I think you have nailed it and I believe this problem is common throughout the fire service. Ensuring an effective transfer of knowledge and procedure from training environments to the fireground has always been an issue. I have seen this arise time and again over many years. This is one reason why I sincerely believe we should have detailed and documented SOPs that are followed at every incident, where any deviation from a tactical view must be subsequently be accountable. I think FDNY are one of the best at this as their procedures are both detailed and effective, based on years of fireground experience. However, there is always room for improvement.
Originally Posted by RFDACM02
I think also, that there is a distinct lack of appreciation and understanding of how an enclosed fire is likely to behave under a wide range of conditions amongst many company officers and chiefs.
=RFDACM02I would say this might be one of the worst ways to vent if you believe a backdraft is imminent. Taking windows for horizontal vent will likely cause the backdraft vs. prevent it, if it is in fact imminent.
=ChicagoFFOpening the roof is the best way to go. Single story, heavy smoke, why mess with anything else?
Venting prior to entry under backdraft conditions is a well known strategy. Vertical vents are made by some and yes, horizontal vents by others. As I say, it is important to read and constantly monitor conditions during any subsequent entry as conditions may quickly deteriorate again.
=Shoreman22I was looking at it from the perspective of a low manpower situation, which is what we typically face.
I respect your approach to pre-planning by taking high-risk buildings in your area and considering strategy for fire located in different parts of the structure whilst influenced by exterior wind etc. Creating openings to draw fire away from firefighters advancing inside is a known strategy. In theory your suggestion sounds effective and I feel it works with smaller compartmented buildings. I have never used this strategy in a large open planned areas with heavy fire involvement. My belief is that your openings will serve to feed the fire with air and conditions may still deteriorate rapidly.
=MCaldwellMy thoughts on a pre-flashover condition are to vent the A side window(s) on the Leeward corner only, to draw the fire in one direction. The leeward aspect would hopefully prevent a recirculation of smoke towards or back in the entrance, and perhaps encourage some horizontal venting via venturi.
Our attack would then be made through the main entrance, followed by total ventilation of the A side glass once the initial knockdown has been made.
* Don't undertake venting actions without a clear objective in mind
* The objective should be both practically viable and achievable
* Don't create openings that are behind or to the side of advancing firefighters in situations where air might feed the fire to escalate rapidly
* Consider that isolating the fire might be more constructive than venting it
* Always anticipate the effects of wind speed and direction prior to making an opening
* Ensure adequate water is available to deal with the involved fire load and any potential for uncontrolled spread before creating vent openings
* Where backdraft conditions are in existence do not cross ventilate an occupied structure