The "Warm Zone" Cases: Environmental Monitoring Immediately Outside the Fire Incident Response Arena by Firefighters

Alberto J Caban-Martinez, Bob Kropa, Neal Niemczyk, Kevin J. Moore, Jeramy Baum, Natasha Solle, David A. Sterling, Erin Kobetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hazardous work zones (i.e., hot, warm, and cold) are typically established by emergency response teams during hazardous materials (HAZMAT) calls but less consistently for fire responses to segment personnel and response activities in the immediate geographic area around the fire. Despite national guidelines, studies have documented the inconsistent use of respiratory protective equipment by firefighters at the fire scene. In this case-series report, we describe warm zone gas levels using multigas detectors across five independent fire incident responses all occurring in a large South Florida fire department. Multigas detector data collected at each fire response indicate the presence of sustained levels of volatile organic compounds in the "warm zone" of each fire event. These cases suggest that firefighters should not only implement strategies for multigas detector use within the warm zone but also include respiratory protection to provide adequate safety from toxic exposures in the warm zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSafety and Health at Work
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Firefighters
  • Multigas detectors
  • Respiratory protection
  • Warm zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Chemical Health and Safety

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