Whether you are the owner of a public building in Pennsylvania or just your own home, you should be aware the dangers that fuel loads can pose. A fuel load is anything that can catch fire and fuel an existing inferno. If fuel loads are allowed to exist, they can help a fire spread, cut off existing lines of escape and produce dangerous fumes that may cause a person to succumb and die.
The University of Iowa website identifies one troublesome location for fuel loads, namely stairwells. Whenever a building catches fire, anyone in the building at the time should not use the elevator and must take the stairs. This means that stairwells should be kept as free of risk of fires as possible to allow people to use them and escape the building safely.
However, some people might use the empty space under the stairs as a place to store materials. Doing so sets up a fire load under the stairs. If there is a fire in the building, the load can catch fire and ignite the stairwell, creating flames that may cut off people from escaping down the stairs. Additionally, the burning load could create toxic fumes that incapacitate people fleeing down the stairwell.
Loads should also be kept out of hallways or the vicinity of an exit door. If the loads catch fire, the resulting flames can keep people from accessing routes to safety. But even if the loads do not catch fire, stacked materials in the halls still obstruct and narrow escape paths from fire. Also, material loads can impede the progress of firefighters and medical personnel who need to access the building to handle the blaze and rescue injured people.
Even if you clear your access routes throughout your building or home, you still have more work to do. If you have an office building, proper organization is important because if you leave a lot of books, paper or boxes stacked messily throughout your offices, you are basically creating fuel loads. Look for ways to organize your materials. If necessary, consider digitizing paperwork to reduce the number of papers you have to keep. You can follow these steps for your personal abode as well.
Keep in mind that this article is only written to educate readers on personal injury topics. It does not provide any legal advice.