By Ziamatic Staff
The age old idiom “a stitch in time saves nine” holds true for the fire service too—when you maintain and protect your equipment not only do you avoid costly repairs and replacements, but more importantly you ensure that the equipment is there for you and your crew, working as intended, when you need it most. This is vital as an equipment malfunction or failure can result in injury or even death. With such high stakes, don’t cut corners. Mount your equipment properly.
Equipment leaks. People spill or overfill. There are all sorts of fluids on the apparatus that can find their way all over your compartment shelf, creating a gooey, sticky mess that’s a pain to clean up and a potential hazard if you don’t. So, do what you can in advance to minimize these issues. Mount items like cans of premixed fuel in secure brackets to prohibit rolling, denting, and puncturing. Keep saws and jerry cans in proper tray-style mounts to catch and contain any leaks or spills. Some chainsaw and generator mounts even come equipped with replaceable absorption pads to help soak any loose liquid.
Securing your equipment, even if just strapping it down, keeps it from being constantly jostled against other items or the compartment walls. This extends not only the life of the equipment but also the life of the compartments and, in the long run, the life of the apparatus itself. Mount hand tools like axes, sledges, halligans, and closet hooks to the back wall of the compartment or special slide-out or swing-out boards. Couplings can be held in place with rubber mounts and pegs. Everything can be secured in one way or another—from spare SCBA cylinders to struts, nozzles, and even larger items like PPV fans.
Obviously, securing your SCBA is of utmost importance. Whether they’re kept with you in the cab or just stored as spares in a side compartment, you need to be able to breathe. A seat-mounted SCBA bracket minimizes movement. A compartment-mounted SCBA nestled into firm clips with a tie-down strap eliminates any rolling or rattling around. Taking these precautions not only improves firefighter safety but reduces the risk of chips and gouges to a cylinder’s composite shell, extending its life and keeping it in service where you need it most. In addition, proper mounting protects the harness air lines and expensive HUD wiring from pinches, snags, and other damage.
All in all, if treat your tools and equipment right, securing them properly, they’ll return the favor for many years to come.
For more information on mounting options for your fire apparatus, visit www.ziamatic.com.