Common Hazards Firefighters Face Every Day
Posted On: May 12, 2015

In the event of a fire outbreak, knowing the common hazards firefighters face on a daily basis can not only save lives, but also prevent any health complications that can occur as result from such exposure.

In this blog, we are going to discuss numerous firefighter hazards our local heroes face on a regular basis.

Most Common Hazards

Firefighting is a dangerous job, which is why tough training is a big part of the job. The training starts from the basics of firefighting, to more advanced electrical and chemical fires. They also learn how to react in situations that are likely to be present at every place there is a fire.

While talking about fire hazards, most of them are quite different from what we have come to expect from a typical job description of a firefighter. Fire Departments also respond to traffic accidents, riots, chemical spills, and more.

Accident Hazards

This particular hazard is one that is the most common for every firefighter in their line of duty. They include:

  • Inhaling superheated air

  • Falling from a certain height due to unstable buildings that may collapse at anytime

  • Scarce air supply in rescue operations

  • Injuries that result from explosions

  • Injuries from the hazardous environment such as sizzling metal, shattered glass, burning wood, or boiling liquid.

Physical Hazards

Physical hazards for firefighters are always present in every case. It’s difficult to eliminate this hazard as such is the nature of fires. With the help of proper protective gear, you can reduce the chances of injury.

  • Burns

  • Injuries from flashovers and back draft

  • Exposure to intensely loud noises

Chemical Hazards

When a fire department is called to contain a certain chemical spill on the highway, the hazards they are exposed to are quite deadly. Sometimes this happens when a cargo train derails or when a factory catches fire.

  • Lack of fresh air to breathe

  • High risk of inhaling chemical fumes

  • Exposure to chemical compounds in rescue operations

Minimizing Dangers from Hazards

Every fire department strives to keep their firefighters in tiptop shape, both physically and emotionally. The rigor of this job demands this from everyone in the team. The measures fire departments take to minimize the risks for their fighters is constantly evolving. The current standards are as follows.

  • Using the right equipment at every emergency call

  • Wearing every part of protective gear provided

  • Wear the protective clothing dependent on the type of hazard exposure

  • Using personal alert system during rescue operations

  • Preventing over exertion by rotating firefighters

  • Counseling after a traumatic experience

Managing Hazards

Precise information on managing the aforementioned fire hazards is available to citizens. You can even gain more information from data and tip sheets available on government websites. Not only do they include specific details on dealing different types of fire hazards, but even the best ways to contain the fire. Good examples of these are electrical hazards and propane explosions.


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Contact Info
San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association
8925 IH 10 West
San Antonio, TX 78251
(210) 699-9400

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