U.S. Army Garrison -- Detroit Arsenal, Mich. -- Firefighters at the Detroit Arsenal finished another round of safety inspections last week. In an effort to protect employees and property, the crews walked through various buildings in search of safety code violations.

Acting assistant chief of operations Martin Potter said that, like past inspections, the firefighters ensured "travel corridors and emergency exits are maintained and clear of any obstructions, emergency lighting is available and operational, the proper storage of hazardous materials, electrical systems are not overloaded, general housekeeping issues that could lead to a fire emergency as well as any other items that could become a life safety issue."

Arsenal firefighters routinely conduct inspections in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code 101. Inspections of every facility must occur annually, and some buildings require additional inspections. "Depending on the hazard and use of the facility, it may need to be inspected monthly, quarterly or semi-annually," said Potter. "Facilities such as the day care facility must be inspected monthly." That's in addition to undergoing a monthly fire drill.

Detroit Arsenal firefighters hold a variety of inspection certifications. They recently completed training through the Ohio Fire Academy, and all are certified as Fire Inspector 1 with the International Fire Service Accreditation Council. "They all will attend Fire Inspector II certification training," said Potter. "We currently have a couple officers certified to the Fire Inspector III level, which involves plans reviews during remodeling and new construction."

Potter said inspections are going smoothly with various safety violations spotted. "Some of the common hazards they are finding are storage under stairwells and general housekeeping of cubicles or work spaces," which includes large stacks of paper on desks. In past years, Potter reported that firefighters have identified "emergency lighting not working, hazardous materials being stored improperly, open trash cans and combustibles in welding areas, storage within 36 inches of electrical panels, ceiling tiles missing, improperly placed appliances or cooking devices, obstructions in travel corridors, and fire doors tied open."

"Our firefighters are doing an amazing job," Potter reported. In addition to maintaining firefighting skills, "they also have to keep up on hazardous materials training, confined space training, high and low angle rescue, trench rescue, emergency medical training and now add the additional task of accomplishing all fire prevention tasks, to include inspections, plans review, and preparing for fire prevention week." Potter explained how employees can assist fire fighters' efforts to prevent life-threatening emergencies. "We ask that the employees work with us to correct minor deficiencies on sight and realize we are not there to create more work for them or make life difficult, we are simply trying to keep the employees and the base safe."

More can be learned about fire safety during Fire Prevention Week, October 7 -- 13.

Page last updated Wed July 18th, 2012 at 11:50