The questions firefighters ask on arrival at a fire scene can vary depending on the specific situation. Being ready to answer can make a big difference on the outcome. Here are some of the most common ones, categorized for your understanding:
- Are there any occupants still inside? This is the top priority for firefighters. They will ask anyone present and search the building themselves to locate and evacuate any potential victims.
- How many people were in the building when the fire started? This helps them determine if everyone has been accounted for.
- Have any occupants already evacuated? Knowing who is safe helps them focus their search efforts.
- Are there any mobility-impaired or elderly people in the building? This allows them to adjust their rescue strategy if needed.
- What type of structure is on fire? Knowing the building’s size, construction materials, and layout is crucial for understanding fire spread and choosing appropriate tactics.
- Where is the fire located? This helps them identify the origin and potential spread of the flames.
- What is the size and intensity of the fire? This assesses the immediate danger and resource needs.
- What color is the smoke? Smoke color can indicate the type of fuel burning and potential hazards like toxic materials.
- Are there any explosions or unusual sounds? This could indicate downed power lines, hazardous materials, or structural instability.
Utilities and Hazards:
- Are the utilities shut off? This minimizes explosion and electrocution risks.
- Are there any known hazardous materials in the building? Knowing about chemicals, propane tanks, or other dangers helps them take precautions.
- Are there any downed power lines or gas leaks? These pose immediate threats to firefighters and nearby residents.
- Are there any weather conditions affecting the fire? Wind, rain, or snow can impact fire behavior and firefighter safety.
- Who called in the fire? This person might have valuable information about the fire’s origin and potential occupants.
- Are there any witnesses who can provide details? Witness accounts can offer valuable clues about the fire’s development and potential causes.
- Are there any pre-incident plans available? These plans, often for commercial buildings, provide firefighters with valuable information about the structure and potential hazards.
- Where is the closest Fire Hydrant? Most of the time firefighters already know where the hydrants are, but knowing where yours is can save time especially in a rural setting.
Remember, these are just some examples, and the specific questions asked will depend on the unique circumstances of each fire scene. Firefighters prioritize the safety of occupants and themselves, and their initial assessment questions are crucial for making informed decisions and taking swift action.