Austin Fire Department discusses residential high-rise fire protocols – FOX 7 Austin

After 58 folks died in a high-rise fire in London, folks in all places needed to contemplate whether or not that would occur nearer to residence.

The Austin Fire Department supplied FOX 7 with details about their procedures throughout a high-rise fire and what challenges they may probably face.
On common, it takes firefighters about one minute to climb every flooring with their gear.

The tallest truck ladder in Austin reaches about 70 ft.

So anybody who lives above the eighth flooring should wait a number of minutes for assist to reach.

That is why firefighters stated it is so vital to have an escape plan.

With Austin’s constructing increase during the last decade, it was vital for the fire division to be one step forward of building. “We knew that the excessive rises had been coming. We have now a complete separate chapter of insurance policies with respect to the right way to battle fires in excessive rises,” stated Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck. 

Austin firefighters have educated extensively on protocols for combating high-rise fires. Thankfully, nearly all of tall residential buildings within the metropolis are newly constructed and, due to this fact, have to satisfy present fire codes.

“These excessive rises have fashionable state-of-the-artwork fire suppression methods that activate and are capable of cease these fires for essentially the most half,” Buck stated.

Nonetheless, if the constructing was constructed earlier than sprinkler methods had been required, fire specialists stated a fire can unfold in a short time.

“We have now 12 excessive rises which can be residential excessive rises that also are unsprinklered or solely partially sprinklered and people actually are excessive on our checklist of what we name goal hazards. We perceive that if we've got a fire there it may unfold way more rapidly and we do not have the fire safety methods that we discover within the fashionable buildings,” stated Buck. 

Even when the constructing is as much as present code, sprinkler methods typically fail.

“should you get a whole lot of wind and also you get a fire and you've got any breakdown in any of the methods, the sprinkler methods are mechanical they do not all the time work, they've a reasonably good report of working, however they do not all the time work,” stated Austin Fire Affiliation President Bob Nicks. 

In fact, the extra firefighters that reply, the higher.

“After we get a name to a excessive rise, we ship extra vehicles thnt we ship to common fires so as to add that staffing there,” Buck stated. 

That is why AFD's 140 employees vacancies are a priority.

“We have now the identical variety of firefighters, I feel we'd have, relying which stations you embody, both the identical, rather less or a bit of extra, once more relying what stations you embody in that examine, as we did within the late 70s,” stated Nicks.

However, Austin’s fire codes require residential excessive rises to have pressurized stair wells, which permit firefighters extra time to get into place.

“I feel the residents of Austin may be very snug with the coaching of the fire division and the staffing that we've got to reply to emergencies,” Buck stated. 

AFD suggests those that dwell in a excessive rise get conversant in their constructing, particularly the place the closest two exits are positioned.

Additionally, it is vital to not ignore a fire alarm in a residential constructing. Firefighters stated, in relation to escaping flames, each second counts.

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