Flat-Roof Operations: Safely Traversing the Roof

This is a series of photos resembles what you may see upon arrival.

Take a look at the last shot of the 4-side (d-side) at the roof level. The owners of this building sealed up the shaft at the roof what appears to be nothing more than a sheet of plywood. The weight of a fully geared firefighter would almost certainly fall through this if they stepped on this “feature of the building”.

Take a few seconds to give the building a look from the ground before heading to the roof. This dangerous feature would be invisible if looking at it on the roof. It will look like a substantial roof from front to rear, and you will have no way of knowing about the presence of the shaft on the 4-side.

One other tell-tale sign (not present in this photo) deals with the parapet wall. If a parapet wall runs front to rear, and there is a 10-15 foot opening in that parapet wall, this may be a sealed up shaft area.

Stay away from these areas while traversing the roof! They are deadly.

Stay safe!

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We specialize in the basic fundamentals of firefighting. While we believe that hazardous materials, terrorism, emergency medical and the various rescue disciplines are essential parts of the Fire Service, we also think that the basic fundamentals of firefighting have been overlooked in recent years. We are here to help turn that trend in the other direction.

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