Westminster Firefighters respond to an average of 174 fires per year. These fires involve structures, such as homes and commercial buildings, vehicles and open space areas. WFD firefighters are trained in certain firefighting strategies and tactics specific to each of these types of fires.
In all emergencies involving fire, life safety is the primary concern. If there are potential victims that are unaccounted for, it is the firefighters' first priority to find and rescue these victims. Once all occupants and victims have been found and/or accounted for, the next priority of firefighters is to conserve property as well as possible. Property loss can occur very rapidly in any fire situation, so firefighters work hard to quickly confine fires to the smallest area of damage possible. The Westminster Fire Department confines fires to the room where the fire starts 70% of the time.
Once the fire has been extinguished, firefighters take additional time to ensure that all flames and heat sources have been eliminated. Using the modern technology of thermal imaging along with other procedures, firefighters are able to see inside and behind walls as well as through any barriers where heat sources are commonly hidden.
Finally, after property loss has been stopped completely, each fire is investigated thoroughly to determine the cause and origin of the fire. If arson is suspected, the fire department has specially trained Fire Investigators that work diligently to collect evidence, capture and convict those suspected of criminal activity.