Fire Zone and First Look Pro Improve Pre-fire Plans

The Fire Zone includes thousands of pre-drawn symbols that make drawing pre-incident plans fast and easy.

We all know that having detailed, informative, pre-incident plans can save property and even lives. A good pre-plan has the information needed by the Incident Commander to make life or death decisions at the scene. At a major incident, there are so many questions to be answered regarding building composition, utility shut-offs, FDC’s, and hazardous materials. You should be able to get answers in seconds from your pre-plan and site diagram.

So, we agree that we need better pre-plans, but how can we get them? It’s too expensive to hire someone to create your pre-plans, you probably are struggling budget-wise to hold on to the personnel you have now. Besides, wouldn’t it be best if Fire Fighters created the preplans so they could become familiar with the sites and hazards they might have to face?

Now all Fire Fighters can create detailed, electronic pre-incident plans like this one with The Fire Zone drawing software! The Fire Zone is easy to learn and use because it was designed only to be used by Fire Fighters. You can find your diagrams instantly when you use First Look Pro on your mobile computers to complete all of your pre-fire plans with diagrams, photographs, and information about the structure, hydrants, hazardous materials, and more.

It’s Your Life On the Line

When put that way, Fire Fighters should be highly motivated to find out what’s in those buildings and make sure the department’s pre-plans are accurate. The problem is, Fire Fighters aren’t commonly experienced drafters and most of them just don’t want to go to school for months so they can learn to draw decent site plans. The good news is, with The Fire Zone™ drawing software, you don’t have to take on a second career to create and maintain great, electronic pre-plans.

The Fire Zone drawing software (The Fire Zone web page) is easy to learn and use because it has many unique features that are specifically for drawing pre-plans. It’s NOT for engineers or architects, or someone drawing a house floor plan. The Fire Zone is ONLY for Fire Fighters who want better pre-incident plans! Just point and click to draw building floor plans, streets, intersections, point out special hazards, and add pre-drawn symbols to show doors, windows, FDC’s, hydrants, and hundreds of other details.

Let Someone Else Do Most of the Work

The fastest way to get pre-plan diagrams is to let someone else do the drawing for you! Your County or City Planning Department probably has electronic diagrams of many of the commercial buildings in your area. Ask them to provide you with the files in AutoCAD® .dwg or .dxf format. Both of those formats can be imported into The Fire Zone. Of course, architectural drawings may have many details in them that you just don’t care about. The Fire Zone includes special features to help you strip out the layers of information you don’t need, then you just add the symbols and critical pre-plan details you do need. You will save hours of drawing time!

Bring satellite images into The Fire Zone and draw on top of it to highlight areas and place notes.

Another way to save drawing time is to bring a satellite or aerial photograph into The Fire Zone and then draw on top of it. The aerial photograph will give you a big head-start on your site plan by showing the building outlines, streets, landscaping, and waterways. Fire Zone lets you easily draw on top of the photograph so you can place labels, outline areas of special interest, and place any of The Fire Zone’s pre-drawn symbols to show hydrants, FDC’s, stairs, alarm panels, hazardous materials, utility shut-offs, and so on.

When You Need to Draw, Powerful Features Make It Easy

If you must draw a site plan from scratch, The Fire Zone includes all the basic drawing and editing commands you need (view basic features).  Special toolboxes let you point and click to draw building outlines, roads, and intersections – you can draw them to exact measurements or just sketch them at an approximate size.

There are thousands of pre-drawn symbols of almost everything you will find at a site and in buildings, including doors, stairs, elevators, hazards, sprinklers, trees, hydrants, alarm panels, and more. You never have to draw any of these items, just select the symbol you want and place it in the diagram at any color, size, and rotation. Symbols are included for site plans, fire investigation, fire protection, air military, and alarm system diagrams. Symbols recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 170 are also included.

Other features make it faster than ever to draw site plans.  Use the powerful Text and Dimension features to label and show distances for everything in your diagrams. Automatically turn any line, arc, or curve into a guardrail, fence, railroad track, or any of the 60 other unique line types.  More than 50 patterns can be applied to highlight an area with a solid color or to show things like grass, concrete, water, and hazmat spills. With just a few mouse clicks, you can even see a realistic, 3D view of the scene (view 3D features).

If you make a mistake, don’t worry! The unlimited Undo/Redo feature lets you go back as many steps as   needed to correct your diagram.

Organize Your Preplans With First Look Pro

Once you start creating all those great pre-plans you will want a way to access them at the scene as quickly as possible. For years, we had fire fighters telling us they just wanted to enter an address on the laptop in their vehicle and have it find their pre-plans. First Look Pro is the answer! This software program replaces your old three-ring binders of paper pre-plans.

You use First Look Pro to organize drawings, maps, photographs, notes, strategy guidelines, and the ERG guidelines for every site. With First Look Pro running on the laptop in your vehicle, you simply enter an address (or any unique portion of it) and the pre-plan is displayed in seconds. You can be reviewing the plans while you are still en-route to the incident!

Best of all, First Look Pro’s unique graphical interface makes it extremely easy to create pre-plans and load them with critical information. You can start by importing all the addresses and information from your Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. Then, when a call goes out to the vehicle’s laptop from the CAD system, First Look Pro can find the record for you and display it automatically. Your pre-plan is ready and waiting when you get into the truck!

First Look Pro even has an optional mobile mapping feature. The map shows the exact location of the vehicle (in real time) and shows the location of the incident. A GPS receiver is included to show the location of the vehicle and its progress towards the incident. A separate map designer program lets you prepare your ESRI map layers so they look exactly the way you want them to look.

Listening to Users for Twenty Years

For more than twenty years, thousands of Fire Departments and Fire Marshal’s Offices have made The Fire Zone their drawing program of choice. The CAD Zone developers constantly talk with users and their input helps make The Fire Zone more powerful and easier to use.  You continue to tell us what you want in your drawing program and we’ll do our best to make it happen. Technical support is always free, so you can call us anytime, 800-641-9077, or email us:  (

The Fire Zone is a trademark of The CAD Zone, Inc.
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