1. #1
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    Default Whats you technique?

    Accessing closed garage doors with car on fire inside? I've made a door out of a garage window and attacked that way before, it was very quick...Ive been to several fires where the garage door made the ffrs look stupid too...thanks, Be safe!

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    If a vehicle is burning inside a closed garage, the first line(s) deployed will be to the interior of the house and the fire attacked from there, outward. A primary search will also be initiated immediately as well. Ventilation is critical, as with any fire, but the initial attack line placement is the key to success.

    Opening the garage door may waste valuable time that is better spent controlling/confining the fire from a better tactical location. A vehicle fire inside a garage is NOT a vehicle fire...It is a structure fire involving a vehicle. It must be thought of, and attacked as such.

    I'd much rather lose a garage and its contents, but save the rest of the structure, than lose the whole thing because of time spent forcing a garage door, only to push the fire throughout the rest of the structure once the attack was made.




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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949 View Post
    If a vehicle is burning inside a closed garage, the first line(s) deployed will be to the interior of the house and the fire attacked from there, outward. A primary search will also be initiated immediately as well. Ventilation is critical, as with any fire, but the initial attack line placement is the key to success.

    Opening the garage door may waste valuable time that is better spent controlling/confining the fire from a better tactical location. A vehicle fire inside a garage is NOT a vehicle fire...It is a structure fire involving a vehicle. It must be thought of, and attacked as such.

    I'd much rather lose a garage and its contents, but save the rest of the structure, than lose the whole thing because of time spent forcing a garage door, only to push the fire throughout the rest of the structure once the attack was made.




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    Yep. Force the front door to the house - for all the reasons defined above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949 View Post
    If a vehicle is burning inside a closed garage, the first line(s) deployed will be to the interior of the house and the fire attacked from there, outward. A primary search will also be initiated immediately as well. Ventilation is critical, as with any fire, but the initial attack line placement is the key to success.

    Opening the garage door may waste valuable time that is better spent controlling/confining the fire from a better tactical location. A vehicle fire inside a garage is NOT a vehicle fire...It is a structure fire involving a vehicle. It must be thought of, and attacked as such.

    I'd much rather lose a garage and its contents, but save the rest of the structure, than lose the whole thing because of time spent forcing a garage door, only to push the fire throughout the rest of the structure once the attack was made.




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    cudos well said can't think of any reason someone is going to debate this.
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    Make that 4 votes from attacking the fire from the house side instead of forcing a garage door.

    If you force a garage door open.. you need to have a way to keep it open. If I recall correctly, there's a video on the 'net showing a forced garage door coming down, trapping the firefighters inside.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Make that 4 votes from attacking the fire from the house side instead of forcing a garage door.

    If you force a garage door open.. you need to have a way to keep it open. If I recall correctly, there's a video on the 'net showing a forced garage door coming down, trapping the firefighters inside.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd6bAEMu5Yk
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    precisely why i carry a small set of vice grips in my coat.
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    Make that 5 with a couple add ons,
    Opening the garage door allows outside air to push the fire straight into the house.
    People do not park junk cars in garages, if there is a car inside it is most likely a late model. 85% of all late model car are equipped with composite (Plastic) gas tanks. Attack it from the house, cooling the gas tank area first and then a quick knock, before actually entering the garage.
    This is an interview I had with a Chief in S. Texas

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeRNSsOB3nE
    Last edited by LeeJunkins; 06-03-2007 at 01:30 AM.
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    You know, I have never though of a car fire in garage, silly me. I donít have a garage in my house but my girlfriendís house does. Her dad keeps a lot of tools in there and some other items that would make suppression operation very difficult. It is a two car garage and there it not much room at all between the door leading from the kitchen to the garage and not much room between the two vehicles. Now that I think of it that would be a difficult fire to control.

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    Here's some other things to consider when fighting a fire in a garage...

    Many residences have the AHU installed in the attic above the garage. These units can weigh several hundred pounds and there will be no indications of, or advanced warning of truss/rafter failure and collapse.

    Most all garages have scuttle holes or full access folding stairways to the attic above. Fire spread to the attic, and subsequently to the entire structure is rapid and virtually guaranteed with a well involved garage fire. Open up the ceilings well away from the garage and be prepared to cut off the fire spread before it gets ahead of you.

    Cars are not the only hazard to be considered in a garage. Flammable liquids of all descriptions, i.e., gasoline, paint, solvents, etc. are in virtually every garage. Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc. can also present unexpected problems.

    Personal watercraft, boats (especially fiberglass hulls), motorcycles, lawn mowers, etc. are commonly stored in garages, and will present obvious extinguishment problems.

    Most residences have the main electrical panel located in the garage. Beware of service drops to the weather-head above the meter base, especially if they pass above the garage roof. And remember, so long as the meter is in place, the panel is always energized, even if the main circuit breaker is off.

    Very often, the attic space above the garage is used as the primary attic storage space and is packed with all sorts of things. This added weight and fuel load must always be considered.

    There is usually at least one (often several) steps leading from the garage to the house. Don't bust your *****!

    Beware of hanging items (bicycles, tools, etc.) on the walls and ceilings of a garage.

    All garage doors use springs to lift the door. One piece doors use tension springs, sectional doors use torsion springs. The failure of either type will cause the door to suddenly fall, as well as present a flying projectile hazard.

    Automatic garage door openers may activate at any time (open, or close) during a fire, due to various reasons. Never assume a door is secured until YOU secure it! Peg the track below the lowest roller of a sectional door with something that won't become dislodged, or clamp it securely with Vice-Grips, or a similar tool.
    Prop open one piece doors with a pike pole on each side and if manpower permits, assign someone to make certain they don't get moved or knocked out of place.

    Garage floors are usually sloped slightly toward the driveway. Beware of free-flowing flammable liquids that may present exposure hazards beyond the structure itself.



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    Posted by Fireman4949

    All garage doors use springs to lift the door. One piece doors use tension springs, sectional doors use torsion springs. The failure of either type will cause the door to suddenly fall, as well as present a flying projectile hazard.
    Amen, Bro.

    Springs are made of steel.. steel elongates at around 1100F...

    I had a door spring let go in my garage Saturday morning after I opened the door to take out the trash... sounded like a freakin' gunshot and scared the crap out of me! The other spring did hold the door up, but when I hit the manual release, I had all I could do to keep it from slamming onto the garage floor.

    Another point...anything and everything can be found in a garage. The fire load inside can be incredible!
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    Last edited by 5alarmcooker; 03-17-2008 at 07:43 PM.

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    Went to a "garage" fire the other night. It was not attached to the house so the whole protect the interior option does not exist. Also, only had access to 3 sides as the 4th side was a canal. Yes, it was a garage for a boat.

    In my area, many garages are not attached to the house. We'll try to get the door open. On metal ones, we do an inverted "V" cut.
    "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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireslayer1237 View Post
    precisely why i carry a small set of vice grips in my coat.
    Vise-grips....I think they should be required equipment carried by Firefighters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Went to a "garage" fire the other night. It was not attached to the house so the whole protect the interior option does not exist. Also, only had access to 3 sides as the 4th side was a canal. Yes, it was a garage for a boat.

    In my area, many garages are not attached to the house. We'll try to get the door open. On metal ones, we do an inverted "V" cut.
    speaking of cuting metal doors what do you guys finds works the best. I have been taught a few different ways witht the inverted "V" and then a straight cut shoulder high horizontal to the ground. I also saw a video on you tube that was pretty interesting heres the link.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ydCg_jZizpM
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    Nice video. Not sure about the doors in your area, but ours are attached on the sides by wheels and such so you aren't going to simply be able to pull the slats out like that.

    We go with the inverted "V" and just fold the V section down once it's cut.
    "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?

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    you dont want to push the fire somewhere that is unburned. You attack from the interior of the house, you halt its prevention and it cant go anywhere. Otherwise, your pushing the fire into the house and then your water is flooding the house and pushing debris everywhere

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    One thing to add to 4949's list (from experience) is that even if the fire is out, a door that was up when we arrived can fall. I had one come down on me during overhaul. The tracks finally gave in to the weight of the door after been exposed to the heat and warping.

    I've only been on one other incident like it since. It was a two-car garage that we opened the other door and closed the door that was a threat.

    I do agree, attack from the interior of the house if it's any fire at all. I also agree with the "V" cuts into the door.

    edited to clarify-- The door did not fall closed, it fell straight down as in the rails failed, not the springs.
    Last edited by Catch22; 06-04-2007 at 01:55 PM. Reason: clarification

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    A small pike pole works good for propping the door up, if it's up and it's also a good idea to keep someone watching it just in case. Having the door go down on anyone would suck. As said before hit it from inside the house.

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    Quick question, what is the best way to actually deal with the garage door itself?
    It seems that the easiest way to create the biggest opening is to open the garage door, but this creates a safety (drop) hazard as well as a huge barrier to getting to fire in the void above the garage. Leaving the door down means any access is through a man-made opening which will undoubtedly be smaller (inverted V).

    If I were attacking a garage fire from the house-side, I'd want the biggest opening available, but I'd also want to get it out of the way safely to get at the fire above. This was just based at looking at the garage of my townhouse where the open door covers 1/3'ish of the ceiling when raised.
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    I don't remember who stated using vise grips that would I'd say be the best way to keep the door up and doesn't require alot of manpower.To eliminate the garage door itself would probablly be the best way with a saw or something. Most doors have a man door on them (most) we use them to make an attack (if it's free standing and not attached to the house) and if it doesn't have a door one could easily be made with a saw if need be.

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    Default Nobody should die putting out a garage fire!

    Okay Iím probably going to get beat-up for this however I am going to throw myself to the wolves.

    When dealing with any garage fire the first thing I think is that I am essentially dealing with a dumpster with an oversized door on it. People cram all kinds of stuff in their garage. Gas, pesticides, boxes of junk they donít use. I have never been extremely aggressive about entering a garage for these reasons. An exploding shock or a propane tank letting go would definitely end the day on a bad note.

    As for an attached garage I have always taught firefighters to enter the home and evaluate the door to the garage. If the door is intact, donít open it. To do so introduces all of that heat and smoke into what is essentially an unaffected area. I then punch the ceiling to confirm fire isnít running over my head through the attic space. If the attic is negative I would open up a heavy attack from the driveway. Anything from a blitz line to a deck gun, depending on positioning of the apparatus and available manpower.

    If fire has breeched the door from the residence into the garage then you have no choice but to mount the attack from here. I make it a point to not push into the garage. Instead I stay in this doorway for the various reasons already mention. Heavy storage overhead, HVAC units, gas cans, tires or propane tanks.

    And I always prop garage doors open with two separate devices. Hanging a haligan on the track is quick and will prevent the garage door from rolling down. Then I place a rolled section of 3-inch hose against the garage door track. If the door does come down this allows enough space for a firefighter to crawl under.
    Last edited by traumawave; 06-04-2007 at 08:01 PM.
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    Some people have attics over their garages..............my bedroom is above our garage.
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    I agree with traumawave, the first line should go through the front door to the interior garage entrance to check for interior extension and provide protection for members performing primary searches. Remember the basics, confinement before extinguishment. If the fire rated door and, double 5/8" drywall are doing their job of confining the fire to the garage there is no reason to open the interior door allowing everything confined to the garage into the living area. Forcing a residential garage door is basic truck work, and a 2 1/2" line with a 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" smoothbore will provide quick knockdown for the heavy fire load found in most residential garages while allowing the nozzle team to maintain a reasonable distance between themselves and who knows what inside due to the reach of the stream. Also many attached garages will also have an exterior man door which should be located during our sizeup which can be used as an attack point. But, if the fire has entered the rest of the structure then yes, we must attack the fire from the interior. Of course my method relies on multiple companies available in a short period of time which is the norm in my area, and companies less blessed with manpower may have to rely on other methods.

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    [QUOTE=traumawave;819969]As for an attached garage I have always taught firefighters to enter the home and evaluate the door to the garage. If the door is intact, donít open it. To do so introduces all of that heat and smoke into what is essentially an unaffected area. I then punch the ceiling to confirm fire isnít running over my head through the attic space. If the attic is negative I would open up a heavy attack from the driveway. Anything from a blitz line to a deck gun, depending on positioning of the apparatus and available manpower.[QUOTE]

    Please correct me if I'm missing something here. Either your advocating mounting an exterior attack on the garage while crews are still inside the residence, or your advocating giving up a tactical offensive interior position in lieu of a defensive exterior attack.
    This just doesn't make any sense at all to me. I would never abandon an offensive position from the unburned side, to mount an exterior attack from the involved portion of the structure, nor would I ever allow an exterior attack to be initiated while personnel were operating inside, or before a primary search had been completed. These are recipes for disaster in my book.
    Last edited by fireman4949; 06-05-2007 at 09:14 AM.
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