Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 45
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default Vertical Ventilation in Private Dwellings

    Just curious to hear opinions. Where I come from on long island, and really a lot of places around the country, it is common to send guys on the roof to vertically vent a Peaked roof private dwelling. Obviously this is a dangerous position to be in, over the fire, especially with new construction.

    Now as I've been told, the FDNY is strict with peaked roof in that they do not walk up them and very rarely vertically vent them. And if they do choose to vertically vent, they do it from tower ladder. As an FDNY Lt in my department says, all you need is an engine co. with balls; you really don't need a vertical vent, you can do just fine with horizontal ventilation if needed.

    My question is how, I guess, how does FDNY get away with it when so many people around the country do it. Or vice-versa, why do so many do the dangerous task if departments out there can do without it.


  2. #2

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    FDNY is blessed with relatively fast response times, good staffing and a lot of help coming quickly. SOP is for engine(s) to stretch line and extinguish fire ASAP. Trucks concentrate on controlled horizontal ventilation and searches via interior and VES off of ladders. It has long been the belief of the FDNY that this is the best use of our resources at detatched peak roof private dwelling fires. We can generally knock down fire and complete searches well in advance of an adequate vent hole being opened on the roof. Peak roof private dwellings in NYC are on small lots for the most part. There are often mature trees. There are often overhead power lines in front of house. All of this delays, or prevents entirely, apparatus positioning to access roof.
    We do not have a never vent a peak roof policy. It's just not Plan A on a regular basis. Cutting from the bucket or aerial is the policy for saw operations. Cutting with an axe is allowed while straddling peak.
    Most of our private dwellings are older and early collapse of truss type roofs is not a factor at these, since they were built with standard type construction.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    I checked out both links. I don't see much relevance to vertical vent of peaked roofs.

    Am I missing something?

  5. #5
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,581

    Default

    Vertical vent when it can serve a purpose...not just to go on the roof. Fire on 1st floor of a 3 story house....roof vent won't do much (unless you are dealing with balloon construction which increases need). Fire on 3rd floor of 3 story house....vertical vent will help.

    Know your area, know your construction. In my area, many attics are finished as living spaces. Many others are storage with 1/2" 5/8" plywood floors. Pulling ceilings below them is not going to give access to the attic space.

    Again, know your area and do what works for your area. Not because someone else does/doesn't do it.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,776

    Default

    I know I've said this before, but in my area (likely our state and beyond as well) vertical ventilation is an overused tactic. I base this on the significant emphasis that is placed on it in FF 1&2 programs (not that it should be less time, but the value? Anyway for over 25 years I've watched holes be cut in roofs as if they were a check box for structure fires that had to be completed or the fire wasn't out. We do cut holes in a peaked roof when the fire is in the "A". My job also requires I inspect a fair number of apartment buildings and I can assure you that most of the wood frame PD's in our area have full floors in the attic making a hole in the roof pretty insignificant. And while these are older apartment buildings nearly all were converted from larger single family dwellings, thus the same condition is anticipated.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 11-27-2013 at 10:18 AM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Actually, the department I was with in Michigan used vertical ventilation very seldom, as with most of the other departments in the area. Without having dedicated truck crews, most time the first crew initiated attack and when the second crew arrived, vertical ventilation would not really prove very beneficial and could cause more damage than needed to a dwelling. Just knock the fire and horizontally ventilate.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pa Wilds
    Posts
    566

    Default

    While the latest program to quantify burning in SFD's is a great research and learning tool, 40 years ago we were taught to "Give it a shot" through the window before entering the structure. It is NOT a new technique. Having said this, it might be well to remember that vertical ventilation techniques were adopted in an effort to reduce Carbon Monoxide or back-draft explosions. With a 12% to 75% in air explosive range it presents a real danger when "Opening-up" in the wrong place. Because it is lighter than air, it accumulates at the top of the structure. Thus the "recommendation" to open up the roof. I agree that many times the roof opening is un-necessary since the fire has already been attacked and the steam has replaced the CO before the roof ever gets opened up. There is and continues to be a serious possibility of smoke explosion if the I.C. doesn't consider where and how to begin the extinguishing process.

  9. #9
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,512

    Default

    For us, it is a well used tool in the tool box. Use depends on numerous factors not limited to fire location, building construction, interior factor reported by the handline crew etc.
    Is there a one size fits all hard and fast rule, no. If you think there is, you are in the wrong profession. If you never use it, why? Like much of what we do, it's all dependent on the conditions presenting at the time and timely reports from the interior crews.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    For us, it is a well used tool in the tool box. Use depends on numerous factors not limited to fire location, building construction, interior factor reported by the handline crew etc.
    Is there a one size fits all hard and fast rule, no. If you think there is, you are in the wrong profession. If you never use it, why? Like much of what we do, it's all dependent on the conditions presenting at the time and timely reports from the interior crews.
    We almost never use it for reasons stated above.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Last class I sat thru was real big on PPV, and said to save vertical vent for suspected backdrafts only.

    I think it has it's place, especially if fire's in the attic of a metal roof that has been built on top of a conventional. (seeing a lot of that type of construction these days)

  12. #12
    Forum Member firedan525's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    For us, it is a well used tool in the tool box. Use depends on numerous factors not limited to fire location, building construction, interior factor reported by the handline crew etc.
    Is there a one size fits all hard and fast rule, no. If you think there is, you are in the wrong profession. If you never use it, why? Like much of what we do, it's all dependent on the conditions presenting at the time and timely reports from the interior crews.
    I have to agree. We use vertical ventilation frequently but not unnecessarily. Its very dependent on the conditions at hand.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by firedan525 View Post
    I have to agree. We use vertical ventilation frequently but not unnecessarily. Its very dependent on the conditions at hand.
    Under what conditions do you use it?

    Under what conditions do you not?

    Just curious.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    For us, it is a well used tool in the tool box. Use depends on numerous factors not limited to fire location, building construction, interior factor reported by the handline crew etc.
    Is there a one size fits all hard and fast rule, no. If you think there is, you are in the wrong profession. If you never use it, why? Like much of what we do, it's all dependent on the conditions presenting at the time and timely reports from the interior crews.
    Same question:

    Under what conditions do you use it vs not use it?

  15. #15
    Forum Member firedan525's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    Last class I sat thru was real big on PPV, and said to save vertical vent for suspected backdrafts only.
    Yeah you can mitigate backdraft risk by vertically ventilating but how about using it for lowering the risk of flashover while interior crews advance to the seat of the fire or while crews search for reported victims. It can even help slow the fire spread.

    I hate when you see videos of firefighters rolling up on a structure and just go crazy breaking glass all the way around the house and then wondering why the fire just exploded in size so rapidly.

    Now to address PPV. You have to have great communication, experienced crews, and the right situation to use PPV effectively during a fire attack. You better have the fire under control or know where all your extension is before you fire up that fan. If not you can breath new life into the fire and cause a flashover, roasting your interior crew.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    I was hoping someone could give a scenario in which they would vent peak roof house and/or where they would not. What factors would cause it? What factors would prevent it? What exactly are you looking for it to do for you? Or for the fire?

  17. #17
    Forum Member firedan525's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    90

    Default

    @captnjak - Hey brother, to answer your question.

    Under what conditions do you not? - If the fire is through the roof, then obviously not. If the roofs sagging or compromised then no. If smoke showing and initial interior reports a small contained or quickly manageable fire then no.

    Under what conditions do you use it? - All the following are dependent on the fact the fire isn't self vented, and the roof isn't compromised. If we have suspected attic fire with heavy smoke showing we'll use it to help keep the heat, and fire pushing down into the lower floor. If we have a reported victim trapped we can vent it while search/attack is being performed to rapidly reduce temperature inside possibly increasing survivability. To reduce flashover risk on a fire thats vented out a window and has time to cook the house giving us interior guys better conditions and/or a chance to get the the seat of the fire.

    The moment my Engine comes to a stop, I got a line going in the front door and we very rarely have to wait on the ventilation team to get water on the fire but the benefits are still felt while our offensive is in progress.

    Ultimately we can't always predict that fire is going to behave the same way when we ventilate as it did on previous fires.
    Last edited by firedan525; 12-16-2013 at 12:31 AM.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    "To reduce flashover risk on a fire thats vented out a window and has time to cook the house giving us interior guys better conditions and/or a chance to get the the hot seat."

    Thanks for the response. I'm not sure I fully understand what you're saying though.

    A fire that has vented out a window probably has already flashed. And if it hasn't, it probably won't. Unless we're talking about adjoining areas. But isn't the best way to prevent this the application of water with controlled horizontal vent ahead of the line?

    When you say "get the hot seat", are you referring to getting the line to the seat of the fire? If so, I ask again, isn't the best way to relieve conditions by using the line?

    If a fire is in a "ventilation controlled" or "ventilation limited" state (darkened down due to lack of air) and we open the roof, we are creating a draft. The hot air goes out but fresh air is pulled in from elsewhere. The fire is no longer limited by lack of air and can light up and rapidly increase in intensity. ALL openings create air movement. The ventilation limited state can be reached relatively quickly, certainly possible prior to FD arrival. If the roof opening is not large enough, it will not relieve heat conditions. And as fire increases in intensity it will increase heat condition. If it's done too far in advance of hose line operation it could be making conditions worse. The most recent research indicates that our roof openings are often not as large as they need to be.

    How many do you send to the roof? I would assume it would be at least two, although I've seen numerous videos where it is way more than that. If the firefighters that were assigned to the roof cutting were assigned to an aggressive search (via interior or VES), they could probably locate and remove victims quicker than they could open up a truly sufficient vent hole. Combine that with rapid stretching and operation of a handline. By the time a decent roof hole is made the fire could be knocked down and searches completed.
    Last edited by captnjak; 12-15-2013 at 11:26 PM.

  19. #19
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,512

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    Under what conditions do you use it?
    Cockloft fires, fires behind knee walls, attic fires, attached garage fires, top floor fires...those are just a few. But again, all dependent on the fire, conditions and etc. If I can get the fire to go up and out, not spread horizontal, I will give it a shot if conditions dictate.
    Under what conditions do you not?
    The easy, compromised roof, unknown burn in lightweight construction, basement fires, fires not on the top floor, etc.. (my district has few of them). Balloon frame unless its already spread vertical in the walls are just a few.
    Just curious.
    Just last week we had a porch fire get into the attic void above. We vented that to keep the fire from spreading into the dormer and 2nd floor attic. But again, we use it fairly regularly due to our construction, types of homes, age of apartments, and the likes. So for us, its as easy as snubbing a hydrant...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Just last week we had a porch fire get into the attic void above. We vented that to keep the fire from spreading into the dormer and 2nd floor attic. But again, we use it fairly regularly due to our construction, types of homes, age of apartments, and the likes. So for us, its as easy as snubbing a hydrant...
    Wouldn't water have prevented it from getting into the dormer and second floor attic? I assume stretching and operating hose lines is also as easy as snubbing a hydrant?

    P.S. Snubbing?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Vertical ventilation and truss roofs
    By TNFF319 in forum Fireground Tactics
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 12-19-2007, 11:07 PM
  2. Vertical Ventilation
    By ltdanfireman in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-19-2002, 08:11 PM
  3. Vertical ventilation
    By ADSNWFLD in forum Fireground Tactics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-20-2001, 09:08 PM
  4. Lightweight Trusses and Vertical Ventilation
    By phyrngn in forum Fireground Tactics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-26-2000, 10:39 AM
  5. Vertical or Horizontal Ventilation?
    By Gill in forum Meet and Greet
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-07-1999, 02:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts