Vertical Ventilation Online Training from UL
September 16, 2013
New training on vertical ventilation is available online to firefighters, courtesy of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Firefighter Safety Research Institute. The course – “Effectiveness of Fire Service Vertical Ventilation and Suppression Tactics in Single Family Homes” – is free and students have the choice of three paths: abbreviated, complete, and instructor.
This training compliments studies done in the past several years showing changes in fire behavior in the “modern” home versus the “legacy” home. Lightweight construction, synthetic furnishing materials, and trends toward open floor plans and larger homes have all contributed to faster fire involvement in residences.
UL held 17 full-scale tests of residential buildings to find what impact these changes have on tactics currently used by the fire service, especially ventilation techniques. The studies showed limiting airflow was key, and vertical ventilation can allow smoke and toxic fumes to escape and improve visibility while limiting air to feed the fire.
The science behind residential fire attack has changed. Because residential fires are now burning much more quickly and fire departments have a very short window of time to respond and act, tactics must change as well in order to ensure life safety and lessen property loss.