In Episode 3, check out UL FSRI Advisory Board Member and LA County Assistant Chief, Derek Alkonis, as he talks about the constantly evolving fire environment and what we need to do to stay ahead.:
Structure fires have changed over time. Forty-plus years ago, structures were built using old growth, full-thickness lumber, and the furnishings inside were made of mostly natural fibers. This made for a fire environment that progressed slowly toward flashover. Compared to today’s fires, firefighters typically had time to do a search for victims, find the seat of the fire and extinguish the blaze before the fire’s intensity overcame the firefighters’ ability to control the environment.
The firefighting tactics employed by a previous generation of firefighters were based upon a built environment and the firefighting and safety equipment they had available to them. Today’s firefighters are faced with a different fire problem. The modern fire environment consists of structures constructed of lightweight building materials, open floor plans, double-pane windows and furnishings constructed of materials capable of releasing enough heat energy to flash over a room in seven minutes or less. Fire conditions that increase in intensity at these speeds require more knowledge of fire behavior and fire dynamics.
This series of videos will bring you tactical considerations from firefighter research and will feature members of the UL FSRI team and Advisory Board.
A Tactical Consideration is an evidence based concept for the fire service to consider implementing into their department to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and increase knowledge to accomplish their mission. With all of the measurements made during UL FSRI experiments as well as the vast experience of our project technical panels, several consistent themes have emerged that may be helpful to the fire service. Each of these themes is packaged as a tactical consideration with supporting text and visuals.
The application of tactical considerations depends upon many factors such as:
- building structure and geometry
- capabilities and resources available to the first responding fire department
- availability of mutual aid
There is no silver bullet tactic for structure fires and these considerations are meant to increase the knowledge of the fire service and to be incorporated into training and procedures, if deemed applicable.