OSHA Updates Fire Protection Systems Manual

The 128-page "Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems" manual explains how fire personnel can resolve an incident sooner and more safely if a building’s design is tailored to meet their needs during an emergency.

Saying firefighters, because their work is often urgent and stressful, often make decisions without vital information on the hazards that exist, OSHA has revised one of its manuals to better protect them. "Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems" explains how fire personnel can resolve an incident sooner and more safely if a building's design is tailored to meet their needs during an emergency.

The manual includes new chapters on water supply and integrating design elements to protect fire personnel during a building's construction, occupancy, and demolition phases, as well as new sections on energy conservation, emergency power, and room and floor numbering and additional photos to help explain concepts. The manual is intended to help emergency responders during fires and other emergencies, such as hazmat releases, emergency medical care, non-fire rescues, and terrorist attacks.

OSHA's announcement of the revised manual mentioned that a Denver firefighter died recently after falling 25 feet through a skylight; Daryl Gordon, a Cincinnati fire apparatus operator, died March 26 after falling down an elevator shaft while searching for trapped residents in a burning apartment building.

"Structural fires present hazards that can result in serious injury or death for emergency personnel who respond to them," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "This revised manual offers practical and relevant information to help emergency responders stay safe while doing their jobs."

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