1. #1
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    Default Roof Work Abroad

    I recently joined the Member Zone and have enjoyed reading the forums. I was glad to see some of our European Brothers submitting replies, which had me thinking about tactics outside of the US and Canada. Do our counterparts abroad routinely perform vertical ventilation at structure fires? It may seem like a stupid question, but I am curious to learn about tactics and theories utilized elsewhere in the world. Thanks for listening.

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    Default G'day

    Here in Queensland we don't use vertical ventilation routinely. We never put a firefighter on a roof if we have a working fire in the structure. There are two reasons for this- 1) firefighters can/have fallen through the the roof, and 2) the sudden vent can intensify the fire inside the structure.

    I have seen a vertical vent done once, and they used the ALP (aeriel ladder platform- a 42 metre[130ft?] scania/bronto) to knock out a skylight with its monitor jet.
    My Lt has 13 yrs OTJ and can only remember the same time. If vertical vents were needed we would call an ALP (nearest is about 45-60 mins away) and they would do it with someone working off its platform not standing on the roof itself, so we have the capability but it is rare we use it, we tend to use horizontal venting.

    All that said; I was at house fire where we knocked down the interior fire but there was a concern about the attic, as there was no manhole access inside we did go onto the roof and remove one sheet (corrugated iron roof) to check the attic (no we weren't standing above where we wanted to check) as we felt removing one sheet was less damaging than pulling the ceiling down with the hooks and we aim to minimise damage.

    I also have a copy of the UK ventilation manuals and they do have a section on it but from memory (its on loan to someone) they recommend working off a ladder or an appliance not standing on the roof and that it wouldn't be first choice in most (not all) scenarios. hopefully one of the uk guys (steve?) may read this and give you a better answer.

    btw- its not a stupid question, i joined for the same reason, to learn more about firefighting outside of my area.

    Sorry for the long post, hope it helps
    Alex

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    as i'm not firefighter but my relatives are POC,so i'm going to write what they explain:vertical ventilation is very "rare" in France.usually on the houses,we have tiles and it is hard to walk on them or break them.the guys do vertical ventilation only when on the roof,you have like a "small window" ,sorry for the bad english.

    in fact they consider here that, when you have firefighters on the roof ,it is very dangerous and not safe.
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    UK fire service operating procedures require firefighters who are engaged in removing tiles/slate/roofing materials to work from either a gtround ladder, or from a properly sited roof ladder, or if available an aerial appliance. We do not routinely vent buildings vertically, or place crews on roofs above fires. My services appliances carry PPV fans, which at this time can only be used for defensive venting following containment or extinguishment of fire, and are not used whilst crews are still engaged within an affected premises.
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    Not a great deal of that type of ventilation done here, our old friend construction generally precludes it. Where the opportunity presents itself, i.e. with a roof light, lightweight construction or close coupled roof with a fire in the roof space then ventilation may be undertaken.

    But truthfully, by the way we attack the fire, our displacement of Aerial apperatus and so on, most often we are in, the fire is out and we are overhauling by the time we could get a cut into a roof.
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    A few years ago I spoke with a FF from Holland and he also said they didn't do much roof work. One reason was because many buildings were destroyed during WWII and when they were rebuilt the entire building, including the roof, was concrete. Something people over here never give a thought to.
    Good post. It's interesting to see other methods and ideas.

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    Heres some roof work from yesterday

    http://video.nbc5.com/player/?id=152987
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks brothers for all of your input. I appreciate all of the feedback. Stay safe.

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    Even in Canada I think you'll find roof venting done much less than south of the border.

    Around here in the sticks, we train on it for times when there may be no other option (i.e. backdraft scenario, etc), but it is more commonly used as a tool of overhaul than direct fire control. The rural dept's just don't see enough fire to remain proficient, and even the urban depts tend to be a little more conservative.
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    Default Vertical ventilation?

    Here in Australia,specifically Sydney we very rarely use or utilise vertical vents. As someone else pointed out the big thing is construction. Our family dwellings [either single or mutliple levels] are usually tile roofed [about70%] with the dreaded truss lurking below. Not much fun when the damned things collapse!
    I can't remember working on a roof or putting a crew on a roof in 25 years to effect ventilation. I have worked a vent crew from an aerial and that can be effective but the conditions have to be pretty near perfect.
    Our SOGs call for horizontal ventilation with the proviso that if possible we use the highest point possible in the wall [a window or cut hole] only after all crews are made aware of the possibly worsening conditions.
    Now the PPV fans are making event that practice obsolete.
    As I understand it the methods of constructions are changing in the USA as well and you guys are seeing more truss roof construction using lightweight materials rather than the heavy bearers and joists of yesteryear.
    A couple of years ago I watched the excellent videos [on truss roofs] produced by the ex Deputy Chief FDNY [Vincent Dunn?] and that made me a lot more careful about roof work

    Stay safe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landy01 View Post
    the sudden vent can intensify the fire inside the structure.
    Alex, lets make sure we are on the same page here....

    Cutting the roof to allow the hot gasses and smoke to escape intensifies the fire?
    I am just making sure that we are not taking about popping a window on the windward side, or something of the like. In my experiences (granted, they are limited), giving the smoke and gasses somewhere to go, other then over, and down, makes the air clearer, the temperature cooler, and makes the fire attack easier.
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    BLSboy i think Landy01 was implying that you sort of create a chimney effect with more air being sucked in through the building and going out the vent hole. Meaning yes there is less smoke but more air for the fire. hence more intense

    In south Australia as compartment fire training is becoming more common we try to avoid any vertical venting to maintain the integrity of the compartment. however we will remove roof sheets to inspect attic spaces during overhaul.

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    Aside from tile roofs, what are the common construction methods in Oz, both residential and commercial? I'd say the answers to the original question lay in building construction. U.S. building construction differs from many places in the world. Even within the U.S. Here in Northern New England, our common residential construction is vastly different than the Southwest. Add to it that houses here are anywhere from 1 day to 300 years old. Most newer houses, we're less likely to do a vertical vent. Trusses and vented attics are a lot different than stout old farm houses with closed off void spaces and strong roofs. A lot of newer buildings use construction that either makes vertical venting (aside from performing from an aerial) dangerous or unneccessary.

    A good reason to make knowledge of building construction a very strong part of fireground tactics and strategy. Hard to keep up with it these days though!

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