Thread: Live Burn

  1. #1
    BURNSEMS Guest

    Talking Live Burn

    Our Dept has recived a Single Storie wood frame structure with Concrete Foundation for a Burn Project,, we are very Lucky because this House is in Real Good Shape,, our Plans are to Smoke the House useing commercial Smoke and then after a couple weeks of Practice start Little by Little Burning the Building for Practice until we Do the Real Burn from Start to finish,, We have read the NFPA Standard for Live Burns and I am Looking for input from others in referance to Training that canbe accomplished and additional Safety aspects for Such a Operation.

    Here today for a Safer Tomorrow

    [This message has been edited by BURNSEMS (edited January 13, 2000).]

  2. #2
    FyredUp Guest


    Here's my 2 cents worth:

    1) Make sure you have 2 pumpers set up with seperate water supplies so if one fails the other can still function independently.

    2) The line backing up the interior crew should come from the other pumper. Again to ensure redundency of water supply.

    3) If you don't do it normally there should be a RIT team in place for rescue of interior crews. This should be their only job.

    4) Because it is training let everyone tour the house before live fire begins. This allows just another margin of safety.

    5) A neat trick I saw at a house burn was painting arrows on the floor pointing to the exits. This way if the whole world turned to **** you knew how to get out.

    6) I know this one sounds goofy, but here goes anyway. Make sure that the equipment being used is dedicated to the drill. I have been at burns where equipment had to be pulled away to respond to calls. I can recall trying to knock down a room fire with an inch and a half off from a portable pump on a tanker when all the other equipment left to go to a call.

    Having said all these things these oportunities are the best for learning structural firefighting. Have fun.

  3. #3
    KEA Guest


    One thing that we have done at numerous burns is to dedicate one room to Flashover training.

    The key is the preperation! Spend a few dollars and purchase 5/8" sheetrock (drywall) and line the ceiling, and walls of one average size room. Use a partial piece to cover the top 2-3 feet of the door entrance. This will help to keep the heat build up in the room. By using pallets, and hay to start the fire, you will find that it doesn't take long for the room to Flashover from ceiling to Floor! If using a room with a window, I would suggest that the sheetrock be mounted from the outside with a safety person standing by with a pike pole to pull it if necessary.

    Depending on the configuration of the house, hallways, other rooms, etc. you should be able to whatch the fire grow from start to the point of rollover and then to Flashover. Your point of attack can best be determined by your most experienced firefighter.

    Last but not least, Ensure that you follow the checklist outlined in NFPA 1403 and the minimum flow requirements outlined in NFPA 1410 (100-gpm initial attack line and 200-gpm from the back up line).

    Make sure you "KNOW" what your flows are. Do not depend on calculations! Get a flow meter!

    I know following it can be a pain, however it will protect you if someone does get hurt and they try to make a stink.

    Stay Safe
    Kirk Allen
    First Strike Technologies, Inc.

    Stay Safe
    Kirk Allen
    First Strike Technologies, Inc.

    [This message has been edited by KEA (edited January 13, 2000).]

  4. #4
    dwightpeck Guest


    A real structure for use in live burn training is a goldmine in my opinion. The possibilities for learning are almost endless. I think the first step is for your department to decide on its training goals. We burned two houses on the same piece of property at the end of the summer. We had recently had an influx of new members, and our officers also decided that we had a fairly young, green membership. Our duty crews therefore used those houses for nearly 3 months to help get new members up to speed. Using a smoke machine, we had a great opportunity to practice searching, hoseline advancement, various types of rescues, and just about everything else in low visibility conditions. Needless to say, it was a great benefit to the new members. The only real downside was that we quickly learned the exact layout of the structures, taking away some of the "unknowns" that you would find on a real call.
    So in general, we practiced just about everything we could think of in those two houses. We also got lucky with our timing on another issue: Thermal Imaging Cameras. We were in the process of selecting a TIC for our department when we learned that we would have the two structures to burn. So we arranged for a few of the TIC manufacturers to be present at the first burn. We used that day as an extensive trial for the various TICs that were there. The second burn was about 6 weeks after the first, and by that time we had made our decision on the TIC. So we geared the second burn towards training on our new TIC, with great results. If you do not already have a TIC, or are in the process of choosing one, I highly recommend trying to incorporate a demo into your burn. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    DD Guest


    In the late 60's & early 70's it was easy to get a building to burn and without strings attached. Now make sure that you have the proper permits and authorization from your environmental protection department. In my state an asphalt roof has to be removed and an asbestos inspection made. Asbestos that is found has to be properly removed and disposed.

    FredUp is sure correct about dedicated equipment. Been there, it happens. Also make sure that there is a sufficient amount of personnel that will remain to safely handle the burn building.

    With a good plan, this is great training.

  6. #6
    hellcat609 Guest


    One of my departments have used live burns on many occasions and it has always worked great. Number one is saftey. Have at least one or two backup lines ready at all times manned and packed out. The way we have done it in the past is to get wood pallets and stand up, put hay under them and use just a little diesel to get it going. There is a saftey officer inside at all times watching the fire and telling the attack crew when to hit it with water. Sometimes the team just watches as the fire grows, just after it gets ticking over the interior roof, we hit it with a quick spray to knock it down. The firefighters get to feel the heat yet the actual house is usually not burning, just the pallets. Looks awesome. Timing and saftey are the keys here. You do have to dedicate at least one engine to the fire no matter what, even if you get another call.

  7. #7
    Squad 12 Guest


    I have been involved in the past 15 or so years in doing live burns in aquired buildings, and in my opinion this type training is by far the best training that a firefighter can recieve. Our team travlers across the state on Indiana to do this type of training for various regional schools and I can't tell you the times previous students have come and told us of how valuble it has proven on the REAL FIREGROUND. If your department does, or plans on doing this type training remember SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY- follow NFPA guidelines to the T, and I might add that when you do the burns not only have both engine companys at seperate water supplies, but also have an attack line and back-up line come off each of the engines so not as to have your eggs all in one basket.

    Be safe & God bless,


  8. #8
    mtnfireguy Guest


    Ditto to what has been said by the others.

    This is in 1403, but I find departments must be reminded of it. Have some form of EMS on standby at the scene. A fully equipped ALS ambulance is best.

    In the event someone in injuried (burned, cuts, fell, etc) no matter how insignificant it may seem - Document Document Document
    You should have a burn plan. If someone needs to be seen by the EMS folks, and then decides they are ok and refuse further treatment, make sure the EMS folks have a patient refusal form signed.

    As was mentioned before, this all sounds likes a hassle, but it will save you God forbid something goes wrong or someone does something unexpected. All the safety procedures in the world wont keep a human being from doing something stupid.

    Acquired buildings are great tools when used safely.

  9. #9
    tydon Guest


    Excellent score!

    The best thing to do before you do your burns in the house;
    have all your training objectives on paper.
    This can be done utilizing lesson plan format and have a separate lesson plan for each different type of scenario you wish to place your team through.
    This should include the number of pallets you use to start the fire, who is the I.C. Who is the designated safety officer and who is the instructor in charge.
    Know your fuel load, do not put in anything that will bite you in the butt.
    Ensure that everyone does a fire streams drill before the actual burn, it may sound ridiculous but I have seen some F/F's do some strange things when they shouldn't and it will get really hot because of it.

    Most important!!!!

    Have fun with it; enjoy!


  10. #10
    benson911 Guest


    I'm surprised noone mentioned fire investigation training. None of you must be investigators, too.

    Set up at least one room with old trashed furniture. Let the extinguishment process proceed like the rest of the training, but let the rookies watch how a "real" room burns. No pallets, no diesel.

    Then let the investigators come in and figure out how it happened. Use some incendiary techniques that don't involve ignitable liquids to make it tougher.

    Not only will the rookies see what a "real" burning and burnt room looks like, they will appreciate what the investigators go through to find out how the fire started. Also, the rookies will see how much their actions at the fire affect the fire scene.

    Give the investigators some practice, too. Let them see how good they are. Let them show you how good they can be!

  11. #11
    KEA Guest


    benson911: Wow! Great Point on the investigation! Thats one for the training manuals!

    Kirk Allen
    First Strike Technologies, Inc.

  12. #12
    Lieutenant Gonzo Guest


    My recruit class at the Massachusetts Fire Academy (way back in 1982, recruit class #56) had the opportunity to do live burn training in an old house on a property that Massachusetts Electric was planning to build a new facility on. There's nothing like a real structure (as in wood frame, lath and plaster) to get firefighting experience. The burn buildings that are used today are concrete and safer, but it's just not the same.

    There has been a lot of great information that has been posted on this first!

    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited January 28, 2000).]

  13. #13
    Truck 2 Guest




  14. #14
    wvfd2 Guest


    We have found it very useful to video tape our live burns. This gives you a chance to see the burn from different angles and discuss it after the burn is done. It makes a good winter drill to sit down and watch the tape and discuss it.

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