1-8 Safety considerations for new fire apparatus
Fire apparatus are important and expensive purchases for any fire department. Transportation and operational safety may be adversely affected without appropriate design, construction and purchasing standards.
If appropriate design and construction techniques aren’t followed, there is a potential of injury to the firefighters operating the apparatus.
Some examples of potential hazards include:
- refurbished fire apparatus may not meet appropriate safety standards
- water tanks without baffles allow water movement which affects the handling of the tanker during braking or cornering
- cabs that aren’t designed for the fire service may not have safety features such as proper seating for firefighters, a mechanical means of latching equipment or airbag or crash enhancements
- repurposed apparatus frames may not be engineered to safely withstand imposed stresses
Actions for employers
- reference an applicable standard, when designing and building fire apparatus, such as:
- consult with their joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative for the workplace when designing or purchasing fire apparatus
Importing apparatus into Canada
Read section 12 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations for information about standards for vehicles imported into Canada. Failing to comply may put firefighters at risk in a collision.
Applicable regulations and acts
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- clause 25(2)(h) for taking every precaution reasonable to protect workers
- O. Reg. 714/94 - Firefighters – Protective Equipment Regulation
- subsection 7(2) for requirements about fire truck cab enclosure and seat numbers
- subsection 7(3) for handle-hold requirements
- subsection 7(4) for the storage of SCBA compressed air cylinders in the cab of a fire truck
- section 7.1 for seat and seatbelt requirements in the cabs of trucks
For standards on the design, performance, and acceptance criteria for aircraft rescue and fire-fighting (ARFF) vehicles, read NFPA 414 Standard for aircraft rescue and fire-fighting vehicles
For standards on new automotive fire apparatus and trailers, read NFPA 1901 Standard for automotive fire apparatus or CAN/ULC S515 Standard for automobile fire fighting apparatus
For standards on new automotive fire apparatus designed primarily to support wildland fire suppression operations, read NFPA 1906 Standard for wildland fire apparatus
Read firefighter guidance note 1-2 Apparatus inspections and maintenance program.