NFPA 1620 Pre-incident Planning

Assembly Occupancy

An occupancy (1) used for a gathering of 50 or more persons for deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating, drinking, amusement, awaiting trans­portation, or similar uses; or (2) used as a special amusement building, regardless of occupant load.

  • A large-volume space created by a floor opening or series of floor openings connecting two or more stories that is covered at the top of the series of openings and is used for purposes other than an enclosed stairway; an elevator hoistway; an escalator opening; or as a utility shaft used for plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, or communications facilities. \101, 20181
  • Bulk Merchandising Retail Building. A building in which the sales area includes the storage of combustible materi­als on pallets, in solid piles, or in racks in excess of 3.7 m (12 ft) in storage height.

Business Occupancy

An occupancy used for account and record keeping or the transaction of business other than mercantile.

  • Clean Agent. Electrically nonconductive, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon evaporation.
  • Combustible Dust. A finely divided combustible partic­ulate solid that presents a flash fire hazard or explosion hazard when suspended in air or the process-specific oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations.
  • Combustible Particulate Solid. Any solid material composed of distinct particles or pieces, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, that presents a fire hazard.
  • Competent Person. One who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or work­ing conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt correc­tive measures to eliminate them. [1006, 2017 |
  • Confined Space. A space that is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry); and is not designed for continuous employee occu­pancy.
  • Controlled Atmosphere Warehouse. A facility for stor­ing specialty products, such as fruits, that generally includes sealed storage rooms, with controlled temperature and air content, the most common being an atmosphere containing a high percentage of a gas such as nitrogen.

Covered Mall Building.

A building, including the covered mall, enclosing a number of tenants and occupancies, such as retail stores, drinking and dining establishments, enter­tainment and amusement facilities, offices, and other similar uses, wherein two or more tenants have a main entrance into the covered mall.

Defend in Place.

The operational response in which the action is to relocate the affected occupants to a safe place within the structure during an emergency.

Detention and Correctional Occupancy.

An occu­pancy used to house four or more persons under varied degrees of restraint or security where such occupants are mostly incapable of self-preservation because of security meas­ures not under the occupants’ control.


A building or a space in a building in which group sleeping accommodations are provided for more than 16 persons who are not members of the same family in one room, or a series of closely associated rooms, under joint occupancy and single management, with or without meals, but without individual cooking facilities.

Educational Occupancy.

An occupancy used for educational purposes through the twelfth grade by six or more persons for 4 or more hours per day or more than 12 hours per week.

Elevator Evacuation System. A system, including a vertical series of elevator lobbies and associated elevator lobby doors, an elevator shaft(s), and a machine room(s), that provides protection from fire effects for elevator passengers, people waiting to use elevators, and elevator equipment so that elevators can be used safely for egress. \101, 20181

Emergency Operations Center. A fixed, designated area to be used in supporting and coordinating operations during emergencies.

Emergency Power Supply (EPS). An electric power source of the capacity and quality required for an EPS system.

Emergency Services Organization (ESO). Any public, private, governmental, or military organization that provides emergency response and other related activities, whether for profit, not for profit, or govern men tally owned and operated.

Evacuation Capability.

The ability of occupants, resi­dents, and staff as a group either to evacuate a building or to relocate from the point of occupancy to a point of safety.

A planned nonemergency activity (e.g., sporting event, concert, parade, mass gathering).

Permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary commercial or industrial property such as a building, plant, or structure, built, established, or installed for the performance of one or more specific activities or functions including all processes performed therein.

Facility Emergency Action Plan.

A plan of designated actions by employers, employees, and other building occupants to ensure their safety from fire and other emergencies.

Fire Alarm System

A system or portion of a combina­tion system that consists of components and circuits arranged to monitor and annunciate the status of fire alarm or supervi­sory signal-initiating devices and to initiate the appropriate response to those signals.

Fire Barrier

A continuous membrane or a membrane with discontinuities created by protected openings with a speci­fied fire protection rating, where such membrane is designed and constructed with a specified fire resistance rating to limit the spread of fire, and that also restricts the movement of smoke.

Fire Compartment

A space within a building that is enclosed by fire barriers on all sides, including the top and bottom.

Fire Wall

A wall separating buildings or subdividing a building to prevent the spread of fire and having a fire resist­ance rating and structural stability.

Health Care Occupancy

An occupancy used for purposes of medical or other treatment or care of four or more persons where such occupants are mostly incapable of self1 preservation due to age, physical or mental disability, or because of security measures not under the occupants’ control.


A building or groups of buildings under the same management in which there are sleeping accommoda­tions for more than 16 persons and primarily used by transients for lodging with or without meals.

  • An acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and their related components.
  • Incident Action Plan. The objectives reflecting the overall incident strategy, tactics, risk management, and member safety that are developed by the incident commander. Incident action plans are updated throughout the incident.

Industrial Occupancy

An occupancy in which prod­ucts are manufactured or in which processing, assembling, mixing, packaging, finishing, decorating, or repair operations are conducted.

A mechanically or electrically operated platform used to work at various heights.

Lock Box

A locked container often used to store building entry keys, pre-incident plans, and/or related data.

Lodging or Rooming House

A building or portion thereof that does not qualify as a one- or two-family dwelling, that provides sleeping accommodations for a total of 16 or fewer people on a transient or permanent basis, without personal care services, with or without meals, but without sepa­rate cooking facilities for individual occupants.

Mass Gatherings.

An event expected to be attended by a sufficient number of people to strain the planning and response resources of the hosting community, state, prov­ince, nation, or region where it is being held.

Mercantile Occupancy.

An occupancy used for the display and sale of merchandise.

  • On-Site Emergency Representative. The person responsible for coordinating and implementing the site emer­gency action plan during an incident.
  • Permit-Required Confined Space. A confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: (1) contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmos­phere; (2) contains a material that has the potential for engulf­ing an entrant; (3) has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converg­ing walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or (4) contains any other recognized seri­ous safety or health hazard.
  • Pre-incident Plan. A document developed by gathering general and detailed data that is used by responding personnel in effectively managing emergencies for the protection of occu­pants, participants, responding personnel, property, and the environment.

Pre-Incident Plan Developer.

The individual, group, or agency responsible for developing or maintaining die pre- incident plan.

Process Hazard Analysis.

An analysis of a process or system used to identify potential cause and effect relationships and resultant hazards or system failures.

Remain in Place.

The operational response of direct­ing occupants to remain inside the structure, at their locations, during an emergency.

Residential Board and Care Occupancy.

A building or portion thereof that is used for lodging and boarding of four or more residents, not related by blood or marriage to the owners or operators, for the purpose of providing personal care services.

Responding Personnel.

Personnel, whether public or private, available to respond to emergencies.

  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Formatted information provi­ded by chemical manufacturers and distributors of hazardous products that contains information about chemical composi­tion, physical and chemical properties, health and safety hazards, emergency response, and waste disposal of the mate­rial. [472,20181
  • Sally Port (Security Vestibule). A compartment provi­ded with two or more doors where the intended purpose is to prevent continuous and unobstructed passage by allowing the release of only one door at a time.
  • Scissor Stair. Two interlocking stairways providing two separate paths of egress located within one stairwell enclosure.

Security Vulnerability Assessment.

Security vulnerabil­ity assessment methodology identifies and assesses potential security threats, risks, and vulnerabilities and guides the chemi­cal facility industry in making security improvements.

  • Site Liaison. An individual who has in-depth operating knowledge of the site or facility.
  • Sky Lobby. An intermediate floor where people can change from an express elevator that only stops at the sky lobby to a local elevator which stops at every floor within a segment of the building.

Smoke Barrier.

A continuous membrane, or a membrane with discontinuities created by protected openings, where such membrane is designed and constructed to restrict the movement of smoke.

  • Smoke Compartment. A space within a building enclosed by smoke barriers on all sides, including the top and bottom.
  • Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. A plan prepared for facilities with a chemical or chemi­cals that exceed certain capacities in accordance with govern­mental regulations.
  • Sprinkler System. For fire protection purposes, an inte­grated system of underground and overhead piping designed in accordance with fire protection engineering standards. The installation includes one or more automatic water supplies. The portion of the sprinkler system above ground is a network of specially sized or hydraulically designed piping installed in a building, structure, or area, generally overhead, and to which sprinklers are attached in a systematic pattern. The valve controlling each system riser includes a device for actuating an alarm when the system is in operation. The system is usually activated by heat from a fire and discharges water over the fire area.

Standpipe System.

An arrangement of piping, valves, hose connections, and allied equipment installed in a building or structure, with the hose connections located in such a manner that water can be discharged in streams or spray patterns through attached hose and nozzles, for the purpose of extinguishing a fire, thereby protecting a building or structure and its contents in addition to protecting the occupants. This is accomplished by means of connections to water supply systems or by means of pumps, tanks, and other equipment necessary to provide an adequate supply of water to the hose connec­tions.

Storage Occupancy.

An occupancy used primarily for the storage or sheltering of goods, merchandise, products, vehicles, or animals.

  • S. National Grid (USNG). An alphanumeric point reference system that has been overlaid on the Universal Trans­verse Mercator (UTM) numerical grid. Every modest-size home in a discrete area (city) can be described using 8 digits (e.g., 1234 5678). By adding a two-letter prefix (e.g., XX 1234 5678), the location is uniquely identified regionally (statewide). The U.S. National Grid is functionally identical to the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) used by the U.S. military and NATO since 1949.
  • Vacant Building. A building that is currently unoccu­pied/unused and for which there is intention to reoccupy and reuse in the future.

Pre-Incident Planning Process

Potential life safety hazard, including emergency responder safety

Structure size and operations complexity

Economic impact

Importance to the community

Location and seasonal variations

Presence of hazardous materials

Susceptibility to natural disasters

Chapter 5 Physical and Site Considerations

5.1* General. Physical elements and site considerations shall be classified into the following five groups:

Construc tion (see Section 5.2)
Building management systems and utilities (see Section 5.3)
External site conditions (see Section 5.4)
Internal and external security (see Section 5.5)
Fences or other barriers (see Section 5.6)


Area, Height, and Age. The entire building size, including overall height, number of stories, square footage, and approximate or actual year of original construction, shall be determined and included in the pre-incident plan.

Building Features.

  • The construction type of the building, including the combustibility of the building, shall be noted or summarized in the pre-incident plan.
  • Data on the following items shall be recorded:
    • * Wall construction and insulation
    • * Roof construction
    • * Floor construction
    • * Other pertinent building features
    • Floor plan with room identifier and occupancy and use of each room
    • * Location, types, and construction of access features
    • * Areas where fire, products of combustion, or other contaminants could spread due to a lack of structural barriers
    • * Atriums
    • * Structural integrity of walls, roofs, and floors
    • * Storage arrangements
    • Fire command center location, access, and fire rating of the area fire walls


Emergency Contact Information.

Emergency contact information shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan for persons responsible for the operation of building systems and utilities and for persons knowledgeable of the supervisory control and data acquisition or similar systems.

Electrical Components, Power Supplies, and Energy Sources.

ransformers. The location of transformers filled with combustible and flammable fluids shall be recorded in the pre- incident plan.

Electric Utility Rooms. The location of electric utility rooms shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

 Alternative Energy Sources. The location of alterna­tive energy sources shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

Emergency Power Supply.

The following features of the emergency power supply (EPS) shall be identified and recorded in the pre- incident plan:

Fuel supplies
Areas served
Equipment served
An EPS requiring manual action shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.
The location of the EPS’ disconnecting means shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.
Domestic Water and Process Water. Water shutoff locations shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan, with special consideration given to any equipment or processes that require an uninterrupted supply of water.

 Internal and External Security.

5.5.1 Security Measures.* Internal and external security measures shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

  • The pre-incident plan shall include the location of and access to keys, fobs, and RFID cards to enter secure areas.
  • The pre-incident plan shall document the perform­ance of access control systems if primary power is lost.

5.5.2* Security Animals. The use of security animals shall be noted in the pre-incident plan.

Security Systems.

Data regarding intruder security systems shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

Data regarding an on-site security service shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

 Fences or Other Barriers. The height, construction, and ingress/egress points of fences or other barriers shall be recor­ded in the pre-incident plan.

Geospatial Position.

Standard Coordinates.

Geospatial Positioning System [e.g., U.S. National Grid (USNG)] coordinates shall be utilized to record and specify locations of the facilities, structures, assets, utility components, water supplies, and so forth.

Occupancy Considerations

  • The pre-incident plan shall document the occupancy type and use. (See Annex C.)
  • Life Safety Considerations. 6.2.1 General. The following information shall be noted in the pre- incident plan:

  • * Hours of operation
  • * Occupant load
  • * Occupant accountability
  • * Assistance for people with self-evacuation limits
  • * Strategies for protecting facility occupants, other than evacuation

6.2.2* Means of Egress. The number of exits, their location, and any special locking conditions, such as delayed release, limited security access, and stairwell locking, shall be noted on the pre-incident plan.

6.3 On-Site Emergency Organization.

6.3.1* Facility Emergency Action Plan. If a facility has an emergency action plan, it shall be obtained for reference during an emergency.

6.3.2* Emergency Response Capabilities. The on-site emer­gency response capabilities and their coordination with responding personnel shall be incorporated into the pre- incident plan.

  • Specialized Operations, Processes, and Hazards. Where occupancies contain specialized operations, processes, and hazards that can pose unique challenges in an emergency, the emergency operating procedures and personnel knowledgea­ble of these conditions shall be documented in the pre- incident plan.

Water Supplies and Fire Protection Systems

7.1 General. Information on water supplies and fire protec­tion systems shall be included in the pre-incident plan.

7.2* Water Supplies. Water supplies for fire suppression oper­ations and water-based fire protection systems shall be de­scribed and identified in the pre-incident plan.

7.2.1* Required Fire Flow. The required fire flow shall be determined by the AHJ.

7.2.2* Available Water Supply. The available water supply shall be included in the pre- incident plan.* Where the required fire flow exceeds the available water supply, the pre-incident plan shall address a response to mitigate the deficiency.

7.2.3* Public and Private Water Supply Utility Sources. The source of water supply, whether it is from a public or private water distribution system, shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

Static Water Supply Sources. Static water sources, such as ponds, lakes, rivers, tanks, and cisterns, shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.* The pre-incident plan shall include seasonal variation information for bodies of water. The method of drafting from the water source shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

Water Storage Tanks. Where a water storage tank is used as a source of water, the water storage capacity shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.* The method of obtaining water from the water stor­age tank shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

7.2.6* Fire Hydrants. The location of fire hydrants shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.

7.3.1* Sprinkler and Water Spray. Water-based systems, including type of system, location and identification of main riser valves, extent of coverage, and means of manual activa­tion, shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

7.3.2* Standpipe Systems. Standpipe systems, including type of system, location and identification of control valves, location of hose valves, and presence of pressure reducing devices (PRV), shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

7.3.3* Fire Pumps. Fire pump(s), including location of, and access to, the fire pump and controller; rated capacity; source of water supply; and areas or systems served, shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

7.3.4 Fire Department Connection (FDC). Fire department connection(s) (FIX;) shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan, including physical location, size, type, locking means, and area/systems supplied.

7.4* Non-Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Non-water- based fire protection system(s) shall be recorded in the pre- incident plan, including type of system, hazard or area protected, means of activation, location of abort devices, loca­tion of control panel, location of agent supply and reserve containers, and personnel hazards following agent release.

7.5* Fire Alarm Systems. Fire alarm systems shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan, including area of coverage, location of fire alarm control unit (FACU) and remote annunciator panels, method of system activation, and method and extent of occupant notification.

7.6* Portable Fire Extinguishers. The pre-incident plan shall note the location and type of large, wheeled equipment or specialized extinguishers or both.

Smoke Control Systems.

  • Pressurization-Based Smoke Management Systems. A

smoke management system (s) shall be recorded in the pre- incident plan, including location of areas served by system, location of control systems, system operation information, loca­tion of manual override controls, and location of supply and discharge arrangement.

  • Smoke and Heat Vents. Smoke and heat vents shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan, including location and type of activation (manual or automatic).

Hazardous Materials.

8.2.1 General. The pre-incident plan shall identify and docu­ment hazardous materials recognized by the AHJ that present life safety challenges, operations challenges, or other chal­lenges to emergency responders. Pre-incident plans for hazardous materials shall include the specifications of Sections 8.2.4 through

8.2.2* Transient Conditions. Where hazardous materials exist intermittently, the AHJ shall determine the need to identify and record relevant information for each hazard and the length of time the hazard is expected to be present.

8.2.3* Inventory. Where the storage or use of hazardous materials has been identified as a special hazard, the pre- incident plan shall include the anticipated maximum inventory and bulk storage locations.

8.2.4 Explosives. The use or storage of explosive materials in an occupancy shall require preplanning as determined by the AHJ. The presence, approximate amount, explosive class and division, and location of explosive materials shall be recor­ded in the pre-incident plan.* Materials that have the potential to explode upon exposure to fire, heat, and pressure shall be documented on the pre-incident plan. Isolation and evacuation distances based on the type and quantity of explosives within a facility shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

8.2.5* Flammable and Combustible Liquids. Where the AHJ has determined that a facility using, handling, or storing flam­mable and combustible liquids requires pre-incident planning, the following shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan:

  • * Drainage, such as the location where the flammable or combustible liquid will flow and collect if spilled
  • Secondary containment, such as the presence of, and capacity of, built-in secondary containment features for the collection of fire-fighting water and spilled product
  • * Specialized extinguishing agents, such as indicated product-specific requi remen ts

Toxic or Biological Agents.

  • The location and quantity of toxic or biological agents shall be documented in the pre-incident plan.
  • The impact of toxic or biological agents on neighbor­ing or downwind occupancies shall be evaluated.

Radioactive Materials.

  • The location and type of radioactive materials and radiation-producing devices shall be recorded in the pre- incident plan.

Reactive Chemicals and Materials.

  • Reactive chemicals and materials shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.
  • Isolation and evacuation distances, based on the type and quantity of reactive chemical and material within a facility, shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

Combustible Dusts.

Operations that generate, collect, or store combustible dusts shall be recorded in the pre-incident plan.

8.2.10* Special Atmospheres. Any area of an occupancy that contains rooms or equipment storing or using special gases or vapors that can present a hazard to the emergency responders shall be identified in the pre-incident plan. The pre-incident plan shall identify special agents or procedures for emergency response to hazardous material (e.g., metal dusts and water reactive metals).

Vacant and Abandoned Structures.

  • Temporary Conditions. Where vacant and abandoned structures exist temporarily, the AHJ shall determine the need to identify and record relevant information for each hazard and the length of time the hazard is expected to be present.
  • Physical and Site Considerations. In addition to the building characteristics identified in Chapter 5, the following details shall be considered as part of the pre-incident plan for vacant and abandoned structures:
    • Last known type of occupancy
    • Open shafts
    • Pits and holes due to removal of equipment
    • Structural degradation due to weather and vandalism
    • Exposed structural members
    • Penetrations in barriers such as walls, floors, and ceilings that allow abnormal fire travel
    • Combustible contents
    • Maze-like configuration
    • Blocked, damaged, or missing stairs
  • Potential Hazards. The following potential hazards shall be considered as part of the pre-incident plan for vacant and abandoned structures:
    • Unstable structure
    • Fall and trip hazards
    • Standing water in basement
    • Vermin
    • Unexpected occupancy
    • Ongoing criminal activity
    • Rapid fire growth potential
    • Status of utilities (e.g., active, inactive, unknown)
    • Holes and penetrations in floors, walls, and roofs
    • Fire escape access
    • Maze-like configuration
    • Previous fires in building
    • Unsecured structure

8.3.5* Structure Markings. The presence of structural mark­ings shall be noted in the pre-incident plan.

  • Buildings Under Construction.
  • A pre-incident plan shall be developed for buildings under construction as determined by the AHJ.
  • Temporary Conditions.* Where construction features exist temporarily, the AHJ shall determine the need to identify and record relevant information for the following:

  • Each hazard present
  • Length of time the hazard is expected to be present approach; planning; reviewing; training; and evaluating. Pre- incident plans within a jurisdiction should he similar in style, procedures, and content to maximize effectiveness and to reduce the time required to familiarize responding forces with the pre-incident plan.

Emergency response programs are planned; emergencies are not. The best time to learn about an occupancy is before the incident.

A.4.1.2 The pre-incident plan developer should be able to prepare a pre-incident survey, given the necessary forms and tools, so that all necessary occupancy information is recorded, items of concern are noted, and accurate sketches or diagrams are prepared.

Requisite Knowledge: Familiarity with sources of water supply for fire protection; fundamentals of fire suppression and detec­tion systems; common symbols used in diagramming construc­tion features, utilities, hazards, and fire protection systems; departmental requirements for a pre-incident survey and form completion; and importance of accurate diagrams.

Requisite Skills: Ability to identify the components of fire suppression and detection systems; sketch the site, buildings, and special features; detect hazards and special considerations to include in the pre-incident plan; and complete all related departmental forms.

Agencies and organizations, other than the fire department, might need different knowledge and skills to complete pre- incident plans that are applicable to their disciplines.

A.4.1.5 The pre-incident plan will be most effective when coordinated with an incident management system, such as the one presented in NFPA 1561.

A.4.1.6 The pre-incident plan developer should determine the average and maximum response time of each responding agency, including, but not limited to, fire department, emer­gency medical services, law enforcement, hazardous materials response, and rescue service. The evaluation should seek to determine whether the responding agency’s equipment, personnel, and training enable the agency to effectively manage an incident at the site or facility.

A.4.1.8 The pre-incident planning process should begin during the construction design process of the proposed facility to identify emergency responders’ concerns. The pre-incident planning process should allow for revisions to the pre-incident plan during different phases of construction. Design professio­nals should submit construction documents to identify data for inclusion in the pre-incident plan.

A.4.2.2 During a site visit, the pre-incident plan developer(s) should abide by all applicable safety and health procedures, which can include, but are not limited to, fall protection, confined space entry, personal protective equipment (PPE) and restricted access.

A.4.3 Pre-incident plan data includes quantitative and qualita­tive information about the facility (such as physical site, opera­tion features, personnel, and protection features).

A.4.3.1 Effective pre-incident plans of simple sites or facilities or a pre-incident plan with simple objectives can be developed with minimal amounts of data. Additional data are required for pre-incident plans for more complex sites or facilities, facilities with more numerous potential hazards, pre-incident plans with more complex objectives, or potential incidents with greater risks. Data that might be useful should be collected with the understanding that it can be filtered out later if not needed in the final pre-incident plan. If a pre-incident plan developer intends to prepare a single pre-incident plan, the requirements provided in Chapters 1 through 10 and the information in Annex C can be followed to aid in determining the types of data that could be needed. Alternatively, data collection forms can be developed to aid in the efficient and consistent collec­tion of data for pre-incident plan development. Sample data collection forms are provided in Annex D.

It is helpful to understand the intended audience for the final pre-incident plan and to obtain consensus regarding the information that is needed and the threshold of information that the pre-incident plan user can effectively utilize once an incident has occurred. These considerations should govern the scope of the data collection effort.

A. The sources of data should include fire protection engineers, sprinkler and fire alarm contractors, building archi­tects or engineers, building officials, water authorities, facility information experts, and insurance professionals. The collec­tion of data could be limited by several factors, such as available resources, time, proprietary information, and privacy concerns. It will be necessary for the pre-incident plan developer to deter­mine which data will be most critical and to prioritize the data collection effort to obtain the largest data sets given the estab­lished constraints.

Historical data on similar occupancies/events involved in emergencies should be reviewed for items that could cause problems in the structure or venue being surveyed.

A. For this effort, it is critical that the pre-incident plan developer and user(s) interact. An overabundance of informa­tion can be as detrimental to a pre-incident plan user as a lack of information if the user cannot easily distinguish critical information. Additionally, the specifics of any particular inci­dent cannot be exhaustively anticipated. Therefore, the pre- incident plan should not attempt to perform incident command or management functions (e.g., placing apparatus, specifying attack strategies), although this could be desirable in certain instances.

A.4.4 A successful strategy for pre-incident plan development is an incremental process where simple pre-incident plans are developed and issued (in lieu of having none) and subse­quently revised and enhanced. As an example, a local munici­pality could prepare simple pre-incident plans for all of the hospitals in its community for a given resource expenditure. As additional resources become available, the pre-incident plans for all of the hospitals can be brought up to another level. This method might be preferable to expending all of the available resources to prepare a complex and comprehensive pre- incident plan for one hospital while leaving the other hospitals without any pre-incident plan.

Annex D provides an example of a pre-incident plan field collection card and a completed pre-incident plan facility data record. Consideration should be given to interoperability with other emergency services organizations (ESOs).

A.4.4.2 The pre-incident plan document should be consistent and concise. Three manageable levels of building intelligence should be considered for a pre-incident plan.

Certain processes might require electrical power to operate properly. Disconnect could cause the shutdown of agitators or other safety equipment that could result in an uncontrolled reaction. Disconnect or loss of power in certain medical facili­ties, such as those with ventilator-dependent patients, might require first responders to provide manual medical interven­tion to keep patients stabilized.

A. Electric utility rooms might consist of electrical distribution centers, motor control centers, utility service inter­face, or rectifier or inverter equipment (ac/dc).

A. Alternative energy sources should be documented in the pre-incident plan in order to identify potentially hazardous exposure to energized electrical sources. All sources of alterna­tive electrical energy should be identified. The location of control circuitry, disconnection methods, lock out procedures, and isolation methods should be documented. Any special tools, information, responder training, and on-site contacts able to assist with rendering these systems safe should be contained in the planning documents. The location and method of storing the electrical energy produced should be documented. The location of the inverter system for converting the dc current to ac current should be identified. System voltages (dc and ac) should be documented.

A. Examples of emergency power supply (EPS) that should be recorded include, but are not limited to, generators, batteries, uninterruptible power supply systems, stored energy, and other sources.

A. All gases and gaseous mixtures should be noted and quantities recorded. Peak inventories should be noted. Be aware of incompatible gas storage. Special consideration should be given to any equipment or processes that might pose a hazard if the compressed or liquefied gas supply is interrup­ted.

A. Steam pressure lines can vary from low pressure to high pressure.

A.5.3.3 Elevator information should include the following:

  • Number and location of cars or elevator banks, or both
  • Location of elevator machine rooms (machine rooms might be located remote from hoistways)
  • Floors served
  • Type (e.g., electric or hydraulic, passenger or freight, manual or automatic, service, stretcher accessible)
  • Restrictions
  • Location of emergency access key
  • Power lockout location
  • Emergency access to car (e.g., roof hatch, sidewall panel)
  • Overall height of elevator shafts
  • Blind shaft and access panels
  • Location of sky lobby
  • Access point into elevator pit rooms
  • Elevator recall
  • Fire-fighter service override
  • Eme rge ncy power

A. Some elevator lobbies are formed by activation of a power-operated sliding door by the fire alarm system. These doors have either a swinging door or a special release device to open the door to a predefined width [typically 81 cm (32 in.)]. Other types of operable elevator lobby separations are availa­ble.

A.5.4.1 Points of access might include the following:

  • Basement level of building
  • Main level of building
  • If needed, access to special areas/floors of building
  • Roof of building
  • Adjoining buildings that might provide a tactical strategic advantage by way of tunnels or sk)walks

A.5.4.2 Conditions that would hamper the access of respond­ing personnel include the following:

  • Bridge width or weight restrictions
  • Narrow rights-of-way
  • Roads subject to flooding, drifting snow, washout, or other blockage
  • Low overhead clearances, railroad grade crossings, and drawbridges
  • Security checkpoints and barriers
  • Speed control devices
  • Traffic

A.5.5 Security requirements are dynamic and can restrict access or egress to or from a facility. These measures can include various types of locking devices, access control features, and physical barriers. Some of these measures might be inter­locked with fire alarm systems, surveillance, and other opera­tional management systems.

Occupancies or facilities might also include extraordinary security measures or features that could delay response or evac­uation. Some security measures might change, based on an increase or decrease in threat levels as dictated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These types of facilities might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Jails and detention centers
  • Specialized wards in health care facilities
  • Large-scale data processing centers
  • Secure warehouses
  • Government installations
  • Public or mass transit (e.g., airports, ferry terminals, subways)
  • Power plants and transmission yards (e.g., nuclear power plants, electrical substations)
  • Bulk loading/unloading facilities with and without marine access
  • Precious metal processing

(10) High profile or landmark facilities

A. Data relating to surveillance systems can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Site plan showing exterior camera locations and angles of view
  • Floor plan showing interior camera locations and angles of view
  • Locations where surveillance camera images can be viewed
  • Remote and wireless access to surveillance systems includ­ing URL/IP address and login credentials

A.5.5.2 Contact information should be obtained for the person (s) responsible for the security animals.

A. The following are examples of intruder security systems:

  • Mantraps
  • Motion detection tors, or other areas or devices that could result in exposure to responders.

A.8.2.8 Many chemicals can produce an adverse reaction if contaminated or mixed with other materials. Chemicals could also undergo a chemical reaction when exposed to elevated temperatures as in a fire and have the potential for buildup of pressure in containers and the generation of toxic by-products and heat.

Reactive chemicals that require cooling, for example, in a refrigerated warehouse, should also be noted, because it is likely that power could be interrupted during an emergency. Plan for any chemical processes that could become hazardous if interrupted or left unattended (e.g., during the building evacuation).

Materials that react upon exposure to air or water should also be documented on the pre-incident plan. Include informa­tion about any secondary containment to prevent exposure to hazardous conditions.

A.8.2.9 Combustible dust can accumulate on any upward- facing surface. Fine dusts can even cling to vertical surfaces. A large amount of combustible dust often accumulates overhead on structural components or other surfaces where it is hard to notice or clean. Historically, these dust accumulations are asso­ciated with cascading secondary explosions that lead to major or total facility loss. The following standards provide guidance on combustible dusts:

  • NFPA654
  • NFPA 655
  • NFPA 664
  • NFPA 61
  • NFPA 484

The following fire-fighting operations can inadvertently increase the chance of a combustible dust explosion:

  • Tactics that cause dust clouds to form or reach the explo­sive range
  • Tactics that introduce air, creating an explosive atmos­phere
  • Application of incorrect or incompatible extinguishing agents
  • Use of equipment or tools that can become an ignition source

OSHA 3644-04, “Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust,” can be referenced for additional guidance and operational considerations.

A.8.2.10 Examples of places that might contain hazardous atmospheres include the following:

  • Confined spaces
  • Inert atmospheres
  • Ripening facilities
  • Special equipment treating atmospheres
  • Fumigation chambers or active fumigation operation fire- fighting
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) quench gases

A.8.3.1 Vacant and abandoned buildings pose significant risk to responding emergency service delivery providers. These buildings have caused countless deaths and injuries to fire fighters who have responded to these locations for fires, gas leaks, or other emergencies. These facilities have many hidden dangers that must be recognized and preplanned by respond­ers prior to emergencies. These structures are subject to deteri­oration, primarily from lack of maintenance, and illegal entrance. Pre-incident planning should be performed on these properties to reduce risk to emergency responders. (See Section B.6.)

A.8.3.5 Useful information on marking can be found in the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System and the fire fighter safety building marking system (see Annex E in NFPA 1).

A. Prior to the installation of the sprinkler or standpipe system, there is a greater risk of fire spread and a greater danger to occupants. When a temporary sprinkler or standpipe system is installed and made operational this hazard is reduced. Hence, the AHJ may wish to identify the period of time the building is without a sprinkler or standpipe system in their pre- incident plan.

A.8.4.3 A great deal of information found in the pre-fire plan when developed in accordance with NFPA 241 can provide useful information for the pre-incident plan.

A.8.6.1 See Annex F of NFPA 502 for a typical emergency response plan that can be used as the basis of a pre-incident plan.

A.8.6.5 The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Adminis­tration (PHMSA) Safety Alert by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) provides guidance on elements that should be contained in a pre-incident plan.

A.9.1 Guidance on the development of all hazard emergency operations and post-incident recovery procedures can be found in state and local plans and many documents, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • NFPA 472
  • NFPA 473
  • NFPA 600
  • NFPA 1600
  • NFPA 1710
  • NFPA 1720
  • Notice FRL-5512-8, The National Response Team’s Integrated Con tingency Pre-incident Plan

The pre-incident plan should identify the emergency response resources’ availability and access. Documented agree­ments should be in place to ensure all organizations involved are committed to providing requested support.

Various national, state, and local laws define the roles, responsibilities, and authority of government agencies during specific emergency conditions. Some of these laws might also extend jurisdiction or responsibility to property owners or semi-government agencies. In order to provide for effective emergency operations, it is critical that a single incident action plan be developed and implemented. This action plan should be managed with an incident management system and, whether a unified or single command is utilized, the lines of authority and command should be clearly defined. In the event that competing action plans occur during an emergency, the action plan for the legally authorized agency should supersede all other action plans.

A.9.2 This information should be easily accessible to the responders and should include, but not be limited to, hydrant locations, direct and alternate routes, staging information, known hazardous chemicals or conditions, and site access.

A.9.3.1 The scope and intensity level of the required informa­tion flow between the facility staff and the incident commander will vary during various phases of the incident; however, infor­mation flow, including any actions taken by the members of both parties, should continue throughout the incident.

When a facility representative is not available, the pre- incident plan should address the means needed for rapid access to, and consultation with, a site representative until an on-site liaison can be established.

A.9.3.2 The pre-incident plan should not be developed with­out some basic understanding of the public emergency response resources that would probably be involved in mitigat­ing an on-site incident. The capabilities of those responders can have a significant impact on the pre-incident plan assump­tions and content. A pre-incident plan developed for a hazard­ous materials facility where a fully staffed Type I hazmat team is available within 10 minutes of an incident will probably look significantly different than a pre-incident plan for the same type of facility in a rural area where the closest hazmat team is four hours away from the facility.

A.9.3.6 Various other agencies or organizations might have legal authority at different intervals during an incident. It is important that these agencies and organization be notified of the incident, that their roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and understood, and that, as required by law, the agen­cies are given access or control of the incident.

An example would be where an incident occurs and an EMS response is dispatched to a person with burn injuries. Upon arrival, EMS finds the patient lias self-evacuated from a fire and calls for the fire department. The fire department arrives, takes command of the incident, and extinguishes the fire. The fire department then requests a law enforcement agency to investi­gate the cause of the fire. The law enforcement agency deter­mines the fire was caused by arson and takes control of the incident. Once the law enforcement agency completes its inves­tigation, the building department is notified to determine how much structural damage has occurred and if the building is habitable. In this example, four different government agencies had legal authority at different phases of the emergency. To protect members of the public and investigate the fire, each agency collaborated within its authority and the transition between agencies was critical to the protection of public safety.

  1. 2.1 Significant changes can include impairments to fire protection systems and devices, including, but not limited to, fire hydrants, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, and smoke management systems when they are taken out of service for repairs or maintenance. While some repairs or mainte­nance might be completed in a short period of time, others might involve several days or weeks, depending on the scope of the maintenance or repairs and availability of parts.

Annex B Case Histories

This annex is not a part of the requirements of this NFPA document but is included for informational purposes only.

  1. l Office/Commercial High Rise, Quebec, 1986. The build­ing was a fire-resistive, 15-story high rise with stores on the base­ment and floor levels 1 and 2, parking garage space on floor levels 3 through 5, and offices on the floor levels above. There were three high-rise towers built on the commercial/parking garage plaza. The fire broke out at approximately 5:15 p.m. on a Sunday on the tenth floor of the east office tower. The tower was quickly evacuated. The fire spread and burned for 13 hours, causing a portion of one floor to collapse, and resul­ted in heavy fire damage on the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and sixteenth floors (note — there was no numbered thirteenth floor) because fire fighters were unable to get enough water. The fire was eventually controlled utilizing “flying standpipes” off ladder trucks, ladder pipes (which had difficulty reaching the upper floors), and portable master streams from adjacent towers. There was great difficulty applying water to the top floor. The damage to the structure and contents was estimated at $80 million (Canadian).

Several Siamese connections were installed around the complex. The Siamese connections were identified as to the type of suppression system that each supplied, but not the specific location that the suppression system supplied. Fire fighters did not connect to the Siamese connection for the standpipe system because the connection was labeled “sprin­kler system.” Sprinklers were provided to the commercial floors of the building, but not to the offices located above. Fire fight­ers pressurized the connection that was labeled “standpipe system,” but this connection actually supplied the sprinklers on the lower floors. Continued requests from the fire area for more pressure resulted in fire fighters overpressurizing what was actually the sprinkler system Siamese, resulting in pipe fail­ures in the commercial area that caused significant damage in that area, which was unaffected by the fire. Following the fire, investigators also found a partially closed valve in the standpipe supply line.

The fire department was held liable by the Quebec Superior Court for 25 percent of the damages to the building, which was reported to be $51 million (Canadian). The court chastised the fire department for failing to have an updated fire prevention plan for the facility that would have identified locations of standpipes and pumps that were improperly used or not used on the night of the fire. Five fire fighters were injured fighting this fire.

B.2 Warehouse Fire, West Virginia, 2017. The warehouse — an approximately 39,019 nr (420,000 ft2) building comprising many smaller warehouses, both new and old, renovated to form a single building — was responsible for storing various materi­als used in the manufacturing of plastics. There were many areas where two smaller buildings had been combined simply by closing up the space separating the two. Shortly after midnight on October 21, a fire broke out in an unknown loca­tion of a warehouse. The thick, black smoke covering the area began to impact the local communities almost immediately and could be smelled more than 160 km (100 mi) away. Local resi­dents were instructed to shut down their HVAC systems, close all windows and doors, and shelter-in-place for fear of potential health risks associated with the smoke and falling parti­cles. This resulted in the closing of schools and the cancelation of community events, and even sparked a local valet service to hand out free filtration masks to the public. The amount of calls from concerned citizens reporting a smell of smoke forced 911 dispatchers to require callers to report actually seeing flames before they would dispatch fire units.

Fire fighters were met with problems early on, such as access restrictions from outside storage, an insufficient water supply to control the large volume of fire, and a lack of knowledge of what the warehouse contained. There were also questions as to whether the building’s fire suppression systems were operating correctly. The SDS sheets provided to fire fighters by company representatives were outdated and did not provide an accurate picture of what was inside; additionally, the company was also noncompliant with a law requiring it to submit an annual Tier II hazardous materials inventory list to multiple government agencies, including the local fire department. As a result, all documents that accurately reflected the building’s inventory and its specifics at the time of the incident were lost in the fire. Though the fire was controlled within the first day, the fire burned for eight days overall and was declared an emergency disaster by the governor of West Virginia.

At the time of the incident, the last reported fire inspection conducted by the West Virginia Fire Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety was conducted in 2008, almost a decade prior, after two local volunteer fire chiefs filed letters of concern to the state fire marshal addressing their concerns about the facility, such as the lack of an adequate water supply, the lack of access to portions of the building and fire protec­tion equipment, the lack of adequate sprinkler protection in various portions of the building, and the arrangement of stor­age that could jeopardize the safety of fire fighters.

The lack of established building codes paired with poor fire code enforcement resulted in a devastating fire that impacted the entire community and cost local and state governments millions. The lack of pre-incident planning information, such as accurate SDS sheets and a plan for accessing alternative water sources, forced fire fighters from over 30 different fire departments to control and extinguish a fire for which they were not properly prepared.

B.3 Ten Fire Fighter Fatalities at Fertilizer Plant, Texas, 2013.

The incident involved a 1115 m2 (12,000 ft2) fertilizer plant built in the 1960s with multiple additions to the building throughout the years following. The building did not have any fire suppression systems installed and was primarily constructed of wood and metal silos that stored, mixed, and sold various agricultural products used by the farming community. It also stored a large amount of hazardous materials — both raw and mixed — that were used to enhance farmers’ crops, such as anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate. Because it was planting season, the plant was maintaining an inventory of these hazardous materials in the thousands. On April 17, ten fire fighters and five civilians were killed when it exploded. In addition to those killed, five fire fighters were also injured in the blast.

Initial calls to the county’s 911 center of visible smoke coming from the structure began at around 7:29 p.m., with the first fire department unit arriving on the scene 10 minutes later. Fire fighters found visible flames coming from the sliding doors of the seed room. Crews immediately initiated fire suppression operations as additional personnel were arriving on-scene in other fire apparatus and personally owned vehi­cles. Despite their efforts, fire fighters quickly realized the fire was gaining in intensity, likely due to wind. They also did not have a water supply established yet, so fire attack efforts were being supplied solely by tank water. The second arriving engine company dropped a 100 mm (4 in.) supply line from the clos­est hydrant, but they did not have enough hose to stretch the 488 m (1600 ft) from the hydrant to the attack engine. This resulted in fire fighters having to halt their suppression opera­tions in an effort to establish a water supply through the use of the supply hose from their attack engine.

It was reported that a discussion was held between the fire chief, assistant chief, and a fire fighter who also worked as a manager of the facility as the incident was occurring. The chiefs were concerned that ammonium nitrate stored inside the building could explode and recommended that the fire fighters be pulled back farther from the structure. However, the fire fighter told them that the burning fertilizer would not explode. Approximately 12 minutes after the first engine company’s arrival, the 36,288 to 54,431 kg (40 to 60 tons) of ammonium nitrate stored next to the seed room exploded. The explosion decimated the building, left a crater that meas­ured 28 m (93 ft) in diameter and 3 m (10 ft) deep, and regis­tered as a small-scale earthquake on the Richter scale. Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire.

Many factors contributed to this tragedy, including the fire department’s lack of a formal pre-incident planning program established at the time of the explosion as well as a lack of formal training on how to respond to incidents involving ammonium nitrate. The lack of an adequate water supply within close proximity to the structure was also a problem. Had a pre-incident plan been in place to assist in organizing fire- ground efforts and facilitating the laying of supply lines early into the incident, fire fighters might have identified the hazards and established a water supply sooner.

B.4 Nine Fire Fighter Fatalities at Furniture Store, South Caro­lina, 2007. The 38 m x 38 m (125 ft x 125 ft) furniture store was originally a grocery store in the 1960s. The structure consis­ted of masonry walls with a flat metal roof supported by steel bar joists and large glass windows lining the storefront. Over time, the showroom in the main building was expanded with the construction of a 18 m x 37 m (60 ft x 120 ft) pre- engineered metal building on each end, a 37 m x 40 m (120 ft x 130 ft) warehouse was added in the rear, and a 204 m2 (2200 ft2) loading dock area that connected the warehouse to the main building was constructed. The building did not origi­nally meet the requirements to be sprinklered, however the additions to the loading dock area without permits along with the installation of unprotected openings and separation walls that were not fire rated changed that. Since permits were never obtained for the changes, the requirement for sprinklers was never enforced.

On June 18, nine fire fighters were killed in the line of duty after being overrun by a rapidly progressing fire in the building that produced an enormous amount of heat. The fire origina­ted in the trash on the exterior of the loading dock. The flames then traveled up the wall and into the loading dock’s attic space. An employee attempted to extinguish the fire, but stopped once the smoke conditions intensified and he heard one of the roll-up fire doors close. As the fire intensified, initial investigations into the store’s showroom revealed no signs of any smoke or flame. When a fire fighter opened the door lead­ing to the loading dock, the massive rush of fresh air leaving the showroom area sucked the door out of the hands of the fire fighter, but it was quickly closed by another fire fighter. Fire fighters took defensive positions inside the showroom at the doorway and believed they were protected by the masonry block fire wall. They were unaware of the penetrations that were made through the wall over time that allowed the smoke and heat to travel throughout the void overhead between the acoustical ceiling and the roof. The heat intensified signifi­cantly due to the burning furniture in the loading dock area that eventually began banking down into the showroom. Fire fighters became disoriented as visibility was reduced to zero;

they attempted to transmit distress signals over the radio, but the heat was too intense for those outside to attempt a rescue.

A pre-incident plan of the building had been conducted multiple times throughout the years. However, it was not re­ferred to until late into the incident. The magnitude of the fire load and the dangers of the building’s construction were also not communicated adequately within the document. Though walkthroughs were conducted by fire crews in the past, proper life-saving fire code enforcement had not occurred since 1998.

B.5 Church Roof Collapse, Indiana, 2011. On June 15, an Indiana fire fighter was killed by a structural roof collapse while fighting a working fire in a church. Reports of heavy smoke coming from the roof of a church began pouring in to the local dispatch center at around 3:49 p.m. Though there were many 911 calls reporting the incident, no one was able to provide the dispatchers with an actual address, which meant fire fighters had to search a wide general area for the fire. Eight minutes after the initial call, the first fire department unit arrived on-scene to find visible smoke and flames coming from a 390 m2 (4200 ft2) church built on a concrete slab and constructed of a wood frame and veneer masonry walls.

Smoke and flames became increasingly apparent to fire fighters operating on the exterior of the structure, but interior crews experienced only light smoke conditions. Because of the church sanctuary’s open design and elevated ceilings, the fire intensified within the attic space while fire fighters struggled to gain access to it. Once fire fighters were able to open the ceil­ing, they realized the extent of the fire progression and prepared for retreat. It was at this time that the roof began to collapse, forcing a significant amount of smoke, heat, and debris onto the fire fighters below. As the roof collapse began, fire fighters aided each other as they scrambled to exit. Fire fighters desperately searched in zero visibility for any window or doorway through which they could escape. All exiting fire fighters immediately reported to the command post, where it was determined that one fire fighter was missing. Though addi­tional arriving companies were tasked with search and rescue, the complete collapse of the roof made efforts impossible. The fire fighter was located in the structure by a news helicopter almost one hour after he went down.

Proper pre-incident planning had not been conducted for this structure, so its layout and design were not readily known to incident commanders during the incident. The structure was also located in a rural area with no fire hydrants within the vicinity, a problem that was not identified until after initial units had arrived on-scene and started mutual aid units for water tenders. A pre-incident plan could have identified this problem sooner and resulted in responders starting water tenders sooner. A neighbor of the church also called 911 advis­ing them of a pond available on her property for use as a water source. The pre-incident plan also could have identified such alternative water supplies within the area and planned for their use.

B.6 Six Fire Fighter Fatalities, Cold Storage and Warehouse Building, Massachusetts, 1999. The structure was a six-story cold storage and warehouse that had been vacant since 1991. The original building was constructed in 1905, and 7 years later (1912), another building was constructed on the western side. The exterior walls were constructed of brick, while the interior walls were covered with asphalt-impregnated cork (6 in. to 18 in., depending on the floor level), 4 in. of polystyrene or foam glass, or both, and a thin layer of glass board. The floor­ing was wooden, except for the flooring in the basement and on the first and second floors, which was concrete. The joists consisted of heavy timbers. Two stairwells were present; one was located on the B side of the building and extended from the basement to the flat roof, and the other was located on the C side and extended to the third floor only. The building was essentially windowless, and although a few windows were present, they were covered with plywood. The building entran­ces and exits were secured by plywood, but homeless people had gained access to the building and established living quar­ters.

An off

Five minutes after dispatch, the incident commander radi­oed the dispatch center and requested any available building information, but no information was ever found or received. Due to the lack of pre-fire planning and inspection, and the lack of building plans/drawings, confusion existed among the fire fighters as to the configuration and number of floors contained within the building.

B.7 Three Fire Fighter Fatalities, Auto Parts Store, Oregon, 2002. The building involved was built in 1938, was approxi­mately 13,520 ft2, and was of Type IV heavy timber construc­tion. The nonsprinklered building had numerous modifications, which included the addition of a warehouse and a mezzanine. Inspections of the building had been completed by the fire department prior to the incident; however, no pre- emergency plans were ever developed.

There was a delayed notification of the fire department while occupants investigated a burning odor. Fire fighters advancing attack lines found fire in the rafters. Roof stability deteriorated, and the IC called for an evacuation; however, five fire fighters were still operating in the building when the roof collapsed. Two fire fighters were able to escape; however, three were trapped. One fire fighter was able to be removed while conditions deteriorated further but was later pronounced dead. It took fire fighters approximately 2 hours to control the fire before they could re-enter the building to locate the remaining two fire fighters, who were pronounced dead on the scene.

B.8 Fire Fighter Fatality, Restaurant/Lounge, Missouri, 2004.

The building was a one story, nonsprinklered commercial restaurant/lounge that was constructed of sheet metal walls and roof over wood frame and lightweight wood trusses. The interior ceiling was metal decking attached to the bottom of the trusses, suspended from the bottom chord. The building- was approximately 5000 ft2, built in 1995. None of the respond­ing departments had inspected the building or developed a pre-incident plan.

The initial alarm was dispatched at 1331 hours for five units from three separate departments for a structure fire. The victim, providing mutual aid, had been searching for the seat of the fire with two volunteer fire fighters from another depart­ment when one of these fire fighters lost the seal on his SCBA face piece. The fire fighter immediately abandoned the nozzle position and retreated out of the closest door. The backup fire fighter also retreated out of the building when his partner left. In black smoke and zero visibility, the fire fighters were unaware that the victim was still inside the structure. Soon after, the incident commander ordered an emergency evacua­tion because of an imminent roof collapse. Personnel account­ing indicated that a missing fire fighter was still inside the building when the roof partially collapsed. After several search attempts, the victim was found in a face-down position with his mask and a thermal imaging camera cable entangled in a chair. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In this case, the metal building, roof and ceiling, and light­weight wood roof truss construction created a dangerous fire environment conducive to early structural collapse. Concealed spaces above suspended ceilings allow flame spread to go unde­tected. The presence of concealed spaces can be noted in pre- incident visits and referenced. Also, a pre-incident inspection provides an opportunity to test radio transmission capabilities. In this case, it is unknown whether the metal building inter­fered with communications to the victim’s designated radio channel. It was not tested before the building was razed. NFPA 1620 addresses the need for testing communications and interference of radio coverage during the pre-incident plan­ning process.

B.9 Major Oil Depot Fire, England, 2005. In the early hours of Sunday, December 11, 2005, a number of explosions occur­red at Buncefield Oil Storage Depot, Hemel Hempstead, Hert­fordshire. At least one of the initial explosions was of massive proportions, and there was a large fire, which engulfed a high proportion of the site. Over 40 people were injured; fortu­nately, there were no fatalities. Significant damage occurred to both commercial and residential properties in the vicinity, and a large area around the site was evacuated on emergency serv­ice advice. The fire burned for several days, destroying most of the site and emitting large clouds of black smoke into the atmosphere. The fire fighting required a national response, with a total of 32 fire and rescue services attending in some capacity. In total, 786,000 L of foam were used to extinguish the fire in 22 tanks. Insufficient guidance was available to primary responders on a number of critical early issues, such as how to assess the impact of the smoke plume on air quality. Decisions on whether to fight the fire or to allow it to burn out in a controlled fashion depend on the availability of such assessments. The incident exceeded the worst-case planned scenario, which was a single tank fire, and the water supply lagoons on the facility were rendered useless by the incident. Following the incident, it was determined that the main water supply lagoon might not have had adequate capacity for fire fighting during summer months.

A special investigative board established by the British government recommended, among other things: Where opera­tors depend on local services (e.g., the local fire and rescue service) to provide alternative resources, they need to consult the local provider to identify any limitations on the availability of services. Any such limitations should be considered and addressed within the site’s emergency planning arrangements, local authorities should review their off-site emergency response plans, and, in the case of fuel storage sites, take account of explosions and multi-tank fire scenarios; and facili­ties should work in conjunction with neighboring local authori­ties in developing their off-site emergency plans and involve these authorities in training and in emergency exercises.

B.10 Paint Manufacturing Facility Fire, North Carolina, 2007.

In October 2007, fire units responded to a fire alarm at a paint manufacturing facility. The department’s hazmat team had just conducted a preplan at that facility the previous week. Shortly after arriving on-scene, the incident commander requested additional resources, including the hazmat team, due to an explosion at the facility. The product involved was nitrocellu­lose, a DOT Class 4 flammable solid.

The first arriving companies attempted to gather informa­tion by looking the product up in the emergency response guide, but were frustrated by the fact that there were six differ­ent entries for nitrocellulose. Due to the knowledge gained in the preplanning process, the hazardous materials unit was able to tell the companies exactly which entry to use until the hazmat team arrived. The hazardous materials team also knew the exact location of the product in the facility and the location of the deluge valve to turn off the suppression system.

Because of the preplanning process, responding personnel had information on the product, its location, and the location of pertinent fire protection systems without having to send a team into the hazard zone and without having to wait for a property representative to arrive on-scene. Company officials were impressed with the fire department’s knowledge base and the speed with which the incident was mitigated. While the incident could have been mitigated without a preplan, it certainly made the operation much faster and, more impor­tantly, much safer.

B.ll Nursing Facility Fire, Florida, 2008. On the morning of March 29, 2008, fire units responded to an elder care/skilled nursing facility less than 1 mile from fire station #2. The first due company, Engine 2, had done a pre-incident plan for the four-story building. The fire was reported to be in the laundry room area, which was in a difficult-to-access area of the facility. Using the pre-incident plan information, the company officer was able to direct the other responding units to the most appropriate location and establish the best course of action for the incident prior to first unit on-scene.

The fire attack was quickly handled and ventilation properly established in such a fashion to prevent having to remove any of the elderly inhabitants. As planned, a company was sent to the upper floors to quickly determine if the smoke had accessed the resident floors and, finding none, the defend-in- place option was chosen, maintaining personnel on the floors to monitor for any situational change. The pre-incident plan­ning process required the company officer to anticipate fire scenarios and apply department SOGs. This very process provi­ded the basis for a successful approach and outcome for a large group of vulnerable citizens.

  • Dialysis units
  • Imaging facilities
  • Pediatric populations

C.4 Detention and Correctional Occupancies.

C.4.1 Administration. Pre-incident planning in a detention and correctional occupancy should involve not only emergency responders but detention and correctional facility administra­tors, section or department supervisors, the maintenance direc­tor or building engineer (s), and other staff members.

C.4.2 Pre-Incident Planning Process.

C.4.2.1 The information in the detention and correctional facility’s fire or disaster plan should be incorporated into the pre-incident plan.

C.4.2.2 The pre-incident plan should address the level of security provided in a facility and the restrictions under which the emergency responders will be operating.

C.4.2.3 The following issues should be understood and considered in the development of the pre-incident plan:

  • The site or facility’s buildings, or both, will be secured; therefore, access will be delayed.
  • Exiting a facility or site will also be delayed.
  • Facility staff could limit access of responding personnel to the site or a building to ensure the safety of the respond­ing personnel.

C.4.2.4 Inmate/Staff Relations. Movement of inmates is an issue that requires consideration, therefore planning should include developing a close working relationship with the facility staff.

C.4.3 Physical Elements and Site Considerations. Facilities can be small, stand-alone buildings or can be located as part of another occupancy (e.g., in high-rise buildings, on campus- style sites). Large facilities on large sites can contain numerous occupancies in addition to the resident housing and adminis­tration buildings. Such facilities can include assembly occupan­cies such as gymnasiums, industrial occupancies used in the production of furniture or other commodities, warehouse occupancies, and health care occupancies. Each occupancy can have different levels of security or use conditions. Different areas within a given facility could have different use conditions.

The use condition of a facility or area within a facility dictates the life safety features that have been provided in the facility. The level of restraint will fall into one of the classifica­tions defined in NFPA 101.

C.4.3.1 Access. The pre-incident plan should reference the security measures necessary to enter a site or facility. Large facilities can require access through sally ports.

C.4.3.2 Construction. The location of fire and smoke barriers should be noted on the pre-incident plan. Detention and correctional facilities are designed with construction features to compartmentalize a fire within the enclosure or area of origin.

C.4.3.3 Building Services. The plan should address the decision-making process for shutting off any utilities. Evacua­tion of a detention and correctional facility is not always practi­cal or necessary. Shutting off building utilities can be detrimental to the residents’ safety and health. Detention and correctional facilities can be located in buildings of different occupancies.

C.4.4 Occupant Considerations. The pre-incident plan should address a process for identifying the maximum number of residents, staff members, or visitors within smoke zones.

C.4.4.1 Level of Restraint. The level of restraint of the resi­dents will vary between facilities, as well as between different areas within a facility. Inmates, in most cases, will not automati­cally be released outside the secured boundaries (the bounda­ries being within a building or site).

C.4.4.2 Data. The pre-incident plan should incorporate appropriate data from the facility emergency action plan.

C.4.4.3 Evacuation Procedures. The location of the smoke zones and areas of refuge should be emphasized in the pre- incident plan. Due to the security measures imposed on the residents in a detention and correctional facility, the construc­tion features of the facility have been designed to minimize the probability that a fire would require the movement of occu­pants. The building standards for detention and correctional facilities recognize that movement of residents is difficult, not only due to security measures imposed on the residents, but also due to the potential impact imposed on others by the movement of residents. Fire and products of combustion or contaminant barriers have been designed in detention and correctional facilities that are intended to allow residents to remain in place or provide for the horizontal movement of resi­dents to areas of refuge on a single floor, limiting residents’ exposure to any single fire. This philosophy is known as the defend-in-place concept. In order to achieve the successful outcome of a fire in a detention and correctional facility, the fire service must work closely with the facility staff throughout the incident. The working relationship should be stressed in the pre-incident plan. Detention and correctional facility staff are trained to evacuate residents, when necessary, to an adja­cent smoke zone through horizontal exits as the first level of evacuation.

C. The pre-incident plan should include relevant procedures and guidelines that could be needed if exterior evacuation of residents, outside of secured enclosures, becomes necessary.

C. In all cases, regardless of how far residents are moved in a fire incident, any movement of residents should be done under the direction of on-site staff.

C.4.5 Protection Systems and Water Supplies. The pre- incident plan should note the location of all fire department connections serving sprinkler systems or standpipe systems, or both, and the protection system each serves, because such connections can be remotely located away from the building served or outside of the secured site perimeter.

C.4.6 Special Hazards. Armory or munitions storage areas should be noted on the plan.

C.4.7 Emergency Operations. During an emergency opera­tion, the following special considerations should be kept in mind:

  • Any direct contact with inmates is to be avoided.
  • All equipment brought into a facility should be accoun­ted for, as any piece of equipment brought to the site by responding personnel can be used as a weapon.
  • In most cases, responding personnel will not be given keys to secured doors and will probably require escorting by facility staff.

C.5 Residential Occupancies.

C.5.1 Administration. Pre-incident planning in residential occupancies, such as hotels, motels, dormitories, apartment buildings, and lodging or rooming houses, should involve not only the emergency responders but administrators, owners, managers, the maintenance director or building engineer(s), and other staff members.

C.5.2 Physical Elements and Site Considerations. C.5.2.1 Construction.

C. Corridors and fire-resistive separation, or lack thereof, between guest rooms in transient occupancies should be noted in the pre-incident plan, and the pre-incident plan should include details on transoms, transfer grilles, and door closures.

C. Common attics, cocklofts, truss spaces, and other areas of potential concealed fire spread should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C.5.2.2 Building Services. Supplemental heating equipment, such as coal or wood stoves, should be noted in the pre- incident plan.

C.5.2.3 External Conditions.

C. The availability of a master key(s) and a list of doors that cannot be opened by the master key(s) should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C. Where the locking of any door impacts the accessi­bility of emergency responders, it should be noted in the pre- incident plan. During operating, and especially late-night, hours, exterior doors might be locked, preventing access to the building(s). Interior doors and stairwells might be locked to prevent movement within or between buildings.

C.5.3 Occupant Considerations.

C.5.3.1 Evacuation. Where means of egress or escape are considered inadequate, operational considerations necessary to effect evacuation should be included in the pre-incident plan.

C.5.3.2 Public Assembly Areas. Special attention should be paid to public assembly areas, including auditoriums, banquet halls, meeting rooms, theatrical stages, and so forth.

C.5.3.3 Hours of Operation. The pre-incident plan should include a process to identify occupant load by area of the build­ing^) and operating hours.

C.5.3.4 Occupant Load. The pre-incident plan should note whether the hotel management maintains a continual list of guests by room number at the front or registration desk.

C.5.3.5 Staffing. The pre-incident plan should identify those members of hotel management, supervisory staff, and other personnel who are responsible for building operations or who can assist in emergency operations, because the number of such personnel varies greatly according to the time of day.

C.5.3.6 Location of Occupants. The pre-incident plan should include information to help locate occupants needing assis­tance, which might or might not be available from the guest list in hotel occupancies.

C.5.4 Protection Systems and Water Supplies.

C.5.4.1 Type and Design. The type and design of automatic sprinkler systems should be noted in the pre-incident plan. In residential occupancies, systems designed in accordance with NFPA LSD or NFPA 13Rwill likely not have sprinklers in attics.

C.5.4.2 Design Area. The design area of automatic sprinkler applications and nonsprinklered areas should be noted.

C.5.4.3 Special Extinguishing Systems. The areas or hazards protected by special extinguishing systems and the operating procedures for those areas should be noted in the pre-incident plan. In hotel occupancies, special extinguishing systems might be installed in kitchens and might also be found in computer rooms.

C.5.5 Special Hazards. Special hazards, such as hotel or tenant storage areas, automobile parking, maintenance shops, kitchens, restaurants, retail outlets, exhibition halls, and mechanical rooms, should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C.6 Residential Board and Care Occupancies.

C.6.1 Administration. Pre-incident planning in a board and care occupancy should involve not only the emergency responders but managers, owners, the maintenance director or building engineer (s), and other staff members.

C.6.2 Occupant Considerations.

C.6.2.1 Evacuation Capability.

C. The pre-incident plan should note the evacuation capabilities of the residents.

C. Where evacuation capabilities are determined to be slow or impractical, the pre-incident plan should note any addi­tional required resources.

C.6.2.2 Number of Staff. The number of staff, according to time of day, their assigned locations within the facility, and whether they could be asleep at night, should be noted in the pre-incident plan. The number of staff who are responsible for residents will vary depending on time of day, size of the facility, and personal care needs of the residents.

C.6.2.3 Location of Occupants. The location of occupants needing assistance to evacuate should be noted in the pre- incident plan.

C.6.2.4 Means of Egress. The adequacy and arrangement of means of egress should be noted in the pre-incident plan. In addition to normal means of egress provisions, residential board and care facilities can include emergency escape routes consisting of exterior windows or doors.

C.6.3 Protection Systems and Water Supplies.

C.6.3.1 The type and design of automatic sprinkler systems should be noted in the pre-incident plan. In residential board and care occupancies, systems designed in accordance with NFPA 13D or NFPA 13Rwill likely not have sprinklers in attics.

C.6.3.2 The design area of automatic sprinkler applications and nonsprinklered areas should be noted.

C.6.4 Emergency Operations. The pre-incident plan should contain provisions for sheltering evacuated occupants with special needs.

C.7 Mercantile Occupancies.

C.7.1 Administration. Pre-incident planning in a mercantile occupancy should involve not only the emergency responders but administrators, section or department supervisors, the maintenance director or building engineer(s), and other staff members.

C.7.2 Physical Elements and Site Considerations. C.7.2.1 Construction.

C. The presence, location, and component ratings of fire walls, fire barriers, and smoke compartments, as well as the protection provided for any openings, should be noted on the pre-incident plan.

C. Specific items that should be noted on the pre- incident plan for strip mall shopping center occupancies or rows of attached mercantile occupancies include the following:

  • Common walls between occupancies
  • Common areas in cocklofts, attics, or basements
  • Breached fire barriers

C. Specific items that should be noted on the pre- incident plan where covered mall buildings have large, undivi­ded areas and unprotected openings between floors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Tenants that are open to the covered mall, adding to the size of the open areas
  • Protection provided at the entrances to anchor stores from the covered mall, including water curtains, fire barriers, or smoke barriers
  • Size and characteristics of the protection for the open­ings, along with reliability of the closing mechanism
  • Roof construction

C.7.3 Occupant Consideration. Information on the following characteristics should be noted on the pre-incident plan:

  • In multi-tenanted locations, variations in the hours of operation of the tenants
  • Any separate entrance and egress controls for tenants
  • Seasonal events, temporary kiosks, and special promo­tions in common areas that could affect occupant evacua­tion or the operations of emergency responders

C.7.4 Emergency Organization.

C.7.4.1 The expected effectiveness of mall or store managers, security, or on-site emergency services, if provided, should be included in the pre-incident plan.

C.7.4.2 Evacuations of multi-tenanted occupancies can be difficult to accomplish, and details of resources needed to complete an evacuation, including joint operations with the emergency organization, should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C.7.5 Protection Systems and Water Supplies. C.7.5.1 Hydrants.

C. The water supply for on-site hydrants, public or private, has the potential to be complex, particularly when multiple sources are involved, and details should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C. For private systems, an emergency contact familiar with the supply should be noted.

C.7.5.2 Automatic Sprinkler Systems. Details on the types of systems and their location, layout, and protected areas should be noted, because numerous risers and control valves often exist where multiple systems are located throughout large mercantile or multi-tenanted occupancies.

C.7.5.3 Standpipes. Interior hose line stretches within large mercantile occupancies can be extensive and should be noted.

C.7.5.4 Protective Signaling Systems. The presence of multi­ple fire alarm control panels and variations in areas of coverage and method of occupant notification within multi-tenanted occupancies should be noted on the pre-incident plan.

C.7.6 Special Hazards. Special hazards that should be noted include those associated with the following:

  • Stock areas
  • High-challenge commodities or hazardous materials such as aerosols, oxidizers, pesticides, and flammable or combustible liquids, with identification of incompatible materials such as oxidizers and petroleum products provi­ded
  • Warehouse store hazards typically found in large home improvement stores, large furniture stores, carpet outlets, and automobile tire distributors
  • Food courts or restaurants with commercial cooking equipment
  • Trash collection and compactor rooms
  • Seasonal events, temporary kiosks, and special promo­tions in common areas

C.8 Business Occupancies.

C.8.1 Administration. Pre-incident planning in general busi­ness offices; physician’s offices; outpatient clinics; college, instructional, and university classrooms under 50 persons; and government offices should involve not only responding person­nel but administrators, owners, managers, the maintenance director/building engineer (s), and other staff members.

C.8.2 Occupant Considerations.

C.8.2.1 Special attention should be paid to public assembly areas, including auditoriums, banquet halls, cafeterias, and conference or meeting rooms, that are common to business occupancies.

C.8.2.2 The pre-incident plan should include information to help locate occupants needing assistance.

C.8.2.3 Conditions that could affect rescue should be noted. These include, but are not limited to, high-rise construction, subterranean spaces, hours of operation, vehicle access, and crowd control.

C.8.3 Special Hazards.

C.8.3.1 Significant high hazard contents that might be stored in multiple areas throughout the building(s), including print shops, storage areas, file storage areas, automobile parking areas, maintenance shops, kitchens, and retail outlets, should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C.8.3.2 Storage of flammable/combustible liquids or flamma­ble gases in areas such as physician’s offices, outpatient clinics, biological/radiological areas, or instructional laboratories should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C.8.4 Emergency Operations. Open floor plan areas could be a maze of cubicles, so information should be recorded in the pre-incident plan to assist emergency responders in dealing with hazards in such areas during operations.

C.9 Industrial Occupancies.

C.9.1 Administration. Requests for information and other material related to pre-incident planning should be referred to the local facility management team, where appropriate.

C.9.2 Personnel. Pre-incident planning in an industrial occu­pancy should involve not only responding personnel but administrators, section or department supervisors, the mainte­nance director or building engineer(s), and other staff members. Within industrial occupancies, an established management team will often have the overall responsibility of operating a specific facility, including its environmental and safety functions. Personnel with knowledge of, or direct control over, industrial hygiene operations, emergency response teams, and pre-incident plant engineering will be assigned to this team. Much of the preliminary data gathering process and assignment of safety duties might already be established.

C.9.3 Pre-incident Planning Process. During the pre-incident planning process, pre-existing safety-related documentation, including documentation on the following, should be reviewed to enhance and expedite the development of the pre-incident plan itself:

  • Process hazard analysis
  • Confined space rescue pre-incident plans
  • Spill prevention control and countermeasure (SPCC) plans
  • Security vulnerability assessment (SVA)
  • National infrastructure protection plan (NIPP)
  • Integrated contingency plan (ICP)
  • Facility response plan (FRP)

C.9.4 Physical Elements and Site Considerations.

C.9.4.1 General. Pre-incident plans should address each of the following situations individually and note their criticality and the impact their loss would have on the entire facility:

  • Industrial occupancies that occupy a large tract of land with numerous site-specific hazards
  • Separate, stand-alone buildings that either provide physi­cal support functions (e.g., steam generation) or supply materials in various stages of development to other build­ings on site as part of overall processes (e.g., chemical reactor processes, raw material conveyor processes, general assembly operations)

C.9.4.2 Construction. The pre-incident plan should note the following features:

  • Buildings with walls or panels designed to relieve pressure in the event that an explosion occurs
  • Reactors and other process vessels that incorporate relief mechanisms into their design

C.9.4.3 Utilities. The pre-incident plan should address the decision-making process for shutting off utilities, because their interruption can have catastrophic consequences.

C.9.4.4 Access. The pre-incident plan should note operating features, such as the following, that can hinder access to a facility:

(1) Rack storage

  • Rolling stock
  • Railroad sidings
  • Trucking
  • Container storage
  • Automatic rack storage retrieval systems
  • Fences or caged-in areas (e.g., aerosols)
  • Furnaces (e.g., molten metal)
  • Plating operations (e.g., caustic or acidic solutions)

C.9.5 Occupant Considerations. The pre-incident plan should note the total number of people present at an industrial facility and indicate how that number varies, depending on time of day, time of year, and level of automation. Occupant load will vary with the operations conducted. Personnel might work in remote locations; for example, in outside buildings, overhead cranes, and boiler rooms.

C.9.5.1 The extent to which nonemployees (e.g., contractors, delivery personnel) are used should be noted.

C.9.5.2 If the facility has implemented an accountability system, the details of that system should be included in the pre- incident plan to assist emergency responders in carrying out their life safety priority actions.

C.9.5.3 Building pre-incident plans should be used to assist in evaluating the location and appropriateness of areas of refuge that utilize fire walls and other rated separation. Depending on the magnitude of the incident and the hazard potential, many large industrial facilities will not have a need for total evacua­tion due to compartmentation.

C.9.5.4 The pre-incident plan should be coordinated with the emergency action plan (EAP) for the facility because the EAP will typically detail the employee evacuation plan, designate the individuals responsible for various aspects of the plan, and detail the capabilities of the facility. Smaller facilities’ plans include total evacuation of the building. A local emergency contact can be listed, along with a designated meeting area for personnel to gather after an evacuation. Larger facilities’ plans might identify an emergency response team that has responsi­bility for controlling an incident until responding personnel arrive. Other sections of the EAP could note the availability of subject matter experts, authorized personnel, procedures for shutting down processes, and procedures to follow in the event of civil disturbances.

C.9.5.5 The pre-incident plan should provide details of the time involved in shutting down a process, because some processes require manual shutdown procedures, and decisions have to be made by the emergency responders regarding the evacuation of the process operators.

Some processes can require an extended period of time for proper shutdown. When the shutdown procedures are performed manually, depending on the location of the emer­gency incident, such a shutdown could expose the process operators to potentially hazardous conditions from the surrounding area.

C.9.5.6 If special arrangements for personnel evacuation are necessary due to the location or physical challenges of the personnel, the pre-incident plan should document those arrangements, including considerations for alternative means of evacuation or rescue.

Personnel could be located in overhead cranes, on upper floors of a multiple-story building, or in critical control centers where standard means of evacuation might not be applicable.

C.9.6 Protection Systems and Water Supplies. Where a facility utilizes a wide variety of fire and special protection systems that can be very complex, the pre-incident plan should note the type, location, and coverage of each system. Special protection systems include explosion suppression systems, local applica­tion and total-flooding gaseous systems, fixed-foam systems, and dry chemical systems, as well as inerting and vapor- mitigating and recovery systems. Personnel should have a basic understanding of the system operational features, potential hazards involved, and availability of reserve agent supplies.

C.9.7 Special Hazards. Special hazards that should be noted in the pre-incident plan include those specified in C.7.6(l) through C.7.6(6).

Containers that could hold materials that present special hazards include the following:

  • Railcars
  • Tank trucks
  • Van trailers
  • Intermediate bulk containers
  • Hazardous materials and hazardous waste storage lock­ers
  • Construction trailers
  • Gas cages and gas lines
  • Flammable liquid dispensing containers
  • Emergency generator tanks

(10) Treatment chemical tanks (e.g., acid- and base- neutralizing chemicals)

C.9.7.1 Controlled Environments.

C. Cleanrooms, freezers, and other environmentally controlled areas should be noted in the pre-incident plan.

C. Procedures for entering controlled environments during an incident should be reviewed with facility personnel and noted on the pre-incident plan.

C.9.7.2 Commodity Combustibility and Hazards. Commodity combustibility and hazards should be noted in the pre-incident plan, taking the following into account:

  • The commodity could have hazardous properties or be unstable under fire conditions.
  • Facilities could have some quantity of flammable liquids, most in the form of solvents and cleaning chemicals.
  • Dedicated storage of flammable liquids might be inside or outside.
  • Outside storage of flammable or toxic gases might be in separate buildings or bunkers.
  • Some materials can be reactive with air or water.
  • Air or water contamination can take place if a hazardous release occurs, regardless of whether water is used.
  • Combustible dusts might be present.

C.9.7.3 Fueling Facilities. The pre-incident plan should note the hazards posed by powered industrial vehicles using a variety of fuels.

C.9.7.4 Treatment Plants. The hazards posed by on-site treat­ment plants, including storage of chemicals such as chlorine, other oxidizers, and corrosives, should be noted in the pre- incident plan.

C.9.7.5 Process Hazards. The pre-incident plan should iden­tify any process hazards that could involve hazardous materials and operations.

C.9.7.6 Radiological Hazards. The pre-incident plan should identify all radiological hazards, both ionizing and contaminat­ing.

C.9.8 Emergency Operation. Where an industrial facility maintains its own emergency response team with varying degrees of training and areas of expertise, discussions should take place with the on-site emergency response team coordina­tor to determine the level of response and resources available from the site team.

The level of involvement with on-site emergency response teams should include periodic drills that involve scenarios such as rescue, process shutdown, sheltering in place, and so forth.

Teams or resources, or both, for hazardous materials response, confined space rescue, high-angle rescue, and emer­gency medical services can be included. Note that different standards are used for fire response and hazardous materials response training. Consequently, a fire brigade is not necessa­rily a hazardous materials team, nor is a hazardous materials team a fire brigade. Where a facility has its employees respond to emergency releases of hazardous materials, government standards regulate emergency response pre-incident plans and the training requirements for a hazardous materials team.

C.10 Warehouses and Storage Occupancies.

C.10.1 Administration. For warehouse fire-fighting operations to be successful, the pre-incident plan should be developed with a full knowledge of the design and capabilities of the sprinkler systems within the warehouse.

C.10.1.1 Pre-incident planning in a warehouse occupancy should involve not only emergency responders but also admin­istrators, owners, the maintenance director or building engi­neer (s), and tenants.

C.10.1.2 Warehouses pose one of the greatest challenges to fire control for both automatic fire suppression systems and manual fire fighting. Manual fire suppression cannot take the place of a properly designed, installed, and functioning sprin­kler system in a warehouse. If the warehouse is not protected by automatic sprinklers designed for the commodities stored and the configuration in which they are arranged, there is little chance of controlling a fire. Likewise, it must be recognized that even the best designed sprinkler system might not extin­guish a warehouse fire, and manual fire suppression can be required to effect final extinguishment.

C.10.2 Pre-Incident Planning Process. Special considerations might be necessary for the pre-incident planning process, depending on the types and quantities of materials stored in warehouse and storage occupancies.

C.10.3 Physical Elements and Site Considerations.

  1. 10.3.1 Construction Features. The construction of the building, information on whether internal walls are fire rated and constructed as fire walls or fire barriers, and the rating of the wall assembly should be noted on the pre-incident plan.

C. The protection of openings in fire walls and fire barriers should also be noted on the pre-incident plan.

C. The adequacy of maintenance for fire doors should be evaluated to determine their probable performance in a fire.

C.10.3.2 Building Access. The following building access factors should be considered and noted in the pre-incident plan, where applicable:

  • Warehouses are generally built with limited access and increased security measures for inventory control.
  • In addition to building construction barriers, operating features can hinder access.

Stock stored in the aisles; internal control barriers, such as wire cages in bonded warehouses or aerosol storage; or trucks parked at the loading dock can contribute to building access problems. Storage racks hundreds of feet long, without cross aisles, can reduce access to the interior of the building and dictate the use of exterior doors located only at the rack ends for manual fire suppression operations.

C.10.3.3 Controlled Environments. The presence of large freezers and a controlled atmosphere should be noted, and the following also should be considered:

  • Special care might be required before entering these areas.
  • It might also be necessary to identify persons or proce­dures for shutting down.

C.10.4 Occupant Considerations. The impact of the following on life safety considerations, on-site emergency action pre- incident plans, and the safety of emergency responders should be considered and noted in the pre-incident plan, where appli­cable:

  • Storage configuration
  • Seasonal variations in stock
  • Material-handling devices

C.10.5 Protection Systems and Water Supply. C.10.5.1 Automatic Sprinklers.

C. Sprinkler System Design. The presence of auto­matic sprinkler systems and the systems’ designs should be noted, along with any special design features, such as in-rack systems, large-drop sprinklers, early suppression fast-response (ESFR) sprinklers, sprinkler control valves, and hydraulic plac­ard information.

C. Design Deficiency. Sprinkler system design defi­ciencies can occur where the water supply is not adequate to support the system design, or where the system design is not appropriate for the commodity stored or its arrangement, and those deficiencies should be noted on the pre-incident plan.

C.10.5.2 Water Supply.

C. A sprinkler system’s water supply should be capable of meeting not only the sprinkler demand, but also the demand for hose streams.

C. The water supply should be evaluated to determine if it is adequate for the sprinkler system design, storage, and configuration and the warehouse occupancy class.

C.10.5.3 Products of Combustion or Contaminants and Heat Venting.

C. The pre-incident plan should note how venting of products of combustion or contaminants and hot gases can be accomplished and the location of any manual or automatic controls.

  1. Control of products of combustion or contami­nants is important in warehouse occupancies due to the large volume of combustible commodities stored within them.

Proper venting of products of combustion or contaminants and hot gases minimizes property damage and increases responding personnel effectiveness and safety.

  1. Automatic venting details should be noted in the pre-incident plan, because such venting could affect fire behav­ior.
  2. The power supply to fans and ventilation equip­ment should be investigated to determine if it is reliable enough to remain in service during a fire.
  3. The fan components should be able to withstand the heat of a fire if they are to be of value during a fire.

C.10.6 Special Hazards.

  1. 10.6.1 Storage. The commodity class should be recorded on the pre-incident plan and changed when a change in classi­fications occurs.
  2. 10.6.2 High Hazard Items. Storage of high hazard items, such as plastics, toxic materials, aerosols, or flammable or combustible liquids, can test the limits of protection, even in a fully sprinklered warehouse. New commodities can be intro­duced or moved within the warehouse. If the commodity changes, existing protection might be inadequate.
  3. 10.6.3 Storage Configuration. Storage configuration and the use of any floor-marking system should be recorded.
  4. Storage and Fire Fighting Operations. Some commodities require extensive manual fire-fighting operations. All interior operations should be conducted with full knowl­edge that the stored commodity might not be stable and that fire fighters are at risk from collapsing commodity storage. Stock can be stored in bulk or palletized piles, in racks, or on shelves. Fire behavior of a given material can vary with such factors as storage height, shelving, presence or absence of verti­cal flue and aisle spaces, and pile stability.
  5. Storage Configuration Variations. The pre-incident plan should note the possibility of storage configuration varia­tions due to daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal changes that, in turn, could lead to arriving or departing shipments being double stacked on the rack level, or stored temporarily in access aisles, despite efforts to prevent excessive storage heights or storage in aisles.
  6. 10.6.4 Material-Handling Operations. The number, availa­bility, and operation of the material-handling equipment should be investigated.

Personnel using lift trucks powered by batteries or internal combustion engines remain the most common means of moving stock in warehouses. Some high-capacity warehouses use specialized equipment such as computerized stackers. In high-rack warehouses, storage height can reach over 30.5 m (100 ft). In such situations, the custom stackers provide the only practical means of gaining quick access to the racks for suppression, rescue, or overhaul. Personnel with special train­ing will be required to operate the equipment. Full-scale fire tests in warehouse storage arrangements have shown that over-

NFPA 1620 Pre-incident Planning

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