UL FSRI Firefighting Research: From the Lab to the Street
The proposed class will provide an overview of recent research conducted at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) as it pertains to fire behavior, ventilation, positive pressure attack and the implementation of learned tactical options on the emergency scene. The Modern Fire Environment has changed from the environment encountered by the fire service just twenty years ago. The fuel package in today’s environment has experienced a growing inclusion of synthetic products. These synthetic materials produce a very different burning characteristic than natural materials. This fuel package has created a fire scenario that produces an increased heat release rate producing an increased risk to fire fighters. This fire environment has also created a more dramatic impact on the structural elements of today’s structures. We will also examine the changes in today’s construction practices and how today’s fires will impact the structural integrity of the fire fighter’s work environment. During the class we will cover the various aspects of fire behavior, building construction and the impact of ventilation, including horizontal, vertical and Positive Pressure, on fire behavior. We will bring it together and discuss how this new understanding of the modern fire environment impacts fire fighter operations. As situations develop in complicity it is important to remember the basics. The research is not indicating everything the fire service has done is wrong, in fact it is driving us back to our basics to our foundation. To operate effectively and safely on the fireground, fire fighters and fire officers must remember the basics, or ABC’s, of fire fighter and they are the Three C’s, Communication, Coordination and Control. If we can follow these basic tenants we can improve fire fighter safety on the fireground.