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28 Cards in this Set

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Salvage Definition

Those methods and operating procedures associated with firefighting that aid in reducing primary and secondary damage during firefighting operations

Primary Damage

Caused by the fire

Secondary Damage

Caused by suppression activities

Salvage Operations

Protection of buildings and their contents is the major objective of salvage work.

Performing these operations rapidly and efficiently cannot be overemphasized due to the high values usually involved.

Why do we salvage?

1. It's our job. The THIRD strategic priority in firefighting is to protect and conserve property

2. Huge PR (Public Relations) value for fire department. (Makes us look good, shows we are professionals, and it has an emotional impact if we save personal belongings or business records.

Protecting buildings and contents

Records - only a small number of businesses are able to reopen after records have been destroyed.

Residential furnishings or other belongings - pictures, personal stuff.

Merchandise and other contents - money


General Salvage Operations

4 Categories:


During a fire

Fire under control


Pre-fire Salvage: Training

Most significant of all salvage principles is accurate application of water.

Forcible Entry: Cause the least amount of damage possible.

Ventilation: Removes smoke and gases and allows quicker extinguishment of fire.

Pre-fire Salvage: Planning

Familiarization with buildings in your area allows you to have knowledge of the locations of important records, stock, etc. or peculiarities of particular buildings.

Salvage during a fire

Operations during a fire involve the use of sound firefighting techniques to limit unnecessary damage.

Proper application of water

Proper forcible entry

Proper and timely ventilation

Salvage after fire under control

Stopping open sprinklers

Ventilating any remaining smoke and heat

Removing debris and drying building

Covering openings - protect from weather and theft

Protect valuables

Restoring sprinkler system to service

Post-fire Salvage

Critique of the salvage operations

Makes us better for the next "big one"!

Salvage Officer

Primary Objectives:

To protect exposed contents on fire floor

To protect exposed contents on floor below fire

To hold water to the fire floor or floor below the fire.

To divert water to the exterior of the building as necessary.

Salvage Covers

Duck cover - treated with linseed oil compound. Sticky in summer and stiff in winter. Leaves residue on objects.

Regular canvas - treated woven canvas. Lightweight, easily handled, sufficiently water proof.

Plastic Runners - Nylon covered with vinyl or sheets of plastic. Lightweight, waterproof.

Salvage cover numbers

Size: usually 12 x 18 feet

Grommets: metal rings along edges for hanging covers. 16 inches apart on center to correspond with spacing of studs and joists.

Salvage Covers

Do not: drag or walk on covers unnecessarily, pull over sharp projections or broken glass, throw down elevator shafts or from windows, or drive nails through cover, use grommet holes.

Inspect covers after each use for holes or tears: walk under cover and look for light indicating a hole. Mark with chalk and place out of service for repair.

Salvage Cover Washing

Spread out flat and spray with clean water

Scrub with deck brushes if needed

Hang to dry

Salvage Cover Work

3 means of spreading: One person throw, Two person counter payoff, Two person balloon method.

Salvage covers are stored in an accordion fold which allows easy deployment.

Refer to E&P for specific procedures (bagging a room, stairwell drains, ladder chutes.)

Removing excess water

Water concerns: Weight - 250 GPM nozzle adds ~2000 lbs per minute to building. Downward flow and accumulation.

Removal methods: Draining/pumping and Catchments, drains or diking.

Removing excess water part 2

Basements or shafts:

Portable pumps. Never use TFD apparatus. Could damage pump.

Upper floors: Collect and remove in a way that does as little damage as possible

Overhaul definition

Those operations that consist of searching for and extinguishing hidden or remaining fires; placing the building and it's contents in a safe condition; determining the cause of the fire; recognizing and preserving the evidence of fire cause.

Overhaul general

Distinctly different function from salvage although usually conducted at the same time.

Most of the objectives of overhaul contribute to accomplishment of primary purpose of salvage.

More overhaul

It is said in fire prevention that "there is no honor in fighting a fire that could have been prevented"

There is no honor in fighting a fire that we should have put out the first time!

Overhaul objectives

Establish safe conditions

Extinguish all remaining fire

Examine and overhaul debris

Property protection from theft and weather

Overhaul Stuff

After the fire is brought under control, time is available to provide a high level of safety for the overhaul operation. At this point there is no reason to place firefighters at risk.

This is done in 4 ways: Inspecting the premises for hazards, Eliminating those hazards, Using a sound organizational plan so things are not missed, Providing suitable equipment

Overhaul More Stuff

Check all concealed spaces (attic space, between walls). Beware of possibility of double ceilings. Around windows and doors are notoriously missed for hidden embers.

Check all possible avenues for fire spread (any horizontal or vertical opening)

Remove dangerous or severely damaged debris.

Overhaul scene protection

This may include holding off on major overhaul operations until the Fire Investigators have cleared the scene and protected or removed any evidence found.

Remember to protect any evidence that you may find and make your Captain aware of it.

Also protect scene from weather and theft.

Securing Utilities

Considered salvage function. Usually done at start by first in ladder engineer.

Electric: Shut off main breakers, otherwise TEPCO must cut service.

Water: Shut off street or water meter valve.

Gas: Shut off gas meter. SWG will lock to prevent accidental reopening.