The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is currently developing a Guide for Structural Fire Fighting. This guide addresses fundamental knowledge of fire dynamics in structures to help identify strategy and tactics supported by science-based research for effective and safe firefighting.
The current draft recommends that initial arriving companies evaluate all existing openings in the building to develop an accurate ventilation profile for the early stages of the incident prior to determination of a strategy. [NFPA 1700: 9.7.4] Some firefighters do not support this approach, while others feel today’s tactics should reflect ventilation and door control for effective search and extinguishment efforts.
9.7.4 Assessing Flow Path. The flow path is the route by which the flow of gases, including air and fire gases, move from high pressure to low pressure. Initial arriving companies need to evaluate all existing openings in the building to develop an accurate ventilation profile for the early stages of the incident prior to determination of strategy. Flow path assessment should include an evaluation of the neutral plane relative to the size and physical position of the opening in relation to the fire location. Another consideration should include the direction of flow within each opening. Opening of doors and windows for the purposes of fire fighter entry can affect the flow path and should be considered. Some things to consider when assess the flow are: unidirectional flow from opening, bi-directional Flow from opening, and position of the neutral plane.
What are your thoughts on this? Please visit www.NFPA.org/1700next and submit a public input on this or any other section of the document. Public Input Closing Date is January 4, 2018.