The 380-Degree Size-up for Hoarder Homes

380 Degree Size up from


Yesterday during our webinar I introduced the audience to the concept of a 380 size up.  To answer some of the questions I am reposting a article that I wrote on Firehouse that introduces everyone to the concept.  Click on the link below to finish the article!





“Attack team one to command, Heavy Contents.” What does this phrase mean to you? It means that the structure they are in is full of belongings or a “Hoarder Home.”

With this growing problem becoming popular in reality TV, the fire service must use the bright lights of Hollywood to keep training on fighting these types of fires. As the near misses and news stories keep rolling in, we all should discuss what it would be like to fight hoarder home fires. Let’s take a moment to discuss initial size-up and tactics. A 380 degree size-up (adding 20 degrees to the normal 360) will give you 20 more years in the fire service.

Most of today’s officers have been taught to perform a 360-degree walk around the building to size-up the situation. As a common practice, doors, windows, smoke and fire conditions all are being accounted for. Now, let’s add another 20 degrees of size up by looking at the owner’s vehicle. Why would we take the time to look in someone’s vehicle? Well, maybe we shouldn’t look at it on every fire, but when we start to suspect that a hoarder condition is involved, the extra few seconds to look into someone’s vehicle could give you a world of information.