1. Type of Building or Structure
The type of building or structure can be determined by the size, shape and materials used in its construction. Additionally, information such as whether it is a single family residence or a multi-story commercial building can be determined by inspecting the features of the structure. It is important to know what type of firefighting techniques may be needed for the size and construction of the building.
2. Location of the Fire
The location of the fire will determine how long it takes for firefighters to arrive on the scene and how much time they have to deal with a situation before it gets out of control. Additionally, knowing where it is located can help firefighters plan access routes to ensure they are able to get to the fire quickly.
3. Potential Hazards
Before beginning any rescue or suppression efforts, potential hazards must be identified and addressed so as not to put firefighters in danger. Hazards can include high-voltage power lines, flammable materials, asbestos, hazardous chemicals and more. Knowing these risks ahead of time gives firefighters time to plan a safe approach.
4. Weather Conditions
The weather can affect the intensity of the fire, making it important for firefighters to be aware of the current and predicted weather conditions before beginning any firefighting operations. Wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature and precipitation should all be taken into account when assessing a scene.
5. Smoke Conditions
Observing smoke is one of the key aspects to gaining an understanding of how a fire is developing or spreading. Knowing what type of smoke is present allows firefighters to determine if there are hotspots in different areas and reactions by other materials present in the environment such as plastics or cloths that can cause additional fires from resulting particles.
6. Possible Victims
Depending on the type and size of the fire, there may be potential victims still inside. Firefighters must assess if it is safe to enter the building to search for any individuals who may have been trapped. Additionally, firefighters must be aware that anyone they do find in a burning building will most likely require medical attention after they are rescued.
7. Emergency Exits
It is important to identify all of the possible emergency exits before entering a burning structure and making sure these routes are clear of debris or other obstacles so as not to impede any escape attempts by people trapped inside.
8. Access to Fire Suppression Equipment
Firefighters should take note of what kind of fire suppression equipment is available at the scene, where it is located and if additional resources are needed. It is also important to determine any water sources that could be used in order to fight the fire such as hydrants or tanks.
9. Fire Spread Potential
Determining how easily a fire can spread will help firefighters better understand what must be done to stop it from spreading further and worsening the situation. This can include identifying any combustible materials present, flammable liquids, fuel sources such as gas lines, ventilation points and more.
10. Existing Protective Systems
Fire suppression systems like sprinklers or automatic extinguishers should be noted by firefighters so as not to accidentally damage them during their operations. Additionally, existing smoke detectors or alarms should also be taken into account when creating an action plan.