Training: Landmark findings on window and door venting at fires
Retired New York City Fire Department (FDNY) deputy chief, Vincent Dunn, shares his findings on window and door venting at fires. He wrote, “My experience with good communication, control and coordination of venting occurred was learned at many fires before ULT10 scientific testing. At one of my last ‘all hands’ fires, standing at the street command post it happened as follows: A fire fighter on the tip of a raised aerial ladder with a pike pole in hand sees fire behind a glass window on the third floor and radios to engine company, “Ladder 25 to engine 74 let me know when you are ready to move in and I will take out the windows.” That is controlled, communicated and coordinated window venting.”
• Venting windows does not give a trapped victim or a searching fire fighter a better chance of survival.
• Venting before the hose line advance can kill and injure an unconscious victim on a floor or a searching fire fighter crawling into a smoke filled room.
• Not venting a fire area can increases survivability of a victim and searching fire fighter.
• A fire fighter crouching down on hands and knees searching at the three foot level and an unconscious victim lying on the floor at a one foot level has a better chance of survival because not venting creates a better environment at floor level.
• When the doors were closed and windows not vented the temperatures and toxicity at floor level gave fire fighters and victims a better chance of survival.
• Venting, windows and doors, should be coordinated, communicated and controlled.
“Fire the Battlespace Enemy, FDNY FirePro Books, Vincent Dunn, chapter 11.
“Impact of Ventilation on Behaviour in Legacy and Contemporary Residence Construction UL 2010”
Photos of ‘coordinated window venting’ by: Mat Daly
Source: Vincent Dunn's Fire Battlespace