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Transitional Attack and Flow Path Control

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  • Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post

    I see this as one of the biggest lessons for some nationwide. How often did we see (and still do) FD's arriving and taking windows before the first line is even stretched? It was/is all too common for the assignment of the OV to just take every window they can reach. Even before flow path studies this was recognized as an issue by many, but by far not all FD's. Now if we can get the public to close the door behind them and keep the cops from letting in more air...
    Police and civilians are certainly a wild card factor in all this.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by captnjak View Post
      There was a video on Statter recently where a front door was forced and left open while nozzle team awaited water and prepared for entry/advance. Before they were ready fire suddenly flashed out the door and basically in their faces. Specuation was that something may have "exploded" inside the house. My guess is a ventilation limited fire was supplied with fresh air and then did what fires do in that situation.
      Leaving a door wide open is an example of uncontrolled ventilation. It's not guaranteeing a problem but let's call it what it is and accept that it MAY cause a problem.
      I saw that video and I agree that it fed the oxygen starved fire the air it needed and the fire took off. I have seen several videos of similar events with the same results. The problem is clear, with legacy interiors the fires were fuel limited so venting most often made interior conditions better, modern interior fires are most often oxygen limited with more than enough fuel so now venting often makes conditions worse as the fire seems to explode with rapid growth. Vent early, vent often, the mantra for generations may actually be creating rapid fire spread and endangering firefighters today. NO venting should be done today, with perhaps the exception of VES with controlling the hallway door, without charged hoselines and crews ready to go. One of the greatest issues here is getting crews to understand that opening a door is indeed ventilation.
      Crazy, but that's how it goes
      Millions of people living as foes
      Maybe it's not too late
      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

      Comment


      • Originally posted by captnjak View Post

        Police and civilians are certainly a wild card factor in all this.
        True enough. WE may be able to influence the local police, but if little Billy Joe, or Gramma is in there, we may not have much of a chance with civilians.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

        Comment


        • Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

          You can practice flow path control before entering by not opening the door and leaving it wide open before you are ready to enter.
          That's kind of a given. I'm talking about after that.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by johnsb View Post

            That's kind of a given. I'm talking about after that.
            After that I would hope the nozzle is quickly opened. Flow paths are caused by differentials in heat and pressure. Rapid cooling is the best way to eliminate flow path problems.
            Teams entering for search ahead of hoseline should close the door behind them after entering.
            Horizontal ventilation also needs to be controlled until water is flowing.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by johnsb View Post

              The only problem I have with flow path control, specifically the door control, is that in real life there's often just not enough manpower to do this. It's one of those limited use tools in the back of the tool box that rarely gets used because of the setup time. And depending on the fire, it may not make any difference once the fire is venting in several places. I think as far as flow path is concerned, the most important thing is to be able to recognize the potential flow paths, and not to be in it.
              And you'll never see me worrying about melting my Bourkes, they're the most useless piece of gear ever made.
              Controlling the flow path does not require additional staffing. It is generally about things we DON"T do as opposed to things we DO. Don't take windows indiscriminately. How does this require more people? Don't force the entry door and leave it standing open. How does it require more people to pull a door back in to the closed (or mostly closed) position?
              I don't see flowpath control as something that requires "setup time".
              I fully agree that recognition and understanding are critical in this area. We can't control the fire ground if we don't understand fire behavior.
              It is almost impossible to fight fires without eventually being in a position involved with flow path. It is essential to minimize it. And rapid water on the fire is always the best solution.

              Comment


              • Great points about flow path control being more about what we should be doing as opposed to new things we should do. I think for many there is trepidation toward closing the door behind you on the way in, as it requires some confidence in your ability to operate in poor conditions and knowing the way out may not be quite as easily found as previous times. Also it defies basic logic that your climbing into the oven and shutting the door, but we have to trust the new way is safer. It's really not new, anyone with a wood stove can easily comprehend this, it just took it being pointed out in the right way by the right people.

                Clearly some FD's (some large ones too) have taken this to a higher level, utilizing an extra door control FF to keep the door pulled as shut as possible or making a cut in the bottom of the door to facilitate hose pulls, and then there's the "quick curtain" that can be fastened in the door frame allowing for ease of entry/exit while stopping most air flow. These options all require either another FF or a current position to take on these duties, slowing other duties completion.

                Comment


                • Okay let me address a couple things.

                  1) Yes closing the door, or at least closing it most of the way may eliminate that big lighted opening to find our way out, but I like the LaCoFD idea where they place a large flashlight inside the door on the floor pointing towards the direction the crew is advancing. It can help guide you back to the door. Of course if you are on the hose line turning around and following the hose will get you back out too.

                  2) The door control person does not have to be an added position at all. Who is moving hose through the doorway in the first place after the nozzle person and back up enter? Until the crew reaches the fire area or starts to flow water our hose team is spread out on the line to ease hose movement. so leaving one guy at the door doesn't seem like such a big deal to me.

                  3) RAPID application of water is the best answer to eliminating the fire problem. Whether initially through a door or window and then followed up by an aggressive interior attack, or just directly entering and aggressively attacking the fire. The problem is some people, especially the haters that never did any research into transitional attack, believe that TA means no more interior attacks. WRONG!!
                  Crazy, but that's how it goes
                  Millions of people living as foes
                  Maybe it's not too late
                  To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                  Comment


                  • Hey guys, why even discuss it? Super probie should join in any minute and teach us everything he knows about tactics. Then we'll really learn a thing or two.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                      Okay let me address a couple things.

                      1) Yes closing the door, or at least closing it most of the way may eliminate that big lighted opening to find our way out, but I like the LaCoFD idea where they place a large flashlight inside the door on the floor pointing towards the direction the crew is advancing. It can help guide you back to the door. Of course if you are on the hose line turning around and following the hose will get you back out too.
                      Agreed there are many ways to ensure you don't lose sight of the exit (bad pun intended)
                      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                      2) The door control person does not have to be an added position at all. Who is moving hose through the doorway in the first place after the nozzle person and back up enter? Until the crew reaches the fire area or starts to flow water our hose team is spread out on the line to ease hose movement. so leaving one guy at the door doesn't seem like such a big deal to me.
                      Where the last FF will be depends on the number of turns or obstacles the line must pass before arriving at the seat of the fire. In a FD such as my own, and I assume from my travels about 95% of the others FD's in the US, there is rarely enough guys on the line to for the control man to not have to constantly move between points on the line to facilitate a rapid advance. Some large West Coast FD's seem to advocate dedicating a FF to the entry door to ensure is remains closed or minimize the opening, which is great if you have the staff. We already team up companies to ensure the first line's effectiveness and find ourselves "resource poor" in the initial phase. Seems like everyone shows up just about the time knockdown occurs in the majority of cases.
                      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                      3) RAPID application of water is the best answer to eliminating the fire problem. Whether initially through a door or window and then followed up by an aggressive interior attack, or just directly entering and aggressively attacking the fire. The problem is some people, especially the haters that never did any research into transitional attack, believe that TA means no more interior attacks. WRONG!!
                      Amen.
                      Last edited by RFDACM02; 05-18-2017, 07:34 AM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

                      Comment


                      • No help in multiple dwellings but is there an "exterior firefighter" type that could control door from outside for private dwellings?

                        FDNY also assigns (by the books) a firefighter to maintain control of entry door. Once a charged line is moving in all bets are off. I think cutting the door for hoseline access or placing a curtain type device is entirely unnecessary.

                        Comment


                        • I found it interesting, yet disheartening today that as we discuss flow path and understand how fire travels better, the International Residential Code people and maybe NFPA have yet to catch up?

                          An IRC white paper presentation speaks to allowing roof egress windows in "tiny homes" as there's no room for standard egress windows. This is put into context as they recommend these for open loft bedrooms. I cannot imagine the horror of responding to a tiny home fire where the occupants opens the skylight in their open loft to escape and finds the fire travels unobstructed right to the same opening!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
                            I found it interesting, yet disheartening today that as we discuss flow path and understand how fire travels better, the International Residential Code people and maybe NFPA have yet to catch up?

                            An IRC white paper presentation speaks to allowing roof egress windows in "tiny homes" as there's no room for standard egress windows. This is put into context as they recommend these for open loft bedrooms. I cannot imagine the horror of responding to a tiny home fire where the occupants opens the skylight in their open loft to escape and finds the fire travels unobstructed right to the same opening!
                            If someone were in the sleeping loft and awake they would smell the smoke quickly due to small square footage and just go out the door.

                            If someone were asleep in the loft and there was no smoke detector they may not get the chance to open an egress window. If there was a smoke detector they could just hear it and go out the door.

                            Do we really need secondary egress from a living unit of less than 200 square feet?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by captnjak View Post

                              If someone were in the sleeping loft and awake they would smell the smoke quickly due to small square footage and just go out the door.

                              If someone were asleep in the loft and there was no smoke detector they may not get the chance to open an egress window. If there was a smoke detector they could just hear it and go out the door.

                              Do we really need secondary egress from a living unit of less than 200 square feet?
                              Depends on what's burning I'd say and if they can traverse the "ships" ladder out of the loft to the door? Smaller space, faster heating, smoke spread, greater danger?It appears that by requiring a second means of escape via the egress skylight they believe the occupant may not make it to the primary door, my point being an opening at nearly the highest point in a small enclosure is going to cause the fire to come to that point fast. Also in more traditional homes there is typically a barrier between the most common causes of residential fires and the bedroom(s). Small single room with open loft? Same hazards all in the same space. Like little SRO's with full kitchenettes.

                              In an open concept 200 sqft space everyone is "intimate with the fire". Of course if they maintain that all new dwellings need sprinklers, then ...

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
                                I found it interesting, yet disheartening today that as we discuss flow path and understand how fire travels better, the International Residential Code people and maybe NFPA have yet to catch up?
                                You misspelled "various politicians that gut the IRC requirements."

                                I will explain......

                                Beginning in 2009, the IRC requires an NFPA13D suppression system in all single family dwellings. No minimum size. If it is a SFD, it gets sprinklered.

                                But then you have politicians in the various states (that have adopted the ICC Building Code Series) like Pennsylvania- that kowtow to certain lobbyists and start hacking the codes. Like sprinklers for example......According to the Home Builder's Associations, they are the Anti-Christ. so let's get rid of em......Then you have other states that declare these "tiny homes" as recreational cabins.....no sprinklers needed..........

                                So I don't think the problem is with the IRC because if it were up to them the fire would have been out long before the Fire Department even gets called.

                                "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

                                Comment

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