Indian River County Florida
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Fire Prevention and Safety

Coffee Break Training
Coffee Break Training - Fire Protection Series
Fire and emergency medical services personnel with busy daily schedules often don't have time to attend valuable skill-enhancing training sessions, so the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is providing Coffee Break Training bulletins for you to read and enjoy during your daily break. These one-page training notices, with a new one posted every month, provide technical training and administrative tips. Each notice includes a photograph or drawing that illustrates the point of the training lesson.


Standpipe Systems: Hose Connection Clearance

When firefighters are making a coordinated attack on a fire, they want to avoid as many impediments as possible. In mid- or high-rise buildings, standpipe systems are installed to assist firefighters so they do not have to drag hoses up multiple flights of stairs while they prepare to suppress the fire. Read More

Automatic Sprinklers: Air Maintenance Devices

Dry-pipe sprinkler systems contain pressurized air (or nitrogen) on the system side of the dry-pipe valve. When a sprinkler operates, the air is released and the incoming water pressure opens the dry-pipe valve to fill the sprinkler system. In order to maintain a stable air pressure on the dry-pipe system and prevent accidental valve trips, installations are often equipped with an automatic compressor. Read More

Hazardous Materials: Tank Vehicle Parking

Unattended fuel tankers like these 9,200-gallon (35,000-L) gasoline trucks create an inviting target for vandals or terrorists who might want to cause mischief or use them as improvised incendiary devices. Read More

Automatic Sprinklers: Batt Insulation for Sprinkler Protection

As colder weather arrives, concerns increase over the likelihood of frozen sprinkler pipes. Several options exist to reduce the chance of freezing, and one of the more popular methods is illustrated in today's Coffee Break Training: installation of fiberglass batt insulation over the sprinkler pipe. Read More

Portable Extinguishers: BC Fire Extinguishing Agents–Dry Chemical

Dry-chemical extinguishing agents have been used since the early 1900s when sodium bicarbonate was found to have greater effectiveness on flammable liquid fires compared to other agents being used at the time. They are still in use today. In the 1950s and 60s, new dry-chemical agent types and manufacturing processes were introduced that provided even greater effectiveness on Class B fires and being electrically nonconductive (Class C). Read More

Inspection Techniques: Wood Stove Safety

The winter heating season is upon us, so it is a good time to remind people of the dangers of wood-burning appliances. More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves, and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels. Read More

Inspection Techniques: Attention to Detail

Today's illustration should serve as a reminder to all inspectors of the need to pay attention to detail. In his/her haste to get an inspection done on time, the inspector inadvertently missed this dangerous condition of a disconnected exhaust vent from a natural gas appliance. If this hadn't been corrected, the heating system might have emitted carbon monoxide (CO) throughout the home. Read More

Automatic Sprinklers: Joining Nonmetallic Pipe

Today we show two pictures that illustrate sloppy workmanship by a careless sprinkler fitter. The excess plastic cement may cause the pipe to weaken and leak. Read More

Hazardous Materials: Corrosives in Retail Settings

Walk the aisles of any home improvement or cleaning products store, and you will find a variety of items that qualify as hazardous materials. These drain cleaners, for example, are corrosive and contain up to 10 percent potassium hydroxide (lye) and sodium hypochlorite (household bleach). Read More

Fire Pumps: Batteries for Diesel-Engine Drivers

Stationary fire pumps that use diesel-engine drivers may be required to have batteries for emergency starting.1 Batteries may be lead-acid type (as illustrated) or nickel cadmium if approved by the engine manufacturer's requirements. Read More

Fire Pumps: Reliable Power Sources for Electrically-Driven Fire Pumps

Electrically-driven fire pumps must be provided with a normal source of power that is highly reliable so the pump will operate when needed. In many cases, the normal utility service or a private, onsite powerplant is the source of electricity for the fire pump installation. But how does one determine whether the power source is "reliable"? Read More

Fire Pumps: Alternate Power Sources for Electrically-Driven Fire Pumps

Fire pumps that are driven by electricity, such as this suction pump that draws from an underground cistern, generally are allowed a single power source if the electrical supply is reliable. It is often up to the code official to interpret whether National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection, requires alternate power supplies.Read More

Automatic Sprinklers: Special Application Attic Sprinklers

Combustible attic fire protection creates a unique environment that is challenging to sprinkler designs. Structural members that intersect at a variety of angles, variable ceiling slopes, obstructions caused by heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, insulation materials, and an often unheated atmosphere forces the designer to consider a wide variety of options. Read More

Inspection Techniques: Technical Assistance

From time to time, code officials entertain a new product, operation, material, or facility that is highly complex or outside the scope of the model building and fire codes. Read More

Inspection Techniques: Egress Door Hardware Considerations

Fire inspectors are problem solvers: When they find a code violation, they issue corrective orders to improve public safety. The illustration is an example of how a fire inspector's orders can be misapplied. Read More

Clothes Dryer Safety

Doing laundry is most likely part of your every day routine. But did you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home? With a few simple safety tips you can help prevent a clothes dryer fire. Read More

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