What's on Your Radar Screen?

The following list is but a modest cross section of pertinent information or focus areas today’s Firefighter, Company or Command Officer MUST be knowledgeable in, have insights and proficiency based technical skills to function with a level of...


  • UL Structural Stability of Engineered Lumber in Fire Conditions
  • Base on the UL research and
  • This two-hour presentation summarizes a research study on the hazards posed to firefighters by the use of lightweight construction and engineered lumber in floor and roof designs. This free on-line computer based presentation will allow fire professionals to better interpret fire hazards and assess risk for life safety of building occupants and firefighters.
  • This online firefighter training course is the result of a research partnership among UL, the Chicago Fire Department, IAFC, and Michigan State University, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This self-guided course, which focuses on the structural stability of engineered lumber under fire conditions, is targeted toward the 1.1 million fire service personnel in the United States and Canada. The knowledge developed and shared in this course is critically important to firefighter and civilian safety.
  • This two-hour presentation summarizes a research study on the hazards posed to firefighters by the use of lightweight construction and engineered lumber in floor and roof designs. This free on-line computer based presentation will allow fire professionals to better interpret fire hazards and assess risk for life safety of building occupants and firefighters.
  • Program Objectives:
  • Provide brief history of events leading up to DHS Grant tests
  • Identify the fire test hypothesis, parameters, and steps completed in the testing process
  • Compare tests results (legacy vs. modern construction)
  • Communicate learnings from our partners representing the fire service
  • Discuss code recommendations
  • UL University on-line Program HERE
USFA/NIST Trends in Firefighter Fatalities Due to Structural Collapse, 1979-2002
  • Between the years 1979 and 2002 there were over 180 firefighter fatalities due to structural collapse, not including those firefighters lost in 2001 in the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. Structural collapse is an insidious problem within the fire fighting community. It often occurs without warning and can easily cause multiple fatalities.
  • As part of a larger research program to help reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) funded the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to examine records and determine if there were any trends and/or patterns that could be detected in firefighter fatalities due to structural collapse. If so, these trends could be brought immediately to the attention of training officers and incident commanders and investigated further to determine probable causes.
  • Report: Trends in Firefighter Fatalities Due to Structural Collapse1979-2002
  • Report: Early Warning Capabilities for Firefighters:Testing of Collapse Prediction Technologies
NIOSH LODD Reports
  • Each year an average of 105 fire fighters die in the line of duty. To address this continuing national occupational fatality problem, NIOSH conducts independent investigations of fire fighter line of duty deaths. The dedicated web page provides access to NIOSH investigation reports and other fire fighter safety resources.
  • NIOSH Web Page HERE
  • Through the Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, NIOSH conducts investigations of fire fighter line-of-duty deaths to formulate recommendations for preventing future deaths and injuries. The program does not seek to determine fault or place blame on fire departments or individual fire fighters, but to learn from these tragic events and prevent future similar events.
  • Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Reports, HERE
NIOSH Alert: Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters using Risk Management Principles at Structure Fires
  • Fire fighters are often killed or injured when fighting fires in abandoned, vacant, and unoccupied structures.
  • These structures pose additional and sometimes unique risks due to the potential for fire fighters to encounter unexpected and unsafe building conditions such as dilapidation, decay, damage from previous fires and vandals, and other factors such as uncertain occupancy status. Risk management principles must be applied at all structure fires to ensure the appropriate strategy and tactics are used based on the fireground conditions encountered.
  • Report HERE
NIOSH Report; Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters Working Above Fire Damaged Floors
  • Fire fighters are at risk of falling through fire-damaged floors. Fire burning underneath floors can significantly degrade the floor system with little indication to fire fighters working above.
  • Floors can fail within minutes of fire exposure, and new construction technology such as engineered wood floor joists may fail sooner than traditional construction methods.
  • NIOSH recommends that fire fighters use extreme caution when entering any structure that may have fire burning beneath the floor.
  • Report HERE
NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters due to Truss System Failures
  • Fire fighters may be injured and killed when fire-damaged roof and floor truss systems collapse, sometimes without warning.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing injuries and deaths of fire fighters due to roof and floor truss collapse during fire-fighting operations. Roof and floor truss system collapses in buildings that are on fire cannot be predicted and may occur without warning.
  • NIOSH recommends that fire departments review their occupational safety programs and standard operating procedures to ensure they include safe work practices in and around structures that contain trusses. Building owners should follow proper building codes and consider posting building construction information outside a building to advise fire fighters of the conditions they may encounter.
  • ALERT Report HERE