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Document Type

Conference Paper


Environmental sciences, Civil engineering, Occupational health

Publication Details

Proceedings of the 32nd European Safety and Reliability Conference TU Dublin Ireland


Fire and rescues services the world over commonly conduct pre-incident planning familiarisation visits. During such visits, fire crews typically look for observable fire safety hazards. Accordingly, two research questions were investigated in this study being; how many fire hazards are typically observed during such familiarisation visits and can the reliability of visual inspection conduct be improved by using a novel systematic visual inspection method. A fire and rescue service with 22 fire fighters was recruited, and they conducted 21 pre-incident planning visits to occupied apartments blocks. The experimental design involved one of the fire crew being tasked with observing fire hazards using systematic visual inspection. The researcher collated the forms used by all fire crews to record fire hazards observed during their visual inspections. The mean number of fire hazards observed by fire crews using their normal custom and practice for visual inspection was 9.03 per visit (SD=4.39). In sharp contrast, the fire fighter who used systematic visual search, observed a mean 28.87 fire hazards per visit (SD=10.72). These results were highly significant and with a large effect size as measured by Cohen’s “d”. In conclusion, the evidence from this study supports the use of systematic visual search as a method of increasing the reliability of pre-incident planning visits conducted by fire a rescue services worldwide.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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