Bringing science to the streets

Published:  16 March, 2015

UL Fire Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) releases new course - Residential attic and exterior fire hazards.

The online course is the culmination of the small scale, full-scale, and field experiments performed by UL as part of a research study funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

The purpose of this study is to increase firefighter safety and effectiveness by providing the fire service with scientific knowledge on the dynamics of attic and exterior fires and the influence of coordinated fire mitigation tactics from full-scale fire testing in realistic residential structures.

The interactive training takes learners through all of the details that went into the experiments, experiment results, and tactical considerations derived from the results.  Experiments included 28 wall tests, 3 wall and eave tests, 4 full-scale attic tests, and 3 field experiments. Field experiments were conducted in three acquired structures located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Fires in these 1 ½ and 2 ½ story residential houses provided a real world application of theories and tactics.

UL FSRI Director Steve Kerber commented: ‘This training program brings science to the streets by providing a dozen tactical considerations to the fire service.  Through the use of video, data, and 3D drawings of the structures, firefighters are given information that directly relates to the fireground.  For the scientifically inclined, there are also links to the detailed report as well as the data graphs and full experiment video.’

Tactical considerations derived by a fire service technical panel and supported with video and interactive features include:

Increased use of plastics in exterior walls will change the situation to which you arrive; if the fire starts on the outside, start fighting it from the outside; learn to anticipate where and how an exterior fire will migrate to the interior; attic fires are commonly ventilation-limited fires; closely time or limit vertical ventilation until water is in the attic; plastic ridge vents can affect size-up and fire dynamics; wetting sheathing with an eave attack slows attic fire growth; attic construction affects hose stream penetration; consider flowing up instead of down with a master stream; knee wall fire dynamics; apply water on a knee wall fire at the source and toward the direction of spread before committing to the attic; and interior operations on knee wall fires.

To start training click here or on the image below:

  • Operation Florian

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