06/07/13 227 W, 1 I - + 1 - 1 You Can't Push Fire (But You Can Change Flow Paths)

That's one of the myths busted in this Firefighter Nation article that's making the rounds. Titled What Research Tells Us About The Modern Fireground, the article by Steve Kerber and Timothy E. Sendelbach looks at recent studies by research teams at Underwriters Laboratories (UL). They highlight several scenarios and suggest changes to longstanding tactics, such as the example shown below. Heavy fire involvement in the front room of a house, with flames visible from the front door and windows. Unknown if occupants are inside.

Applying water to the fire as quickly as possible, which they call "softening the target," can make conditions better throughout the entire structure. They cite the UL experiments, where twenty-five gallons of water directed off the ceiling of the fire room, from an exterior line, reduced the fire room temperatures from 1,792 degrees F to 632 degrees F in 10 seconds. Hallway temperatures dropped from 273 degrees F to 104 degrees F in 10 seconds. Conditions made better, not worse. 

Read the entire article for this and other examples. Reader comments and commentary are welcome, both on this subject and the meta-subject. What do you think about (a.) these studies and their results and (b.) change in the fire service, and how departments can move from old ways to new ways?

Steve Kerber/UL photo

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