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Training Fires Can Trip You Up

Firefighter climbing through window during training fireFull time and volunteer firefighters risk their lives to protect Iowans and property. These highly trained professionals care deeply about safety. And they must be extremely cautious to protect themselves and fellow firefighters.

Firefighters are at risk for asbestos related illness from asphalt shingles, mastic, floor tile, insulation and dozens of common items that can contain asbestos. While fiber release during and after unintentional fires is unavoidable, asbestos emissions during training fires is unlawful and needlessly exposes firefighters and the public.

City governments that order building demolitions, approve training fires and oversee fire departments need to be aware that intentional fires are considered a demolition. This includes single, private homes used for training fires. Thorough inspections by certified personnel, proper asbestos notifications and proper removal and disposal are required before burning occurs.

If all layers of roofing materials at a training fire site test negative for asbestos, the materials can be burned. Fire departments are limited to burning asbestos-free shingles during two training fires annually. Due to the heavy smoke released, it is highly preferred that no asphalt materials be burned. If more than two training fires occur, no roofing materials can be burned.

Learn how to meet asbestos and training fire requirements. To find out what is required to inspect, measure and classify asbestos, call DNR for a free 30 minute asbestos video and manual.

Know how to keep your municipality in compliance and avoid penalties. See how to file proper notifications by learning from those who manage the asbestos NESHAP program.