OFM - 04-01-12

Selecting Fire Suppression Capability

Public Fire Safety Guidelines

Subject Coding

PFSG 04-01-12

Section

Emergency Response

Date

January 1998

Subject

Selecting Fire Suppression Capability

Page

Under Review

Schematic diagram illustrating options for increasing the fire suppression capacity of a municipality. Options for fire suppression include the following: no fire suppression capacity built-in automatic extinguishing systems portable pumps structural firefighting with limited resources   (no rescue expected) (consider automatic adi as an option) aggressive interior structural firefighting and rescue (consider automatic aid as an option) structural firefighting with limited resources (no rescue expected) portable pumps built-in automatic extinguishing systems automatic aid
Purpose:

To provide municipalities with options that will guide and assist in the determination of the level of fire suppression provided.

Service Delivery Considerations:

  • The provision of fire suppression is an important component of the Comprehensive Fire Safety Effectiveness Model, however, due to a variety of influences, not all communities are capable of or should consider delivering the same level of service.
     
  • Fire suppression capability will vary from defensive to offensive, such as aggressive interior structural firefighting and rescue with effective firefighting apparatus and adequate fireground staffing. It is the responsibility of every community to determine the level of fire suppression that is to be provided and then ensure that the fire department is provided with appropriate equipment, personnel and training to safely and effectively deliver the service.
     
  • The level of fire suppression being delivered in the community must be thoroughly evaluated to determine if it is being delivered in a safe and effective manner and that it is appropriate for the needs and circumstances of the community.

Service Delivery Options:

  • Variety of options dependent on nature of community
  • Integral component of Comprehensive Fire Safety Effectiveness model
  • Level chosen must be delivered safely and effectively
  • Community risks and financial impact must be considered
  • More effect gained through combination of options

Consideration - No Fire Suppression Capability:

Why?
 

  • remote communities with limited population
  • minimal fire risk
  • not enough firefighters to deliver fire suppression

Consequences

  • If fire risk not addressed there is potential for community to be at risk
  • negligence of one resident can adversely impact on another

Alternatives

  • effective community fire safety programs
  • portable fire extinguishers and smoke alarms
  • community fire safety officer/team

Consideration - Built-In Alarm and Extinguishing Systems:

Why?
 

  • significant impact on outcome of structural fires
  • large industrial/commercial occupancies in areas without traditional fire suppression services
    Consequences
     
  • minimize damage caused by fire (particularly in larger commercial, industrial and assembly occupancies)
  • significant community impact if large facilities are destroyed by fire

Alternatives

  • increased fire suppression equipment and personnel
  • potentially larger fires that are more difficult to suppress
  • used in conjunction with other options to maximize community fire suppression capabilities
  • onus on business/local residents to provide basic level of fire safety
     

Consideration - Portable Pumps:

Why?
 

  • low in cost
  • basic exterior structural and wildland fire suppression
  • require minimal personnel
  • reduced training requirements (make this an attractive option for small, remote communities)
     

Consequences

  • limited flow rates make them unsuitable for interior structural firefighting
  • dependent on static water sources (restricts the effectiveness)
  • no insurance reduction incentive

Alternatives

  • increased amounts of traditional fire suppression equipment and personnel required to mitigate fires
  • greatest impact when combined with other options such as smoke alarms, portable extinguishers and effective public fire safety programs
     

Consideration - Structural Firefighting With Limited Resources:

Why?
 

  • fire departments often find themselves with an inadequate number of firefighters on the fireground to conduct operations in an efficient, effective and safe manner

Consequences

  • decreased level of firefighter safety
  • decreased level of public fire safety
  • rescue possible in only a limited number of circumstances

Alternatives

  • highly dependent upon effective public fire safety programs
  • automatic aid from departments with a higher level of fire suppression capability

Consideration - Aggressive Interior Structural Firefighting & Rescue:

Why?
 

  • provides highest level of fire suppression and rescue capability

Consequences

  • requires higher level of training
  • requires increased fireground staffing
  • possible insurance cost reductions
  • higher level of public fire safety

Alternatives

  • any alternatives will lead to a reduction in fire suppression and rescue capability
  • automatic aid from neighbouring fire departments may be used to achieve the greatest efficiency in delivering aggressive interior structural firefighting and rescue.

Consideration - Automatic Aid:

Why?
 

  • quick initial fire suppression response capability
  • timely supplemental support to limited local resources
  • more cost effective use of community resources

Consequences

  • provides the quickest availability of appropriate resources
  • reduced financial impact on individual communities

Alternatives

• communities to provide their own service at a higher cost

Codes, Standards and Best Practices:

Codes, Standards, and Best Practices resources available to assist in establishing local policy on this assessment are listed below. All are available at http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/. Please feel free to copy and distribute this document. We ask that the document not be altered in any way, that the Office of the Fire Marshal be credited and that the documents be used for non-commercial purposes only.
See also PFSG
01-02-01 Comprehensive Fire Safety Effectiveness Model Considerations
02-04-01 &
02-04-23 Capabilities of Existing Fire Protection Services
02-03-01 Economic Circumstances
04-08-12 Staffing - Single Family Dwellings
04-10-12 Steps in Establishing a Jointly Managed and Operated Fire Department