Not for a Piece of Property

William Mora offers risk management principles to evaluate the risk of fighting structure fires. Factors include the presence of basements, fire conditions, defensive attacks, life safety and more.

It Takes Tactical and Cultural Change to Prevent LODDs
If your department routinely implements a fast and aggressive interior attack, without following a risk management statement and is not aware of the dangers associated with enclosed, abandoned, vacant or dilapidated structure fires or maintained structures that cannot be saved, your firefighters run a high risk of serious injury or fatality. In the future, the high percentage of firefighter fatalities suffered at structure fires will only be reduced if local, progressive leadership, institutes tactical changes more appropriate to managing basement fires and for vacant or abandoned property not worth the life of a firefighter.

Note: This article implements the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Life Safety Initiative 1: Cultural Change Relating to Safety and Life Safety Initiative 3: Integrating Risk Management with Incident Management.


  • Tarley, J., Braddee, R., Death in the line of duty, (2007), Firefighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, F 2006-26, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • NFPA (2004), NFPA 555 - Guide on Methods for Evaluating Potential for Room Flashover, Chapter 3, Definitions, 3.3.2, Flashover, page, 555-6.
  • NFPA (2004), NFPA 555 - Predicting Flashover for Fire Hazard Calculations, Chapter 7, 7.1.1, General, page 555-9.
  • National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Courage to be Safe Program (2006), compact disc safety training program.
  • Mora, W.R., "U.S. Firefighter Disorientation Study, 1979-2001" (2003).
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WILLIAM R. MORA, a Contributing Editor, is a Captain in the firefighting division of the San Antonio, TX, Fire Department. William has done extensive research on the topic of firefighter disorientation including the analysis of 444 structural firefighter fatalities and is the author of the United States Firefighter Disorientation Study 1979-2001. You can reach William by e-mail at