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Fireground safety: Chambered rounds

The fireground can be a dangerous place for a number of reasons and firearm discharges are one of them

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Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with fire ground safety and guns with chambered cartridges in a fire.

Although Today’s Tip is mainly directed at my friends in the fire service, it also has important information for you law enforcement personnel out there.

Many of you think about “what’s in the fire” when you size up a working fire. It’s the usual stuff like furniture, lightweight building construction and other factors that we always think about. But, have you ever considered guns and ammunition and what could happen? Firefighters have been accidently shot by a weapon that discharged due to the heat of a fire.

This is an important safety issue and it’s a question that may be answered easily on a fire scene.

Ask the home or business owner if there are any weapons inside. If the answer is yes then ask them if any of the weapons have a cartridge in the chamber? Ask about the location of the firearm in the building or vehicle. Try to determine the orientation of the firearm if possible. If there is a weapon involved in the fire, keep fire fighters and bystanders out of the path of the projectile.

Consider adding this question to your structure fire or vehicle fire checklist for the incident commander. Develop training for the initial company officer to ask about weapons upon arrival to the fire.

This is a real safety concern for everyone on scene. A couple of quick questions can help identify this safety concern so you can take immediate action to keep people safe.

Remember folks, the fire ground can be a dangerous place for a number of reasons and firearms discharges are one of them.

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.