-gathering phase, to a pre plan application during the response; crucial response information must be shared to ensure a timely and effective response. 

Fire Pre Plan - TRP CORP

Below is a compilation of insightful fire pre plan helpful hints from various first responders and fire departments:

  • Storage and Plan Access:
    • Implement a means of easily accessible pre plan storage and retrieval. Web-based pre plans can offer password protected accessibility options
    • Updates:
      • Update plans and communicate with external responders and fire departments often. Include status updates of new buildings construction and renovations being performed.
    • Template formats:
      • Create easy-to-read formats. Responders may be reading these plans at night, in periods of limited light, and in inclement weather. The easier to read, the better it is for all responders.
      • Separate large complexes into color-coded quadrants. Response strategies can be developed for each quadrant, making it much easier to respond to fires in large complexes.
    • Site Access:
      • Update external responders on perimeter gate entry codes whenever changes are made.
      • Identify location of alarm panel locations, and key box locations.
    • Hazardous Materials:
      • Specify location and identity of stored hazardous materials
      • Include known quantities of hazardous materials, if applicable
    • Training and Exercises:
      • Coordinate response exercises with fire department training drills
    • Best Practices and Advancements:
      • Implement lessons learned and new firefighting tactics and equipment into response plans

Just as fire extinguishers are accessible to employees, response plans must be accessible to responders. Companies should involve local fire departments and specialized emergency responders in the development of fire pre plans, and conduct coordinated fire drills to ensure the safety of individuals and response capabilities of responders.

 

Challenged with managing preparedness amongst your various facilites? Download TRP's best practices guide on response planning for large organizations with multi-facility operations.

Multiple Facility Response Planning Company Preparedness Guide DOWNLOAD

Tags: Fire Department Training, Fire Pre Plans, Fire Preparedness, Emergency Management, Response Plans, Emergency Management Program

New Fire Fighting Technologies and Fire Pre Planning

Posted on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

Every year, thousands of firefighters are injured or killed while fighting fires, performing rescues, responding to emergency medical or hazardous material incidents, or participating in necessary training. In efforts to maximize safety, save lives, and minimize injuries of firefighters, innovative technologies are being utilized by fire departments across the United States.

According to U.S. Fire Administration statistics, an estimated 81,070 firefighters are injured on the job annually in the United States, and through mid-September of 2013, 79 firefighter fatalities were reported. Structural fires are the causes of 87% of fire-related firefighter injuries. In an effort to maximize safety, access to web-based fire pre plans, as well as innovative firefighter technologies have been on the rise.

Firefighter Nation highlighted four areas where technology is making its impact on firefighting. Those areas include:

  • Tablet computers
  • Drones
  • Simulation Training
  • Importance of Preplanning

For decades, Fire Pre Plans were housed in binders or embedded within foldable maps. With the wide availability of mobile phones and tablets computers, cloud and web-based technologies have allowed fire departments to communicate real-time pre plan information and gather pertinent information at their fingertips. Tablets feature multiple communication methods, including email and instant messaging apps, as well as specialized information applications, such as WISER, that allow firefighters to determine the hazardous nature of the incident instantaneously. This year, Charlottesville Fire Department installed iPads in their engines, brush trucks, ladder truck, tanker, and command vehicle. Through the addition of mobile hardware, site-specific information, responder locations, and estimated response times can be transmitted to fire stations and other responders.

Technology has enabled firefighter tracking to advance beyond typical GPS. Honeywell recently released GLANSER (Geo-spatial Location, Accountability and Navigation System for Emergency Responders). According to Honeywell, GLANSER is “capable of tracking firefighters in a multi-story building within one to three meter’s accuracy, showing an incident commander what floor a firefighter is on, what area of the floor the firefighter is working in, and whether the firefighter needs help.” However, unlike typical tracking systems, GLANSER doesn’t rely on GPS. Tony Wyman, Honeywell First Responder Products Vice-president of Marketing stated,  “In an environment like an open field, GPS connectivity is a viable solution to the problem of finding and tracking a lost firefighter. But in a structure where GPS may be unable to penetrate, it might be worthless. What firefighters and incident commanders need, is a robust, scalable and affordable system that can operate reliably in a GPS-denied environment. That is what GLANSER can do.”  Honeywell plans to test the system with two major fire departments this summer and perform extensive field-testing in the second half of 2013.

Drones, once reserved for specialized military operations, have proven exceptionally effective in mapping forest fires and depicting the extent of flooding situations. Surveillance drones can provide real-time imagery affording responders a birds-eye view of an area. The recent California RIM fires and Colorado flooding highlighted the invaluable utilization of drones to evaluate and determine response limitations, countermeasures, and tactical solutions. Aerial images of the RIM fire allowed engineers to create predictive models of how the fire would potentially spread, allowing for effective countermeasure to be implemented.

According to Firefighting Nation, there are several effective training simulation software programs to assist firefighters in re-creating an emergency incident. The article mentions CommandSim, Digital Combustion, and Action Training Systems as potentially effective software training programs. To be most effective, simulation software should allow fire departments to download identified hazards and site-specific pre plan information into the simulation to reflect real-world applicable scenarios.

Despite the advancement in fire fighting technology, optimizing an effective response requires preparedness. Fire pre plans provide useful information about particular structures. Pre plans can be developed for schools, office buildings, hospitals, hotels, apartment buildings, shopping centers, laboratories, industrial facilities, and other sites. These plans may describe the building’s size, number of floors, construction details and materials, occupancy, and hazardous materials locations. Pre-incident photos, hydrant locations, and other water sources should be included in a pre plan in order to quickly determine how to approach a scene and identify the equipment necessary to combat the blaze. Web-based pre plan software can be easily shared with mutual-aid companies and additional responders, allowing for a unified and cohesive response.

For a free informative download on Fire Pre Planning, click the image below:

TRP Corp Fire Pre-Plans Pre Fire Plan

Tags: Fire Department Training, Fire Pre Plans, Fire Preparedness, Training and Exercises, Virtualization

Emergency Response Exercises and Scenarios

Posted on Mon, Mar 04, 2013

Disasters are indiscriminate in their targets and any facility may be vulnerable to its effects. In order to effectively respond to these events, whether natural or manmade, employees and responders must be able react effectively to counteract the impacts. Potential life, environmental, or business impacting scenarios require planning, response training, and exercising.

A threat or vulnerability assessment examines threats in terms of probability, likelihood, and magnitude of impact. Once threats are identified, every attempt should be made to mitigate the potential impacts. Mitigation measures can include establishing procedures that would decrease the identified risk and/or recovery time. By completing a threat assessment and risk mitigation, companies can potentially limit their losses in the event of an incident.

Exercising with site-specific and applicable emergency scenarios allows responders to effectively combat threats and efficiently respond to specific emergencies. With continuously changing and evolving threats, it is vital to build flexible response capabilities that will enable a company, to prevent, respond to, and recover from a range of major events.

Exercises should reflect the results of identified threats. Coordinated exercises with probable site-specific scenarios reduce the possibility of conflicting response and restoration methods. Non-coordinated exercises may lead to vastly different preparedness expectations and methodology, communication gaps, and redundancy, which extend reaction time and recovery.

An exercise should reflect a realistic potential scenario, such as a pipeline segment in close proximity to a major waterway or populated area. While challenging exaggerations can be injected into a scenario, unrealistic scenarios can reduce credibility with participants, and diminish the value placed on thoroughly exercising response procedures and actions.

Disasterresponseplandtrp.jpg
Scenarios must remain site-specific, credible, and test capabilities necessary to respond to the incident(s). Exercises should reflect the possibility that multiple incidents can occur simultaneously or sequentially. Severe weather, earthquakes, and fires are examples of initial threats that can create additional hazards and potential incidents. Companies should be prepared to respond to multiple incidents stemming from a similar hazard, and multiple incidents created from different initiators. These multi-level incidents may require concentric responder coordination and cooperation from across multiple organizations, states, regions, and/or local jurisdictions.

Exercise scenarios should test the following potential Department of Homeland Security response concepts. (The following is not all-inclusive, as site-specific details may require additional attention.)

Prevention or Deterrence: The ability to detect, prevent, preempt, and deter incidents or emergencies.

Infrastructure Protection: The ability to protect critical infrastructure from all threats and hazards.

Preparedness: The ability to plan, organize, and equip personnel to perform their assigned missions to acceptable standards.

Emergency Assessment/Diagnosis: The ability to achieve and maintain a common operating structure, including the ability to detect an incident, determine its impact and likely augmentation, and initiate notifications.

Emergency Management/Response: The ability to control, collect, and contain a hazard, lesson its effects, and conduct environmental monitoring. Mitigation efforts may be implemented before, during, or after an incident

Incident Command System (ICS):  The ability to direct, control, and coordinate a response; manage resources; and provide emergency public information with the direction of an Incident Command System.

Evacuation/Shelter: The ability to provide initial warnings to the at-risk population, notify people to shelter-in-place or evacuate, provide evacuation and shelter support; and manage traffic flow to and from the affected area.

Victim Care: The ability to treat victims at the scene, transport patients, and handle, track, and secure human remains. Provide tracking and security of patients’ possessions, potential evidence, and manage mental health.

Investigation/Apprehension: The ability to investigate the cause or source of the incident, and/or cooperate with local authorities for any man made emergencies

Recovery/Remediation:  The ability to restore essential business units and/or operations, cleanup the environment and render the affected area safe, provide necessary services to victims and/or the public; and restore a sense of well-being at the facility.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.

TRP Corp - Emergency Response Planning Crisis Management

Tags: Fire Department Training, Emergency Preparedness, Training and Exercises

Industrial Fire Pre Plans and Fire Fighting Tactics

Posted on Mon, Nov 19, 2012

An industrial fire erupted on October 11, 2012 at an Ohio processing plant that produces cattle feed from vegetable oil.  After battling the flames for two hours, fire crews evacuated, due to the potential for explosion of nearby rail cars. According to the Willoughby News Herald, Painesville Township Fire Chief Frank Whittaker said, “The vegetable oil process contained in the cars was not dangerous by itself, but under pressure from the heat of the flames the tankers could vent, potentially causing a catastrophic explosion.”

During a fire response, circumstances can change in an instant. Having current information regarding site-specific facility hazards prior to arriving at an incident can assist in determining response methods and necessary equipment. Utilizing a shared fire pre-plan can minimize impacts and potential catastrophes caused by ill-informed responders. Fire pre-plans can ensure a coordinated, expedient, and safe response in the event of a fire. The faster responders can locate, assess, access, and mitigate the emergency, the sooner an incident can be contained.

Industrial fire pre-plans should include the following information, at a minimum:

Building Information:
Address and other location details
Construction and roofing materials
Building use and contents
Access/egress points
Typical occupancy
Floor plans
Utility details
Description of emergency lighting and alarms
Fire Protection Equipment:
Type of smoke detectors
Sprinkler systems
Description of and location of fire extinguishers
Location of fire hydrants/extinguishers
Special Hazards:
Type and location of hazards
Flammable materials within the facility and immediate surrounding area
Low hanging power lines
Transformers
Photographs:
Aerial photograph showing building and surrounding area
Ground-level photographs of exterior sides of building
Tank Specifications:
Content Information
Type and dimensions
Capacity
Valve details
Foam requirements

 

Whittaker revealed that the processing plant fire warranted a defensive response approach from beginning to end. With a combination of the information contained in a fire pre plan and the scope of the incident observed on scene, incident commanders are able evaluate the risk versus reward factors in determining firefighting tactics. If a scenario dictates extreme risks with very little reward, aggressive mitigation and response actions may be terminated in favor of a defensive firefighting mode. After civilian rescue efforts are terminated, the defensive mode is typically chosen to isolate or stabilize an incident, preventing further escalation.

Situations that may dictate an industrial defensive firefighting tactic may include, but not limited to:

  • Unsafe structure with no exposure to personnel or residential areas
  • Facility Unsafe conditions for firefighter entry
  • Fire beyond control of firefighting equipment or initial response unit
  • Impact limited to immediate vicinity

Industrial fire pre-planning will provide many of the details required to assist in a firefighting scenario, as well as provide the tools to determine the potential for a building collapse. Building classification, construction, incident duration, occupancy, fire location, and size of the incident are factors to consider in determining response tactics. However, the incident commander must continually re-evaluate the scenario and adjust the response as necessary. If a structural collapse is evident, responders and witnesses may observe the following;

  • Bulges in walls
  • Interior or exterior wall cracks
  • Audible sounds of structural movement
  • Water flowing through exterior walls
  • Water run-off is less than amount being pumped into building
  • Truss construction with direct fire involvement for longer than 5-10 minutes

Fire pre-plans provide key information necessary to improve the potential for a successful response, which may ultimately save lives and reduce property damage. The more specific information responders can obtain prior to an incident, the better equipped they are to respond with the most effective firefighting tactics within their capabilities.

For an understanding of the necessary elements in creating an effective fire pre plan, download our Fire Pre Planning Guide.

TRP Fire Pre Plan Image

Tags: Fire Department Training, Fire Pre Plans, Incident Action Plan, Fire Preparedness

Be WISER! The Free Hazardous Substance Response Information System

Posted on Thu, Jul 26, 2012

The Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) developed by the National Library of Medicine, is a free government resource that provides information for over 440 hazardous substances, including substance identification descriptions, physical characteristics, health information, and containment and suppression guidance.

WISER is available as a standalone application on Microsoft Windows PCs, Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices, Google Android devices, BlackBerry devices, Windows Mobile devices, and Palm OS PDAs. With easy accessibility through Internet connectivity, responders can tap into specific hazardous material details and associated response parameters.

After easily downloading the resource, the user can select a profile as a First responder, HAZMAT Specialist, or EMS professional. With WISER, the user is able to:

  • search for known substance
  • seek assistance in identifying unknown substances
  • explore government resources such as Emergency Response guide books, Radiological tools, and standard triage procedures.

While searching for a known substance, users have access to a variety of associated Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information including, but not limited to:

  • Key characteristics
  • Identification elements
  • treatment overview
  • health effects
  • toxicity summary (if applicable)
  • IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Hazard Classification

The system breaks down the substance to include a variety of information including, but not limited to:

  • Basic industrial information (shipping and registry number, molecular formula, synonyms, etc)
  • Chemical properties (color, odor, taste, melting point, etc)
  • HAZMAT (chemical reactivity, firefighting procedures, protective distance, cleanup and disposal methods)
  • Medical (treatment overview, NIOSHA recommendations, AEGL, Radiation limits, OSHA standards, etc),
  • Environmental (CERCLA Quantities, Non-human toxicity values, soil adsorption,  etc)

The WISER substance information and identification properties come from the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), developed and maintained by the National Library of Medicine. The database substances were chosen based on First Responder inputs, degree of chemical hazard, and historical frequency of incidents.

For more information about SPCC Plans, download TRP Corp's free SPCC and FRP Inspections guide.

TRP - SPCC

Tags: Fire Department Training, Emergency Management, Incident Management, Training and Exercises, Safety, Chemical Industry

Interoperability and Collaborative Emergency Management

Posted on Mon, Mar 26, 2012

Emergency Management effectiveness can be optimized through effective interoperability, the ability for diverse organizations to work together for a greater good. Interoperable communication and coordination with local agencies can provide additional support to a facility in the midst of an emergency. Coordinating planning, training, drills, and resource availability with local agencies and responders is an important aspect of an effective environmental, health and safety program.

The Department of Homeland Security identifies 5 elements that can improve emergency response interoperability.

  • Obtain leadership commitment from all disciplines (EMS, Fire, and Police Departments.
  • Foster collaboration across disciplines through leadership support.
  • Interface with policy makers to gain leadership commitment and resource support.
  • Establish relationship sustainability through ongoing communications
  • Plan and budget for ongoing updates to systems, procedures, and documentation.
  • Ensure collaboration and coordination.

Broadening the scope of response expertise can greatly benefit a facility by limiting the timeline of potentially escalating emergencies. Local agencies may provide additional response knowledge based on particular research, experiences, or occupational training in a particular area of study. Emergency managers should continually meet with government agencies, community organizations, and utility companies throughout the entire planning cycle to discuss likely emergencies and the available resources to minimize the affects on the community.


Sources of local collaborative response efforts and plan management information may include:

  • Community emergency management office
  • Mayor or Community Administrator’s office
  • Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department
  • Emergency Medical Services organizations
  • American Red Cross
  • National Weather Service
  • Public Works Department
  • Planning Commission
  • Telephone companies
  • Electric utilities
  • Neighboring businesses 

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.

TRP Download

Tags: Fire Department Training, Fire Pre Plans, Business Continuity, Emergency Management, Crisis Management, Incident Management, Training and Exercises, Emergency Management Program, Department of Homeland Security

Biology, Fear, and Emergency Response Planning

Posted on Mon, Jan 16, 2012

Pilots, medical professionals, military personnel, and emergency responders must be prepared to deal with the “fight or flight” biological phenomenon. Competency in emergency response procedures is necessary for those who may encounter hazardous situations in their jobs, in order to avoid the onset of panic in a crisis situation.

Stressful situations activate the body's sympathetic nervous system (SNS) to mobilize hormones that results in increased heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils, rapid release of adrenaline, and other effects. Once various hormones reach certain levels, a state of panic can ensue. The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) must engage in order to counteract these hormones. In order to maintain or restore a sense of calm, the brain must engage in instinctual, known, and familiar processes.

Emergency procedures need to become second nature in order to combat the natural affects of stress in a crisis situation. Panic can ensue quickly if an individual is not prepared with reactive and effective measures. The four steps in the emergency response planning process identifies way to limit risk prior, during, and after an emergency, thereby making the stress of a crisis manageable to those  trained in the process.

1. Mitigation: Crisis prevention through the identification of structural and non-structural risks can prevent hazards and eliminate or reduce the effects of emergencies or disasters. Once risks are identified, solutions and planning can be implemented to limit effects of a disaster.

2. Preparedness: The ability to provide a rapid and systematic response through established and effective procedures allows employees to react instinctively accordingly to the crisis or emergency. Trained employees are better suited to handle a crisis without panic than those that have no training.

3. Response: The rapid mobilization of emergency response services is imperative to limit the effects and potential chaos of an ongoing disaster. Having a well-rehearsed emergency plan enables efficient and effective response coordination, and reduces loss of property, and impact to the environment and  surrounding community.

4. Recovery: After the threat to human life has passed, the response mode transforms into disaster recovery. Companies should utilize this window of opportunity for mitigation in order to limit future risk.

Of course,  the level of required  training must be consistent with the potential for crisis situations, in order to battle the effects of the Sympathetic Nervous System. However through preparation, knowledge, and proper training, personnel will  likely rely on ingrained instinct rather than be overloaded with emotion in the event of an emergency.

1. “ Brain Activity during a Panic Attack”; http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/brain_activity_during_a_panic_attack.
2. “How You Learn Physical Skills: instinct, deliberate action, and trained response, human mind affects autonomic system”; http://kschang.hubpages.com/hub/How-You-Learn-Physical-Skills-instinct-deliberate-action-and-trained-response.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.

Exercises - TRP Corp

Tags: Fire Department Training, Emergency Response, Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Incident Management, Training and Exercises, Disaster Recovery

General Emergency Response Fire Fighting Guidelines

Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2011

In the event of a fire, properly trained staff can have a substantial impact on reducing damages. Emergency response firefighting guidelines for three different industrial scenarios are as follows:

A. Pressurized hydrocarbon vapors or LPG1.

  1. Block in and depressurize the fuel source before extinguishing the fire. Use water spray to cool exposed equipment during this period.
  2. Extinguishing agents are water fog pattern sprays, CO2, or dry chemical.
  3. Approach LPG storage tanks from the sides.
  4. If the pitch of the materials from venting safety devices or other vents increases, or if a discoloration of the vessel is detected, immediately evacuate the area.
  5. Extinguish the fire at the source of the fuel first and then move outward.

B. Flammable liquids (flash points below 140°F)

  1. Flammable liquids include, but are not limited to crude oil, gasoline, and naphtha.
  2. Extinguishing agents are CO2, dry chemical, or foam. While water is not generally used to extinguish flammable liquid fires, it can be used to cool exposed equipment.
  3. Extinguish ground fires first.
  4. Avoid plunging streams of the extinguishing agent into pooled liquids to avoid spreading or increasing the intensity of the fire.
  5. Apply foam at recommended rates for the specified duration. Do not break foam blankets on spilled materials.

C. Combustible liquids (flash points above 140°F)

  1. Combustible liquids include certain fuel oils, asphalts, gas oils, clarified slurry oil, etc.
  2. Extinguishing agents are CO2, dry chemical, water fog, or foam.
  3. Water must be used with caution for liquids above 200°F. It may cause frothing and should only be used used on the surface of the liquid as a light surface to remove heat.
  4. Extinguish ground fires first. Avoid plunging streams of the extinguishing agent into pooled liquids to avoid spreading or increasing the intensity of the fire.
  5. Apply foam at recommended rates for the specified duration. Do not break foam blankets on spilled materials. Do not use foam on liquids with temperatures above 200°F.

For a free guide that details the world of HAZWOPER training, download A Guide to HAZWOPER Training.

HAZWOPER training guide

Tags: Fire Department Training, Fire Pre Plans, Fire Preparedness, Crisis Management, Incident Management

The Top 10 Checklist Items for Confined Space Entry

Posted on Thu, Sep 01, 2011

A situation requiring confined space entry can be encountered in many industrial operations. Authorized entry should require a pre-entry checklist to ensure rescue team members enter safely. The need for a confined space emergency rescue can be the result of earthquakes, construction or support failures, or any incident that results in a narrow and constricted entry, preventing easy access by rescuers.

A confined space pre-entry checklist should be completed prior to entering any confined space. Preparedness and response planning measures should be in place prior to any confined space entry. A pre-entry checklist may include the following:

1. Discuss prior to entry:

  • Scope of work to be done inside confined space
  • Knowledge of current contents of the confined space
  • Preparation that has been completed, including removal and clean up of chemicals from the confined space
  • Completed hazard identification and risk assessment
  • All aspects of safety measures
  • Name of entrants, attendants, supervisors and rescue team

2. Permit

  • Confined space entry permit has been issued.
  • The confined space permit is up to date.
  • If hot work will be carried out, ensure hot work permit is attained

3. Verification of conditions

  • All instruments used are calibrated.
  • The person in charge for atmospheric testing is qualified and competent.
  • The confined space has been tested for atmospheric conditions.

4. Testing Results

  • Determine Oxygen content levels
  • Are toxic, flammable or vapor gases present?
  • Evaluation and confirmation of atmospheric testing.

Confinedspace.jpg

5. Monitoring

  • Make sure the confined space atmosphere will be monitored while work is in progress.
  • Prepare a monitoring time table.

6. Ventilation

  • Identify ventilation considerations before entry and throughout duration of rescue.
  • Ensure air intake (supply) for the ventilation system remains unobstructed
  • If the atmospheric conditions are unacceptable, ventilate and retest space.

7. Isolation

  • The confined space has been isolated from other systems.
  • Mechanical equipment has been blocked, chocked and disengaged.
  • Tags and blind plates have been installed at appropriate block valves.

8. Equipment, Clothing, Tools and Personal Protective Equipment

  • Special equipment/tools have been provided.
  • Special clothing required for the work inside confined space has been provided (chemical suit, boots, safety shoes, goggles).
  • Lighting requirements have been fulfilled.

9. Training

  • The entrants, attendants, supervisors and rescue teams have attained confined space entry training.

10. Standby/Rescue Team

  • There is a team or rescue member outside of the confined space in constant communication with the personnel inside the confined space.

Confined space rescue is covered under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1670, and under numerous OSHA’s standards.

OSHA uses the term "permit-required confined space" to describe a space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
  • has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
  • contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.

Exercises - TRP Corp

Tags: Fire Department Training, Earthquake Preparedness, Emergency Preparedness, Training and Exercises, Facility Management, Emergency Management Program, Disaster Recovery

Industrial Fire Prevention - Sharing of a Pre Fire Emergency Plan

Posted on Mon, Aug 29, 2011

Just as facilities have accessible fire extinguishers and conduct fire drills to ensure the safety of individuals in a fire emergency, facility managers need to incorporate emergency responders in the development of pre fire emergency plans, or fire pre-plans. From industrial facilities to multi-story office buildings, having fire pre-plans in the hands of first responders prior to an actual emergency is critical to the safety of their occupants.

The purpose of the pre fire emergency plans are to ensure a coordinated, expedient, and safe response in the event of a fire. The information listed in a fire pre-plan, such as floor plan(s) and details of on-site hazardous material(s), are required by multiple agencies (OSHA, DOT, EPA, USCG) as part of an overall emergency response plan.  However, other specific fire fighting information, such as construction details, hydrant, and utility valve locations may be useful to responders if highlighted in an stand-alone format and shared with responders prior to an emergency.

There has been discussion that the NFPA 1620, a guide for pre incident planning, is on track to become a regulatory required standard. The NFPA 1620 standard ”provides criteria for evaluating the protection, construction, and operational features of specific occupancies to develop a pre-incident plan that should be used by responding personnel to manage fires and other emergencies in such occupancies using the available resource.”

The concept of pre fire planning is to provide facility details to area responders. Industrial fires can escalate quickly, and the potential danger to lives and property can exponentially increase as time progresses. Having up-to-date information readily available, and available to knowledgeable responders has been proven to limit the duration of the emergency.  The faster responders can locate, assess, access, and mitigate the emergency, the sooner an incident can be contained...and the sooner facility operations can be restored to “business as usual”.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.

Exercises - TRP Corp

Tags: Fire Department Training, Fire Pre Plans, Emergency Preparedness, Training and Exercises