Rockford Firefighters have battled nearly 50 structure fires this year, all without any deaths.
That’s a streak they’d like to continue and there’s a special testing lab that’s helping them do that.
Rockford Firefighters were at that lab recently to learn the best firefighting techniques and they invited 13 WREX to come along.
Putting water on a fire. It may sound easy but researchers say there’s a lot more to fighting fires than that. There are a number of ways to attack a fire, but Rockford Firefighters traveled to Northbrook Illinois to find out the best ways. .
“Looking at door control, advancing hose lines down hallways, different nozzle techniques,” said Division Chief Matt Knott.
Door control is one tactic the Rockford Fire Department says it’s already getting good use out of.
“We know that when you have a fire in a house, it needs oxygen to get larger and if you can limit that oxygen by not opening the door all the way. By letting the crew in and closing it behind them onto the hose line, we can limit the amount of air and slow down that fire growth,” said Steve Kerber, UL Firefighter Safety Research Director.
But there’s many more techniques to observe. Thanks to cameras and special sensors at UL, firefighters can do just that.
“We always thought we knew what happens down that hallway but here today we’re able to see both the visual and also the infrared camera to understand really what those hot gases are doing, what the smoke layers are doing and so that really helps us to understand fire behavior,” said Knott.
After the day of research is complete, they’ll take the information back to the stateline in hopes this knowledge can continue to help them tackle fires and save lives.
Door control is something you can also use in a fire. Researchers say keeping your doors to bedrooms and other rooms closed can keep a fire from spreading.