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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Container burn props

    Anyone using 40 ft containers as class A burn Props? How do they work and how did you configure the inside?

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Edward Hartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Gresham Oregon

    Default Container Configuration

    Containers have been used as live fire training props all around the world since the 1980s in a number of different configurations.

    We have had two props in service for six years of fairly frequent use. One is a "demo/attack cell" and the other is a "window cell". The demo/attack cell is a 40' high cube container (12" taller than a standard container). This cell has a wall constructed just inside the open end of the container with two doors (one opens in and the other opens out), a split door on one side (you can open top or bottom separately) and two vents one roughtly 1/2 the way back from the front and the other at the rear. This prop is used for demonstrating fire development and for practicing nozzle technique, door entry, and fire attack procedures.

    We are currently working on expanding the demo/attack cell by interconnecting it with four other containers (three configured similar to a residential structure and the other as a connecting hallway).

    The window cell has a wall constructed in the open end with a split door and a split door in the side. This is used for demonstrating flashover and backdraft (no one goes inside this prop while it is working).

    We constructed these props in our training center shop. However, I can also recommend a commercial vendor that manufactures this type of prop in a wide range of configurations and can assist with the process of obtaining an assistance to firefighters grant for purchase. Contact me off line if you would like additional information or pictures.

    Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE

  3. #3
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    The Nice Part of New Jersey


    Be very careful with homemade burn props...

    Be sure that you are following all the standards, recommendations and state laws.

    We had a very sad incident in my home county with a home-made burn prop.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber Edward Hartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Gresham Oregon

    Default Design and Use Considerations

    ChiefKN makes a good point. Design must consider intended use, entry, egress, and ventilation profile (as basic considerations). Further, fuel load must be based on the compartment size, configuration, and ventilation profile.

    Container based props can provide a cost effective means for conducting safe and effective live fire training, but good design requires a solid understanding of practical fire dynamics.

    Safe conduct of any live fire training exercise requires that instructors have an understanding of standards such as NFPA 1403 and state regulations governing this type of training activity. While not explicitly addressed in NFPA 1403, instructors must also have a sound understanding of fire behavior and the impact of tactical operations.
    Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE

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