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Thread: Vertical Ventilation in Private Dwellings

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by firedan525 View Post
    Yes sir, I don't spray smoke.
    Why not?

    Cool the space, and that does include the smoke as you advance.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-03-2014 at 10:04 AM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    So many of us were taught not to "use water on smoke". Outdated practice these days. Smaller incipient type fire, go ahead and wait until you're at the "seat". More developed fires, the seat is everywhere. That's how I look at it. Don't even need to see fire begin to roll over your head. Lack of O2 could make that impossible. But plenty of heat could still be there. Use your water.
    I saw a video where they burned a single upholstered chair in a room. It was the only thing in the room. Left untended it created enough BTU's to cause the room to flash over. Don't remember the timeline but it certainly wasn't the 20 minutes or more from years ago. Probably 5-10 minute range but possibly less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I saw a video where they burned a single upholstered chair in a room. It was the only thing in the room. Left untended it created enough BTU's to cause the room to flash over.
    About 15 years ago we were evaluating the purchase of our FD's first TIC. We had an acquired structure and the evolution was a fire in the dining room toward the 2-3 corner of the first floor. The dining room was open to the living room that was on the left of the hallway along side 1 and 2. We set a couch on fire in the dining room with the attack crew at the front door. As the evaluator of the new TIC, I originally planned on staying in the living room on the side 1 wall to watch (and tape through the TIC) the fire and the attack crews' advance into to space. At the last minute, I decided to take a position behind the nozzle team. What occurred was a rapid fire in the couch that superheated the low ceiling room and cause the sofa next to where I was going to be, to go up in flames before the crew could even make the hallway! We were relatively confident the couch would cause a high heat smoky fire quickly, but the speed upon which that happened was so great that we didn't anticipate the level of involvement. The difference in this evolution was that the couch had been opened up with a knife and the foam rubber was chopped up and easily exposed to the fire. Nonetheless we documented a decent lesson on how fast things can change and how combustible some "smoke" can be. Obviously today, training fires are limited to hay and pallets, but don't be fooled by training fires vs. the hydrocarbon based fires that make up the contents of todays homes and structures.

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    Good point about the training burns vs actual structural fires. It bears repeating over and over, especially for the inexperienced. No real similarity between hay/wood fires in a fireproof burn building and the hydrocarbon based fires in class 3 or 4 construction (lightweight or standard). Not to mention the endless array of alterations to real world buildings over the years.

    IMO, these classes in burn buildings should be looked at as an opportunity to stretch line, operate nozzle, learn the backup position and get a basic feel for what a proper water stream can do. But don't look at it as a chance to learn real structural firefighting. There's only one place to do that and it takes a lot of time to get real good. Younger people coming into the fire service need to know that as much as they need to know anything.
    Last edited by captnjak; 06-03-2014 at 12:55 PM.

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    Burn room firefighters. That's what I call those that have never seen a real fire but have extensive time in burn towers. The truth is just as you have stated it. We get lttle heat, virtually no smoke, or if there is smoke it certainly is not the hot, heavy, black, pushing smoke of today's dwelling fires.

    The reality that needs to be stressed to firefighters is that heavy, black, pushing smoke is nothing but fire that has not ignited yet. It is looking for enough oxygen to light up. If we crawl under that without applying water we are crawling into a potential inferno. The problem is in many places people are not keeping up with the new research, with new techniques and are still teaching the same tactics we used 40 years ago. This is going to injure and kill firefighters and we need to move forward and change the way we fight fire as much as the fire has changed.
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    We were just lamenting about the good old days of training this morning after reviewing a class A burn for our regional FF 1/2 program this past weekend. The issue in so many smaller FD's and regions is that while many of us know the limitations of the training in the burn buildings, the reality is many of these "kids" go back to their local VFD's and are the most technically trained personnel they have. We've had some barely squeak by the class only to end up as officers and in one case a training officer within a year of the program.

    Even in our small career/combo FD, the ability to keep a rookie under the watchful eye of an experienced firefighter or officer is quickly fading away as workers are way down and thus gaining true fireground experience is much more difficult. All adds up to a recipe for trouble in the future. My own department could see every career officer retire within the next 8 years if we all left at 25 years! We have some smart, talented people but their experience levels lack a bit, though I suspect the officers before us said the same thing as they endured the same "war years" in the late 70's and 80's, just on the smaller scale that matches our size.

    To this end we've fought to keep the ability to use acquired structures as live fire training options, but seem to be slowly losing the battle to all the regulatory agencies. They don't get that if firefighters can't be properly trained to extinguish fires, the environmental damage may be worse. They don't care about the danger to our personnel from inadequate training. Sorry I've been on this soapbox since 0700, time to climb down and go home and mow the lawn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Burn room firefighters. That's what I call those that have never seen a real fire but have extensive time in burn towers. The truth is just as you have stated it. We get lttle heat, virtually no smoke, or if there is smoke it certainly is not the hot, heavy, black, pushing smoke of today's dwelling fires.

    The reality that needs to be stressed to firefighters is that heavy, black, pushing smoke is nothing but fire that has not ignited yet. It is looking for enough oxygen to light up. If we crawl under that without applying water we are crawling into a potential inferno. The problem is in many places people are not keeping up with the new research, with new techniques and are still teaching the same tactics we used 40 years ago. This is going to injure and kill firefighters and we need to move forward and change the way we fight fire as much as the fire has changed.
    "Fire that has not ignited yet." This is perfect. This is what we should be teaching. Because as much as we've learned from the latest research, the findings can be very technical. Especially for the newest members of the fire service who don't have the background to understand what has changed. Just teach them what they need to know. And they need to know there is a fire over their heads that they may not see or feel but is waiting to ignite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    "Fire that has not ignited yet." This is perfect. This is what we should be teaching. Because as much as we've learned from the latest research, the findings can be very technical. Especially for the newest members of the fire service who don't have the background to understand what has changed. Just teach them what they need to know. And they need to know there is a fire over their heads that they may not see or feel but is waiting to ignite.
    That statement has helped me convince others for the need to cool that overhead. It becomes clear that if that ignites because you didn't cool the overhead you will get roasted.

    Lack of fires, compounded by lack of realistic live fire training, further compounded by dinosaurs that refuse to keep up with current studies and information are a trifecta of looming disaster for many parts of the fire service.
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    I work with some of those dinosaurs. Personally, I don't know how they can deny the reality in front of their faces. Funny part is that the tactical changes we've instituted are not drastic in nature. Just a little more control over ventilation of all kinds covers most of it. We're still aggressively fighting fires as we always have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I work with some of those dinosaurs. Personally, I don't know how they can deny the reality in front of their faces. Funny part is that the tactical changes we've instituted are not drastic in nature. Just a little more control over ventilation of all kinds covers most of it. We're still aggressively fighting fires as we always have.
    Therein lies the rub, some people mistakenly look at the transitional attack, and controlling the flow path, as somehow being less aggressive because you aren't crawling into the middle of a schitt storm and risking getting roasted. Or at least lessening the chance of being roasted.

    One of my POC FDs burned a house down for practice last week and we did a brief transitional attack stream from the B side into a fully involved, post flashover, living room. With just a 5 second shot we immediately dropped the temp in the room over 200 degrees. That temp drop made the concept easier to understand. We limited the amount of water applied simply because we wanted to burn the house down. My feeling is we could have dropped the temp substantially with another 10 or 15 seconds of application.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Therein lies the rub, some people mistakenly look at the transitional attack, and controlling the flow path, as somehow being less aggressive because you aren't crawling into the middle of a schitt storm and risking getting roasted. Or at least lessening the chance of being roasted.

    One of my POC FDs burned a house down for practice last week and we did a brief transitional attack stream from the B side into a fully involved, post flashover, living room. With just a 5 second shot we immediately dropped the temp in the room over 200 degrees. That temp drop made the concept easier to understand. We limited the amount of water applied simply because we wanted to burn the house down. My feeling is we could have dropped the temp substantially with another 10 or 15 seconds of application.
    Maybe they've forgotten, or never knew, that the middle of the schitt storm isn't all that pleasant. Even with full PPE.

    It's amazing what water will do if we give it the chance. Talking about a good stream, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    Maybe they've forgotten, or never knew, that the middle of the schitt storm isn't all that pleasant. Even with full PPE.

    It's amazing what water will do if we give it the chance. Talking about a good stream, of course.
    They may have forgotten, but odds are many have never really been in the middle of a real schitt storm. I have been burned a few times, fortunately none too serious, but I would much prefer to avoid that if possible. Even the best PPE has limitations and if those limits are surpassed we get hurt.

    Fortunately both of my current FDs use either straight streams or smooth bore nozzles and with flows ranging from 150 to 300 gpm so we are good In that area. High flows are the norm here.

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