1. #1
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    Default Vertical ventilation

    I'm just curious about your favorite technique for getting through a residential roof. Do you like a 4 X 4, a zipper cut or something else.

    Also at what point won't you bring the saw up (roof pitch).

    For myself it realy depends on what the roof conditions and extent of the fire are. I have done the traditional 4X4, and a zipper cut, as well as a large triangle from the tower basket. As for working on a roof with the saw. If I can't walk it the saw doesn't come up with me.

    Thanks in advance, stay safe

  2. #2
    GBordas
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    Peaked roofs are common here in the north east. For a cut I think a 4'X 4' is a little big. Make smaller cuts then you can always make them bigger if need be. A triangle cut is good, as is a 2'x 6' cut (making the long side of the cut working down the ladder). As for the pitch of the roof for when to use a saw I think it depends on what you're comfortable with and what the conditions are i.e weather (ice) and extent of the fire. As much as I love partner saws, my tools of choice on a peaked roof or any roof, is an axe and a 6-foot hook. Sure the saw will cut quicker but an axe and hook are more reliable. Do a proper size up and use any features of the roof to assist with venting such as taking out a skylight, and/or removing vent stacks etc.

    [ 11-16-2001: Message edited by: GBordas ]

  3. #3
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    I don't care for ladders and I am not fond of being on the roof, so whenever I can, I try to get myself on an interior job. However, for the times I get to test my nerve on climbing and standing on angles, I am most comfortable with the standard 4x4 cuts between the rafters. I almost always deply a roof ladder when I must work on the roof, so as long as I can keep footing on the roof ladder, I am confortable with a saw. Of course, unsure footing will change my opinion quickly. As for trying to work from the aerial, I have not been real happy with my ability to manipulate the tools while trying to keep myself in the bucket. It always seems like when you have your tower positioned to where you want to cut, you are too close to the structure to work effectively. But when you try to move the tower away from the building, you cannot safely and effectively operate your saw or axe.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  4. #4
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    If the fire is small, we try to pop off the roof vent caps, if its anything bigger a 4x4 hole is S.O.P. We always use a roof ladder(s) unless the roof is fairly flat, K-12 or cutter's edge whatever is available at the time.
    Firefighter/NREMT-P/Public Safety Diver
    May we ride into the darkness only to return as safe as we started!!

  5. #5
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    I agree with 1goodie truckie size-up is the most important in vent work. I like to use a tringle cut or a lover cut. based on the pitch of the roof I prefere a chain saw for the simple reason you dont get the gyrio effect that you get with a rotary saw and also for the reach. Base on the pitch of the roof we will work from the bucket or the ladder of the aerials. If for some reason we need to work from a roof ladder and based on the pitch of the roof we will snap/hook into the roof ladder. If I use an axe(it will always start) I like a 8lb flat head and I always take a 6 foot hook with me.

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    Just adding my little tidbit of information. I agree with all the replys so far. Obviously this is an area where you are going to have a very wide range of options available to you. I do not feel that you can really establish a specific SOP as to how a residential roof is to be ventilated. All factors considered (i.e., size-up, weather, exposures, availability of natural openings) it just may be a little impractical to look for a pattern.

    A standard 4 x 4 cut is normally very sufficient. Obviously there are conditions that warrant the triangle cut from the bucket, which I should mention requires the use of a power saw. Other than that, if you have the energy in you, I recommened using the axe. I believe it was mentioned earlier that the greatest advantage is nevering having to worry if it is going to start.

    In conclusion, establish a general SOP as to vertical ventilation ops on residential peaked roofs. Then just adapt and overcome!!

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    Originally posted by GBordas:
    <STRONG>For a cut I think a 4'X 4' is a little big. Make smaller cuts then you can always make them bigger if need be.</STRONG>
    I gotta disagree with you on this point for a few reasons:

    First, more open space = greater volume of gasses evacuated. In terms of moving products of combustion, bigger is definitely better.

    Second, any cutting you do weakens something on the roof, by definition. For safety, you want to make an effective vent, trench, or whatever you're doing up there and get off of the roof. Going back to re-cut open vent holes or just hanging around on the roof after you've made your cuts are unecessary risks most of the time

    Third, there's no real point in cutting small, unless there is a safety issue brought about by cutting big. Small holes and large holes are both going to make the owner replace the roof anyway, so you're not saving them anything by trying to be dainty about it.

    Just my $0.02.

  8. #8
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    Big fire big hole.As far as the saws go we fire 'em 'fore we send 'em up.4x4 whenever I can get it,4x8 if you have time.Manpower dictates hole size a lot of the time along with roof construction.Worst one I ever did was a renovated old farmhouse 2.5 stories 6/1 pitch 1" pine planked,shingled with asphalt,3/4 fir plywood over that with steel roofing on the plywood.Very long smouldering,hot fire.What a pecker to cut thru!Guess they didn't want it to leak.T.C.

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