Firefighters Review Fire Behavior Lessons
 
By Battalion Chief Mark Oeltgen
December 26, 2017
 

Prospect Heights fire fightersspent time using small scale houses to review fire behavior and ventilation considerations. Division Chief Brian Kazmierzak (a reource and subject matter expert from an indiana fire department) was on hand to facilitate the review and aid in using the props. Fire fighters reviewed how modern furnishings inside homes has changed the speed in which fires change inside homes. The types of furnishings that are present have shifted over the years, from wood and cotton, to nylon and pressboard. This has changed how fast heat is released from burning items, as well as the density of the smoke produced. These drills help reinforce decisions made on the fire ground.

 
Instructor  Brian Kazmierzak reviews fire growth/ behavior with the duty crews
Instructor Brian Kazmierzak reviews fire growth/ behavior with the duty crews
Fire begins to build in "the room" of origin
Fire begins to build in "the room" of origin
 
Fire growth phase
Fire growth phase
Flammable vapors have allowed the fire to "jump" to the adjoining room.
Flammable vapors have allowed the fire to "jump" to the adjoining room.
 
Fire behavior noted by crews simulating a hole cut in the roof
Fire behavior noted by crews simulating a hole cut in the roof
Fire started on a first floor room. a window on the second floor is in the open position
Fire started on a first floor room. a window on the second floor is in the open position
 
The entire structure is then closed up, simulating a closed up house.
The entire structure is then closed up, simulating a closed up house.
The "front" door is opened, simulating fire fighters making entery to fire the fire. A fire fighter opens the hole in the roof.
The "front" door is opened, simulating fire fighters making entery to fire the fire. A fire fighter opens the hole in the roof.
 
The build up of flammable smoke then ignites throughout the home.
The build up of flammable smoke then ignites throughout the home.
The other windows and doors are opened to demonstrate that fire IS present in all areas as soon as there is enough air for the fire to free burn.
The other windows and doors are opened to demonstrate that fire IS present in all areas as soon as there is enough air for the fire to free burn.