Structural Fire

Structural fire protection is an area that may look quite different across the various units of the NPS. It is a complex, interdisciplinary activity with many variables. Each superintendent will complete a fire assessment and structural fire plan to meet the needs of the park. Every park must ensure they have adequate fire suppression response available, including trained and equipped structural staff in park, agreements with outside departments, or a combination of both. Reference Manual 58 outlines five levels of fire suppression services that are available for parks to ensure adequate response.

In addition to fire suppression, each park must provide the highest level of fire prevention possible. This includes training employees in fire extinguisher use, the installation (and inspection and testing) of fire alarm and suppression systems, annual fire safety inspections of buildings, establishing and adhering to a hot-work permitting system, and more. A key component to accomplishing these tasks is to identify a Park Structural Fire Coordinator (PSFC). The Structural Fire Program Office provides a certification-training course for these employees, at no cost to the park.

Points to Consider

  1. Is your park’s/department’s emergency number 9-1-1?  If not, what is it, and who will respond when it is activated?
  2. Do you know where the fire extinguisher is closest to your workspace?
  3. Who should you contact if you find a fire extinguisher that is missing, damaged, or the gauge is not in the green?
    • Your supervisor
    • The Park Structural Fire Coordinator
    • The park’s Safety Officer
    • Any one of the above
  4. Why should all NPS employees take fire extinguisher training every year?
    • OSHA says so.
    • NPS policy requires it.
    • Because it is the right thing to do to protect lives and property.
    • All of the above.
  5. NPS policy requires that you report a fire even if it is small and put out with a fire extinguisher.
  6. In addition to having a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it, which of the following are also important to keep you safe in the event of a fire?
    • Smoke alarms
    • Fire sprinkler system
    • Having a fire escape plan and practicing it
    • All of the choices are correct.
  7. In the event of a fire, what should you do?
    • Use a fire extinguisher if it is safe to do so
    • Leave the building
    • Call 9-1-1
    • All of the choices are correct.
  8. Do you work in a building with detection and suppression systems? Are you familiar with their function?

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