We are confronted today by a variety of factors than can negatively impact our safety, survival, and success on the fire ground. This cartoon by Paul Combs and Fire Engineering describes one of the most serious problems we face, hoarder homes. Building design and construction we can understand to a certain degree. Human factors, or the people who maintain or live in those buildings, and in many cases abandon them and leave them vacant, are difficult to comprehend.
Give some extra thought to the special problems you will encounter when responding to incidents at hoarder homes and abandoned structures. Locate those dangerous places in your area, then discuss your plan of attack, which should include a serious look at the risk vs. benefit.