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  1. #1
    MFD
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    Post Venalation debate

    okay here's the debate. If your in a pretty smokey room and theres a window across the room do you bust it out if visability is poor.(I know there's a lot of verabiles) but I was taught to. But I've talked with other firefighters say don't bust windows unless its last resort(like escape or for oxygen)Now If it was me and conditions was poor i'd bust it out then close the door on the way out that way you don't have a "flu or draft" running with you. now here's another question if your F.D. does it. after you've done a search and rescue of a room do you guys mark it or tag it with anything we close the door but i don't like this method. I've herd of carrying chalk or they call them "door tags" there big things hang over the handle of the door.


  2. #2
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    If you can see the window, visibility must not be all that bad. Barring extreme conditions, don't ventilate until somebody is in position and with a charged line or you will get incinerated.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  3. #3
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    We tend to bust the window completely out including the sash for the reason of a firefighter being able to quickly escape but we only do that on good jobs not just room and contents. just my 2 cents

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    When to or when not to take the window. I agree if you can see the window from across the room conditions don't dictate taking the window. Two things could be happening, either the fire is not in your area of the house or the fire is not at the point where it's producing heavy smoke. If the fire is not in your area of the house I would advise against taking the window. You also don't want to draw the fire to you or victims in areas yet unsearched. If the fire is small and not producing alot of smoke try opening the window first. If conditions get worse then you can take it or (not to get of the subject) vent vertically. If fire conditions are heavy and your say searching the room near the fire. Smoke conditions are thick, you can't see, your moving along the wall and you find a window. Take the window. Smoke conditions will improve and you might be giving the victim (if there is one) a fighting chance. Considerations should be given to the placement of hose lines. But thats another subject.

    Thats just my opinion.

  5. #5
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Some good advice so far - I would just add - if you 'pulse' some fine water droplets into the overhead just prior to taking the window (or radioing the o/s vent man to take it) this may help to 'inert' and cool any gases that could possibly ignite as the window is opened.........remember, the fire plume (flames) will normally head for an open vent point.... this is a good thing provided you aren't between the fire and the vent point!

  6. #6
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    Maplewood, in your first scenario I would say no, I wouldn't take the window. Like a few other brothers said, if you can see it, its not that bad. Why break it when you can just open it. As far as if conditions were poor. Now your talking a whole nother ballgame. If conditions are poor and your attempting a primary search, I'd have to take into account several different pieces of information. Where is the seat of the fire? Is the interior team making good progress in controlling/extinguishing the fire? Are the stairs controlled and protected with a handline? Are all sides of the building laddered, and do I know where they are? Depending on how poor conditions are and if they are deteriorating, I'd finish the hallway and exit. Then I would VES each room from the exterior. And most importantly I would close the door as soon as I entered. Plus if you operate with limited personnel which many of us do, career and volunteer. (I've been there at 1pm on Tuesday back in the day) You can rapidly search rooms, in my opinion much safer, then if you do not have a controlman at the door monitoring conditions in the hallway.

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    The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb

    Well if there was just smoke no visible fire?? You might be getting reay to burn your ***** off!! Charged line like metioned andoly as a last resort!! I know a F.D. that does horizontal ventilation right when they arrive on scene .. Kets just say they have burned a few down~~~~!!
    T.C. 379 (aka men in black)

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    Watch Backdraft again. The Shadow knows...
    If you have to break it, shut the door you came through or came to, depending on whether you came in from the exterior or not. Then maybe we won't have to see ya on the LODD page. Just my thoughts. Where is the roof team?
    ...if you put the handline in the right spot, you won't have to jump out the window...
    -Andy "Nozzles", SQ18, 9-11-01

  9. #9
    MFD
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    this might be a dumb question but from a rookie firefighter i need to ask questions. what do you do if you bust down the door and bust out the window to keep it from forming a "flu"(basically chasing you in the hall) I know i'll probably get the classic respond RUN FAST

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    Helps to have an idea where the fire is before you enter. If thats the case, force entry and stretch the line to the fire room AND take the windows from the outside at the same time. As far as your original question, break windows when things are getting worse, if the fire is still being controlled or the search is not yet complete, keep opening up. Gives firefighters better conditions and more visibility, gives victims oxygen at the floor and a better shot at survival.

  11. #11
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    Maplewood, its not that bad of a question. However, I have to say I cannot remember the last time I "busted down a door". I forced more than I can tell you but I've never really busted one down. Its not much different then when you open a door and the line is stretched, can't really close it then either. If there is that much smoke with no visible fire, I would suggest opening up long before you get inside. I've also had many experiences where no flame was visible from the front door until a window was taken out. Experience will also tell you when you have a good idea that a room was once burning. As far as the "where is the roof team?" quote. Keep in mind you do not vertically ventilate at every fire. If you have a 2 or more story structure with a fire on the first floor, your not gonna open the roof unless you want to make for a long day or night.

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  12. #12
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    Maplewood:
    I'll give you my 2¢ worth but I would really advise you to do some reading for yourself. Vinnie Dunn, Tom Brennan and a west coast guy -Mittendorf are good, respected sources. Read what they have to say decide if it makes sense to you and try it for yourself.

    OK, now my 2¢:
    You vent for two things, fire and life...two different circumstances and sets of rules apply.

    If your in a pretty smokey room and theres a window across the room do you bust it out if visability is poor
    What is "pretty smoky"? If you can see the window from across the room then no, you probably don't need to take it out. Keep in mind though, if you're searching for life and it's bad enough that you need to be on air your victim is in that "IDLH atmosphere" too.

    I've talked with other firefighters say don't bust windows unless its last resort
    What, wait until it's a matter of your life or death before breaking a few panes of glass? Again you vent for two things, fire: to give the heat and smoke a place to go in front of an advancing hose line ... and life: to provide a more survivable atmosphere for any potential victims you're searching for, help prevent flashover and enhance visibility for the search.

    i'd bust it out then close the door on the way out that way you don't have a "flu or draft" running with you.
    You've got the right idea, usually taking a window will draw the fire to that point. For that reason when doing a VES it's a good idea to close the door to that room, it buys you time.

    after you've done a search and rescue of a room do you guys mark it or tag it with anything we close the door but i don't like this method. Again, I think you have the right idea, if I'm searching, a closed door doesn't mean much, it certainly does not that the room has already been searched. How do you know it wasn't closed to begin with? We don't normally use a marking system, just do a systematic search and remember where we've been. Most of the marking systems I've seen don't seem too practical and I just prefer to keep moving and get the search done faster.
    "Go ugly early."

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