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This initial controlled opening should give crews some incite into the conditions in the flat. Control of the compartment door is critical and at all times and one of the teams should be responsible for ensuring that the opening to the compartment door is kept to an absolute minimum. Typically the neutral plane the boundary between the heated smoke and the cooler air may not exist.

Wind turbulence can easily overcome any heated gas buoyancy. Wind may cause the fire and smoke to move away from them. More dangerously it may push the fire towards them with increasing intensity. Teams on the spray branch should endeavour to control any unexpected advancing flame front and if possible close the door to control ventilation. There may be fast moving turbulence or swirling in the smoke, sometimes called 'energetic smoke'. It has been observed that when openings are made into these compartments typically the entry by Fire fighting crews the incident worsens quickly.

Heat and products of combustion may spread from the compartment, towards Fire fighting crews as it seeks alternative exit points or areas to pressurise. This spread is not just at at the top of the opening but may be the full height of the opening. A commonly used description by Firefighters that have directly observed this phenomenon is The choice of fire fighting techniques is always limited by the available water supply and the Branches.

As such they will not necessarily work as anticipated. Always remember : There is no one single fire fighting technique that will suit ALL high rise fire. If at all possible fight fires from the outside the doorway to any compartment and allow space for the door to be quickly closed. Closing the compartment door can be the BEST fire control mechanism a fire fighter has. With modern furnishings, the smoke you will encounter will be thick and dark.

The fire may not be visible until you are right next to it. This can be a very dangerous situation and firefighters can be burned if they get too close to the fire, this is due to the high energy release rates from burning modern furnishings and wind driven fires can produce.

If visibility is low and a Thermal image camera is not available and you can not see the fire, as you enter a suspected fire compartment, a useful tactic is to open the Branch and aim it about 1 meter from the floor chest high when you are on your knees and sweep the room. This will ensure you will hit the base of the fire. Think about a typical living room or bedroom.

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Get on your knees and look. What is the highest piece of furniture? The bed or the couch. The rules still apply if you are making your way towards the fire and you encounter high heat conditions you can aim the stream of water at the ceiling ahead you and cool the area down, use short bursts of water and hit the walls and the ceiling. This is often due to the unique wind pattens and air movement in and around high rise buildings. There are numerous observed fires where experienced fire fighting crews have reported that the flame front was at floor level and relatively clear air above it.

This was not a flashover, but a consequence of strong winds affecting a fire. If crews enter a high rise compartment and there is a sudden change in the thermal layers, this is usually indicative of a change in the ventilation characteristics of the compartment, most often a window failure.


Picture: highrisefire. Generally regarded at the optimal compartment fire fighting technique in the UK and is widely taught. It relies on Firefighters being conversant in this technique an how it is applied to closed compartment anti-ventilation fires. Unfortunately many UK-FRS do not teach these Fire fighting techniques with main hose lines, concentrating only on high pressure hose-reels. They also tend not discuss its limitations in large compartments, ventilated or with high energy release rate fires wind driven.

There are some potential obstacles to its use in the high rise environment. Also the 3D technique may not be as effective at wind driven fires, due to extreme turbulence and high energy release rates. In the rare circumstances that DO allow this technique to be used safely it can be very effective BUT, unfortunately "pulsing" short bursts of water into a wind driven 17MW fire is totally ineffective.

This is perhaps the forerunner of the "Fog" techniques and may be more applicable in the High rise environment. The theory behind the indirect attack is to aim the stream of water 30 degree or less pattern at the ceiling or wall and allow the droplets of water to rain down on the fire. It has two effects:. The water cools the ceiling and walls thus disrupting the thermal balance.


Some of the water will vaporise into steam thus absorbing energy. The rest will fall like rain. Some will fall on the main body of fire to assist extinguishing the fire. This technique will inevitably create a large amount of steam and steam will scald fire fighters and reduce visibility. This steam can pressurise the compartment and has to go somewhere.

Make sure the steam creation is controlled and if possible, ventilated. Remember if you open the Branch and it is on a pattern wider than 30 degrees you could crate vast quantities of steam immediately, especially if the fire has not vented. In any fire if you disrupt the thermal layer by rapidly cooling the ceiling you will drop the thermal layer down to where you are, that means you could be scalded.

There are optimal times to use the indirect attack. Because the fire products are exiting the vent you will reduce the risk. Another time that the indirect method will be effective is to control the hot gas layer above fire fighting crews or to cool the area ahead of you to prevent possible flashover.

You are not putting the fire out , you are cooling the gasses that could ignite above and behind you. If advancing towards the fire, the area gets hot do not hesitate to attack the ceiling ahead of you. Doing so you will reduce the risk of flashover. Indirect fire fighting can be carried out with a variable spray branch which is 'coned down' below 30 degrees or a smooth bore branch.

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This is to put water directly on the base of the fire and minimise disturbance to the thermal layer at the ceiling. This type of attack is best suited to a smooth bore branch, although a correctly supplied variable spray branch coned down to a solid jet will be adequate. Direct fire fighting requires that fire fighting crews have a direct line of site to the fire or can observe it through a Thermal Image Camera.

If the fire has not vented and you apply water to the base of the fire you will have rapid extinguishment of the fire and reduced steam, potentially reducing the risk of scalding. The thermal layer will cool more slowly and not drop down onto fire fighting crews. Direct fire fighting, if possible, will extinguish the fire more effectively than any other technique.

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This is a combination of both Direct and Indirect Fire fighting. This can be a highly effective way of dealing with high rise compartment fires. It also allows for effective direct fire extinguishing. Sometimes this technique involves applying a narrow coned spray or jet into a compartment in a swirling spiral motion, thus hitting the upper gas layers and projecting water onto the fire itself. This technique can be useful in compartments that are ventilated and have very disrupted thermal layers.

These teams must work in a coordinated way and have good communications with each other. The two offensive jets can use a combination of techniques to fight the fire but there should always be a substantial element of direct attack application. Firefighters should be fully proficient in all the 4 main Fire Attack techniques and how they may be combined.

Most importantly, know each one's uses and limitations. With this knowledge they can dynamically choose the best and safest fire fighting techniques for any given situation. Our Training Center and courses are recognized and accredited by the: Panama, Marshal and Liberia Maritime Authority, thus it is regularly inspected by this well-known and respected authority. The West Group instructor: High skilled recognized by Brazilian institutes, bilingual and real knowledge on the practical training. Provide components of fire brigades of skills and knowledge about the chemistry of fire, safe techniques of fire fighting tasks of the brigade, fire prevention and enable them to operate the fire fighting equipment.

This professional can play in the prevention and combating of fire principle, abandoning the area and first aid in order in case of accident, to protect life and property, reduce the social consequences of the loss and damage to the environment. Professionals who wish to belong to the fire brigade and others who have an interest in gaining knowledge and profile to act as multipliers. Having more than 18 years, having good physical condition and good health and be literate. Candidates for training should be in minimum conditions of physical, attested by medical examination or equivalent to be considered fit to perform the exercises and simulations provided in the course.

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