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Friday, August 17, 2007

Fire Risk Assessment Steps

Fire Risk Assessment helps to determine the dangers from fire and chances of fire occurring at your work place.
Five steps needed to take for Fire Risk Assessment

Step 1 => Identify potential fire hazards in the workplace.
=> sources of fuel & ignition
=> work processes

Step 2 => It's better to decide who might be in danger (visitors, employees)

Step 3 => Evaluate the risks and take necessary fire precautions.
=> Are existing fire safety measures adequate in case of fire?
=> control of ignition sources/sources of fuel
=> fire warning/detection
=> means of escape and fighting fire
=> testing and maintenance of fire precautions
=> fire safety training of employees

Step 4 => Record your findings and update it about your findings to employees.
=> Prepare emergency plan, update and trail employees.

Step 5 => Keep the assessment under review and revise it time to time whenever necessary.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Glossary of Fire Fighting Terms (P to Z)


* Personal alert safety system: See PASS device in Glossary of firefighting equipment.

* Personnel Accountability Report ("PAR"): End-result of personnel accountability system. Best report is all hands, AOK, worse is squad missing. You will often hear command ask for a "PAR" when something has changed on the fireground. Often the reply will be something like, "Engine 4, PAR." or "Engine 4 has PAR."

* Personnel accountability system: Tag, 'passport', or other system for identification and tracking of personnel at an incident, especially those entering and leaving an IDLH area; intended to permit rapid determination of who may be at risk or lost during sudden changes at the scene.

* Platoon: a subdivision of a fire company, led a fire officer of either the rank of captain or lieutenant, such that one of several platoons is assigned to duty for a specified period. Also called a "watch". In many areas the word "platoon" is used to describe the different shifts in the fire department. For example, A, B or C Platoon.

* Positive pressure: Pressure at higher than atmospheric; used in SCBA facepieces and in smoke-proof stairwells to reduce entry of smoke or fumes through small openings. High volume, portable Positive Pressure Ventilation fans are now carried by fire departments and used to pressurize the fire building during interior attack to control smoke and heat ventilation at desired points.

* Pre-arrival instructions:

* Pre-fire, pre-incident planning: Information collected by fire prevention officers to assist in identifying hazards and the equipment, supplies, personnel, skills, and procedures needed to deal with a potential incident.

* Pre-planning: Fire protection strategy involving visits to potentially hazardous occupancies for inspection, followup analysis and recommendations for actions to be taken in case of specific incidents. Not to be confused with post-planning.

* "Probie:" (also rookie) new firefighter on employment probation (a period of time during which his or her skills are improved, honed, tested, and evaluated).

* "Professional Firefighter:" All firefighters are classified as "professionals" by both the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF trade union). All firefighters are required by most state laws and general practice to meet the same training and equipment standards, take the same examinations for promotion and perform the same work under the same hazards. There are two accepted categories of Professional Firefighters--Volunteer Firefighters who may or may not receive pay for services and Career Firefighters whose primary employment and source of earned income is in the fire service.

* Public alarm: Means for public to report a fire, includes telephone, street-corner pull-boxes, building pull-stations, and manual bells or sirens in rural areas.

* Pump operator, technician: (also a chauffeur): person responsible for operating the pumps on a pumper and typically for driving the pumper to an incident.

* Pump Escape: Appliance carrying a wheeled ladder

* Pumper company: Squad or company that mans a fire engine (pumper) and carries out duties involving getting water to the fire.

* Pyrolysis: Process of converting a solid substance to combustible fumes by raising its temperature. See also vaporization of liquids.


* Radiant extension: fire that has transferred ignition heat to adjacent materials across open space. One reason some city fire codes prohibit windows facing each other in adjacent warehouses.

* Rapid entry team: See FAST.

* Rapid Intervention Crew/Group/Team (RIC, RIG, or RIT): This is a standby crew whose purpose is to go in for the rescue of firefighters in trouble. While all of these versions of the name for a firefighter rescue crew either have been used or continue to be used in several areas, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) has adopted the term Rapid Intervention Crew/Company, ("RIC") to be the standard in the Incident Command System (ICS). Currently, U.S. federally required training programs, from DHS and FEMA, are in the process of standardizing many terms and procedures under NIMS. See: FAST

* Ready team: A company of firefighters waiting to be relieve another company.

* Recovery: Location and removal of deceased victims. Also, the time needed for a firefighter to spend in rehab before being considered ready to continue working the incident.

* Reflash, re-kindle: A situation in which a fire, thought to be extinguished, resumes burning.

* Reflash Watch: A person assigned to observe and monitor an extinguished fire, to ensure that it does not reflash or re-kindle.

* Rehab, Rehabilitation sector: An area for physical and mental recuperation at a fire scene, usually equipped with beverages, and chairs, isolated from environmental extremes (cold, heat, noise, smoke). This rest area enables firefighters to relax, cool off (or warm up) and regain hydration by way of preventing injury. An EMT may be assigned to monitor firefighter vitals when they enter and leave rehab. See: Fire department rehab

* Rescue: Physical removal of a live person or animal from danger to a place of comfort.

* Rescue company: Squad of firefighters trained and equipped to enter adverse conditions and rescue victims of an incident. Often delegated to a truck company.

* Residential sprinkler system: A sprinkler system arranged for fire suppression in a dwelling.

* Residual pressure: The amount of pressure in a hydrant system when a hydrant is fully open, such as during a fire; should be engineered to provide domestic supply of water to homes and businesses during a large fire in the district.

* Reverse lay: The process of stringing hose from a fire toward a source of water, i.e., a fire hydrant.

* Run card system: A system of pre-planning for fire protection in which information about specific detectors, hazards, or other emergency response plans is indexed by location, for rapid reference during an alarm.

* Running Call A call 'Shout' with persons reported


* SAR: See Search and rescue.

* Salvage, salvage cover: Heavy-duty tarpaulins folded or rolled for quick deployment to cover personal property subjected to possible water or other damage during firefighting.

* Scene safety: Steps taken at or near an emergency scene to reduce hazards and prevent further injuries to workers, victims or bystanders.

* Scuttle hatch: Ready-made opening in roof that can be opened for vertical ventilation.

* Search and rescue (or SAR): Entering a fire building or collapse zone for an orderly search for victims and removal of live victims. Becomes "recovery" if victims are not likely to be found alive.

* Secondary containment:

* Sector: A physical or operational division of an incident; an area supervised as a branch in the Incident Command System. A typical system for structure fires names the "front" of the building "sector A", and continues clockwise around the building (B, C, D), with interior sectors denoted by the floor number (1, 2, 3, etc.). A "rehab" sector is one example of an operational division at an incident, where personnel are assigned after strenuous work in another sector.

* Shoulder load: The amount of hose a single firefighter can pull off a hose wagon or pumper truck and carry toward the fire.

* Sides A, B, C, and D: Terms used by firefighters labeling the multiple sides of a building starting with side A or Alpha being the front of the structure and working its way around the outside of the structure in a clockwise direction. This labels the front side A or Alpha, the left side B or Bravo, the rear side C or Charlie, and the right side D or Delta.

* Size-up: initial evaluation of an incident, in particular a determination of immediate hazards to responders, other lives and property, and what additional resources may be needed. Example: "Two-story brick taxpayer with heavy smoke showing from rear wooden porches and children reported trapped."

* Smoke explosion: See backdraft.

* Smoke-proof stairwell: Building structure which isolates escape stairwells with relatively fireproof walls, self-closing doors, and positive pressure ventilation, to prevent smoke or fumes from entering the stairwell during evacuation of occupants during a fire or other emergency.

* Solid stream: fire stream from round orifice of nozzle. Compare straight stream.

* Staging: sector of incident command where responding resources arrive for assignment to another sector. Often an essential element in personnel accountability program.

* Standard operating procedure, guideline (SOP or SOG): Rules for the operation of a fire department, such as how to respond to various types of emergencies, training requirements, use of protective equipment, radio procedures; often include local interpretations of regulations and standards. In general, "procedures" are specific, whereas "guidelines" are less detailed.

* Static pressure: The pressure in a water system when the water is not flowing.

* Straight stream: Round, hollow stream formed as water passes a round baffle through a round orifice (e.g., on an adjustable nozzle.) Compare solid stream.

* Stretch: command to lay out (and connect) firehose and nozzle.

* Strike Team: a grouping of fire apparatus with a focused goal in a large fire situation. The term is commonly used for structure protection teams during wildland fire operations.

* Structure fire (or "structural fire"): A fire in a residential or commercial building. Urban fire departments are primarily geared toward structural firefighting. The term is often used to distinguish them from wildland fire or other outside fire, and may also refer to the type of training and equipment (e.g., "structure PPE").


* Tailboard: Portion at rear of fire engine where firefighters could stand and ride (now considered overly dangerous), or step up to access hoses in the hose bed.

* Tanker: An aircraft equipped to carry water or fire retardant for use in wildland fire suppression. Archaic: see "Tender", below.

* Taxpayer: 1 to 2 story store, or place of business, usually with a residence attached: auto repair, supermarket, tailor, etc.

* Tender (also "Water Tender"): A wheeled fire apparatus equipped to carry large volumes of water to a fire. Often used in areas without an adequate or universal water supply system, such as rural areas without hydrants. Tenders may have pumps and associated hardware to facilitate their mission. Some departments refer to these apparatus as "Tankers."

* Truck company: a group of firefighters assigned to an apparatus that carries ladders, forcible entry tools, possibly extrication tools and salvage covers, and who are otherwise equipped to perform rescue, ventilation, overhaul and other specific functions at fires; also called "ladder company".

* Turnout Gear: The protective clothing worn by firefighters

* Two-in, two-out (or "two in/two out": Refers to the standard safety tactic of having one team of two firefighters enter a hazardous zone (IDLH), while at least two others stand by outside in case the first two need rescue — thus requiring a minimum of four firefighters on scene prior to starting interior attack. Also refers to the "buddy system" in which firefighters never enter or leave a burning structure alone.

* Type I, II, III, IV, V Building - U.S. classification system for fire resistance of building construction types, including definitions for "resistive" Type I, "non-combustible" Type II, "ordinary" Type III, heavy timber Type IV, and "frame construction" Type V (i.e., made entirely of wood).


* Under Control: Fire or spill etc. is no longer spreading. The situation is contained. This term should not be confused with a report that the fire is out.

* Underground storage tank:

* Universal precautions: The use of safety barriers (gloves, mask, goggles) to limit an emergency responder's contact with contaminants, especially fluids of injured patients.


* Vapor pressure:

* Vapor suppression: Process of reducing the amount of flammable or other hazardous vapors, from a flammable liquid, mixing with air, typically by careful application of a foam blanket on top of a pool of material.

* Vehicle fire: Type of fire involving motor vehicles themselves, their fuel or cargo; has peculiar issues of rescue, explosion sources, toxic smoke and runoff, and scene safety.

* Ventilation: Important procedure in firefighting in which the hot smoke and gases are removed from inside a structure, either by natural convection or forced, and either through existing openings or new ones provided by firefighters at appropriate locations (e.g., on the roof). Proper ventilation can save lives and improper ventilation can cause backdraft or other hazards.

* Venturi effect: Creating a partial vacuum using a constricted fluid flow, used in fire equipment for mixing chemicals into water streams, or for measuring flow velocity.

* Vertical ventilation: Ventilation technique making use of the principle of convection in which heated gases naturally rise.

* Voids (building): Enclosed portions of a building where fire can spread undetected.

* Vollie: A volunteer firefighter.

* Volunteer fire department: An organization of part-time firefighters who may or may not be paid for on-call time or firefighting duty time, but who in nearly all states are held to the same professional training standards and take the same examinations to advance in rank as career firefighters. [In some regions, particlarly eastern New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland volunteer fire departments and fire protection districts have independent taxing authority and are equally as well equipped and paid while working as career fire department members.]


* Water columning:

* Water drop: A forest fire fighting technique when an aircraft drops a supply of water onto an exposed fire from above.

* Water hammer: Large, damaging shock wave in a water supply system caused by shutting a valve quickly, or by permitting a vehicle to drive across an unprotected fire hose.

* Well Involved: Term of size-up meaning fire, heat and smoke in a structure are so widespread that internal access must wait until fire streams can be applied. Well Rhode Island & Massachusetts Fireground Photography

* Wet down ceremony: A traditional ceremony for the placing of new apparatus in service. There are several versions of this but it usually includes: pushing the old apparatus out, wetting down the new vehicle and pushing it back into the station. It may also include the moving of the bell to the new apparatus, photos, etc.

* Wildfire or Wildland fire: Fire in forests, grasslands, prairies, or other natural areas, not involving structure fires (although wildland fires may threaten structures or vice versa - see interface zone.) For a complete list of terms used in wildland fire, see Glossary of wildland fire terms.

* Working fire: A fire that is in the process of being suppressed; often a cue for dispatch of additional resources.

* Wye: Device used to split a larger supply line hose into smaller attack line hoses. A gated wye contains valves so that certain lines can be turned on and off.


* Zone: Section of structure indicated on fire alarm control panel where sensor was activated.

By Wikipedia

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Glossary of Fire Fighting Terms (L to O)


* Ladder company: A group of fire fighters, officers and engineers that staff a ladder truck.

* Level I, II, III Incident: A HAZMAT term denoting the severity of the incident and the type of response that may be necessary, where Level III is the largest or most dangerous.

* Life safety code: NFPA publication.

* Life line: A trademark for a wireless emergency call unit that triggers a telephone call to an emergency dispatcher when a button is pressed.

* Line loss: See friction loss.

* Live line: A fire hose under pressure from a pump. Also, an energized electrical line that may cause a hazard to firefighters.

* Loaded stream: An obsolete fire extinguisher stream that has had a chemical fire suppression agent added and is discharged by compressed gas or by inverting the tank to mix chemicals to produce gas pressure. Now outlawed by OSHA regulation 1910.157(c)(5). [Not to be confused with air pressurized water extinguishers with a Class A foam generating concentrate added at one-half of 1% by volume. Class A foam formed when mixed with air upon discharge produces surfactant-containing tiny bubbles which break surface tension to quickly penetrate and extinguish wood, paper, cloth and other common materials.]


* Make Pumps: To raise the number of pumps at an incident E.G. Make Pumps 10

* Maltese Cross: The emblem of the fire service is often referred to as a “Maltese Cross”. But the actual origin of the current or common emblem in the U.S. remains uncertain. While it is true that the Knights Hospitalers of Jerusalem (AKA Knights of St. John) did wear a cross emblem and a version of that cross has been used as a fire service icon, it bears little resemblance to the current form in use in much of the United States. It is possible to accept that the current design is just a stylized artistic embellishment of the original form. The current design may have also been influenced by the design of the cross of Saint Florian.

* Mass casualty incident (MCI): Any incident that produces a large number of injured persons requiring emergency medical treatment and transportation to a medical facility. The exact number of patients that makes an incident "mass casualty" is defined by departmental procedures and may vary from area to area.

* Master box: A primary fire alarm relay box connected to a building alarm system which monitors fire alarm pull stations and detectors throughout the building and automatically relays any in-building alarm to the local municipal fire department. Usually accompanied by an Annunciator Panel which records by indcator lights or other devices exactly where the pull station or detector that has been activated is located within the building. Common in multi-story office and apartment buildings equipped with sprinkler systems or smoke and heat detectors.

* Master stream: A large nozzle, either portable or fixed to a pumper, capable of throwing large amounts of water relatively long distances.

* Means of egress: The way out of a building during an emergency; may be by door, window, hallway, or exterior fire escape; local fire codes will often dictate the size. location and type according to the number of occupants and the type of occupancy.

* Multiple alarms: A request by an incident commander for additional personnel and apparatus. Each department will vary on the number of apparatus and personnel on each additional alarm.

* Mutual aid: An agreement between nearby fire companies to assist each other during emergencies by responding with available manpower and apparatus.


* NFPA: The National Fire Protection Association, a research group which sets a number of standards and best practices for *firefighting, equipment, and fire protection in the United States, and also adopted in many other countries. Also, slang for "No Free Publications Available"; used to reference any "must-have" documents that are prohibitively expensive.

* NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A U.S. agency responsible for investigation of workplace deaths, including firefighters.

* NIMS: The National Incident Management System. A federally mandated program for the standardizing of command terminology and procedures. This standardizes communications between fire departments and other agencies. It is based upon simple terms that will be used nationwide. Currently, U.S. federally required training programs, from DHS and FEMA, are in the process of standardizing many terms and procedures under NIMS.


* Occupancy: Zoning and safety code term used to determine how a structure is permitted to be used and occupied, which in turn dictates the necessary safety structures and procedures.

* Occupancy class: General categories of structures for purpose of safety planning, such as for hospital, assembly, industrial, single-family dwelling, apartment building, commercial, etc. Further broken down by types of hazards associated with particular occupancies, such as gas stations.

* Occupant use hose: Light-weight firehose coupled to standpipe for emergency use by building occupants prior to arrival of firefighters. Often accessible by breaking glass to unlock secure enclosure.

* Offensive attack: Method of firefighting in which water or other extinguisher is taken directly to the seat of the fire, as opposed to being pumped in that general direction from a safe distance.

* On-call: Personnel who can be summoned (and paid) when necessary to respond to an incident; a type of "volunteer" fire department.

* On The Green: Pump Only Shout

* OSHA: U.S. government agency concerned with regulating employee safety, particularly in hazardous occupations such as firefighting.

* Outside fire: Urban fire not inside a building or vehicle, often found to be burning trash which could extend to nearby structures or vehicles if not dealt with properly. A suburban, interface, or rural outside fire could also be a wildland fire.

* Overhauling: Late stage in fire-suppression process during which the burned area is carefully examined for remaining sources of heat that may re-kindle the fire. Often coincides with salvage operations to prevent further loss to structure or its contents, as well as fire-cause determination and preservation of evidence.

* Oxidizer: A hazardous material containing oxygen that can combine with adjacent fuel to start or feed a fire.

By Wikipedia

Monday, July 9, 2007

Glossary of Fire Fighting Terms (G to I)


* GPM: Gallons Per Minute or how many gallons are being pumped out of a piece of equipment every minute

* GPM method ("gallons per minute"): Calculation of how much water, in GPM, will be necessary to extinguish a given volume of fire, under the circumstances (e.g., fuel class, containment, exposures, etc.).

* Grease fire: A fire involving any manner of cooking oil or other flammable cooking or lubricating materials. Also known as a Class B, F or K fire.

* Goer: An incident with persons reported.


* Hazard: a source of danger of personal injury or property damage; fire hazard refers to conditions that may result in fire or explosion, or may increase spread of an accidental fire, or prevent escape from fire. Under worker safety and health regulations, employers have a general duty to provide a workplace free of hazards. See also fire prevention, and HAZMAT.

* Hard Line: A smaller hose about one inch in diameter used by firefighters to clean apparatus.

* HAZMAT: Hazardous materials, including solids, liquids, or gasses that may cause injury, death, or damage if released or triggered.

* Head pressure:

* High-pressure system: A supplemental pump system used to pressurize the water supply, sometimes used during a large fire, or whenever more than one hydrant is being used.

* High-rise building: Any building taller than three or four stories, depending upon local usage, requiring firefighters to climb stairs or aerial ladders for access to upper floors.

* High-rise pack: A shoulder load of hose with a nozzle and other tools necessary to connect the hose to a standpipe.

* Hotshot crew: An extensively trained group of approximately twenty people which specializes in wildfire suppression with little or no outside logistical support.

* Hot zone: contaminated area of HAZMAT incident that must be isolated; requires suitable protective equipment to enter and decontamination upon exit; minimum hot zone distance from unknown material with unknown release is 330 feet (United Nations Emergency Response Guidebook); surrounded by "warm zone" where decontamination takes place.


* IDLH: Any situation deemed Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. More narrowly defined by OSHA. See main IDLH article. An area of maximum danger to firefighters.

* Incident Commander: The officer in charge of all activities at an incident. See Incident Command System.

* Incident Safety Officer: The officer in charge of scene safety at an incident. See Incident Command System.

* Indirect attack: Method of firefighting in which water is pumped onto materials above or near the fire so that the splash rains onto the fire, often used where a structure is unsafe to enter.

* Initial attack: First point of attack on a fire where hose lines or fuel separation are used to prevent further extension of the fire.

* Interface zone (also wildland/structural interface or urban/wildland interface): The zone where wildfires threaten structures or structural fires threaten wildlands, such as in residential areas adjacent to forests. This requires both wildland firefighting and structural firefighting in the same location, which involve very different tactics and equipment.

* ISO Rating: (Insurance Services Office Public Protection Classification Rating) This is a rating published by the Insurance Services Office. Insurance companies, in many states, use this number to determine homeowner insurance premiums. Recently some insurance companies, including State Farm, have now adopted a per-zip-code, actual loss, based system in several states and no longer use the ISO (PPC) system.

* Irons: The flathead axe mated with the halligan bar. Firefighters often refer to these as the Crossed Irons, or Married Irons, because the Halligan Bar can fit to the Axe head.

By Wikipedia

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Glossary of Fire Fighting Terms (D to F)


* Dalmatian: "Firehouse dog."

* Dead lay: A load of hose on a pumper, but not connected to a pump outlet. Often used for larger supply lines.

* Deflagration: An explosion with a propagation front traveling at subsonic speeds, as compared to supersonic detonation.

* Direct attack: "Putting the wet stuff on the red stuff." A form of fire attack in which hoses are advanced to the fire inside a structure and hose streams directed at the burning materials.

* Discharge flow: The amount of water flowing from a fire hydrant when it is opened; compare to static flow and residual flow.

* Dispatch: Refers to person or place designated for handling a call for help by alerting the specific resources necessary.

* Draft: The process of pumping water from a static source below the pump.

* Drills: training during which an emergency is simulated and the trainees go through the steps of responding as if it were a real emergency.


* Electrical fire: A fire in which the primary source of heat is electricity, resulting in combustion of adjacent insulation and other materials; may be hazardous to attempt to extinguish using water.

* EMS: Emergency medical service(s).

* Engine: A fire suppression vehicle that has a water pump and, typically, is designed to carry firehose and a limited supply of water.

* Engineer: A firefighter responsible for driving the engine to the scene of the call and operation of the pumps on an engine, to provide sufficient water to the firefighters on the hose.

* Engine Company: A group of firefighters assigned to an apparatus with a water pump and equipped with firehose and other tools related to fire extinguishment.

* Engine house: [archaic] A firehouse housing an engine company.

* Engine pressure: The pressure in a fire hose measured at the outlet of the pump.

* Enhanced 9-1-1: Electronic system for automatic correllation of physical telephone lines with information about the location of the caller -- a useful tool for dispatchers when the caller has an emergency but cannot speak.

* Evacuation: Removal of personnel from a dangerous area, in particular, a HAZMAT incident, burning building, or other emergency. Also refers to act of removing firefighters from a structure in danger of collapsing.

* Evolution: Uniform sequence of practiced steps by squad carrying out common tasks such as selection and placement of ladders, stowing hoses in hose bed, putting hoses and tools into service in particular patterns; intended to result in predictability during emergencies.

* Exothermic reaction: Chemical reaction giving off heat in the process, such as combustion.

* Explorer: a young adult who's age is between 14 and 21 who learns the basics of firefighting.

* Exposure: Property near fire that may become involved by transfer of heat or burning material from main fire, typically by convection or radiation. May range from 40 feet to several miles, depending on size and type of fire or explosion.

* Extrication: removal of a trapped victim such as a vehicle extrication, confined space rescue, or trench rescue; sometimes using hydraulic spreader, Jaws of Life, or other technical equipment.


* FAST (or F.A.S.T.): Firefighter Assist and Search Team (also called Rapid Entry Team or Rapid Intervention Team/Crew) — firefighters assigned to stand by for rescue of other firefighters inside a structure; an implementation to support the Two-in, two-out rule; may have specialized training, experience and tools. While all of these versions of the name for a firefighter rescue crew either have been used or continue to be used in several areas, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) has determined that Rapid Intervention Crew, ("RIC") will be the national term. Current U.S. federally mandated training programs are in the process of standardizing this and other terms under DHS and FEMA.

* FDC (Fire Department Connection): Location in which pumping apparatus hooks to a buildings standpipe and or sprinkler system. Usually a 3" female connection.

* Fire Break: Especially in hilly or mountainous areas, roads or paths cut through brush with a tractor, bulldozer or other construction equipment. The purpose of these is to have an area with no brush, and thus, no fuel, so that a fire will hopefully burn out rather than jumping to another area with brush. Also to ensure vehicular access to brush areas.

* Fire code ( Fire safety code): regulations for fire prevention and safety involving flammables, explosives and other dangerous operations and occupancies.

* Fire engineering: Scientific design of materials, structures and processes for fire safety

* Fire escape: A building structure arranged outside to assist in safe evacuation of occupants during an emergency; may connect horizontally beyond a fire wall or verically to a roof or (preferably) to the ground, perhaps with a counter-weighted span to deny access to intruders.

* Firefighter: People who respond to fire alarms and other emergencies for fire suppression, rescue, and related duties.

* Firefighter Assist and Search Team: See FAST.

* Fire flow: The amount of water being pumped onto a fire, or required to extinguish a hypothetical fire. A critical calculation in light of the axiom that an ordinary fire will not be extinguished unless there is sufficient water to remove the heat of the fire.

* Fireground: The operational area at the scene of a fire; area in which incident commander is in control. Also used as name of radio frequency to be used by units operating in the fireground, as in “Responding units switch to fireground.”

* Fire hazard: Materials, structures or processes that may result in creating a fire, permitting a fire to grow undetected, or preventing people from escaping a fire.

* Firehouse: Another term for Fire station. Where fire apparatus is stored and where full-time firefighters work.

* Fire hydraulics: The study of pumps, hoses, pipes, accessories and tools for moving water or other extinguishing agents from a water supply to a fire.

* Fire inspector: A person responsible for issuing permits and enforcing the fire code, including any necessary premises inspection, as before allowing (or during) a large indoor gathering.

* Fire line: A boundary of a fire scene established for public safety and to identify the area in which firefighters may be working.

* Fire load (Btu/sq ft): An estimate of the amount of heat that will be given off during ordinary combustion of all the fuel in a given space; e.g., a bedroom or a lumberyard.

* Fire marshal: Administrative and investigative office for fire prevention and arson investigation.

* Fire point: temperature at which materials give off flammable gases that will sustain fire, typically higher than flash point. Temperature at flashover.

* Fire Police: Special constables attached to a fire department, tasked with ensuring the safety and security of emergency scenes as well as general assistance to the fire department and other agencies.

* Fire prevention: Fire safety; standards for minimizing fire hazards.

* Fire-resistant: Materials designed or treated to have an increased fire point.

* Firestorm: A conflagration of great enough proportions to noticeably create its own wind conditions.

* Fire tetrahedron: The fire tetrahedron is based on the components of igniting or extinguishing a fire. Each component represents a property necessary to sustain fire: fuel, oxygen, heat, and chemical chain reaction. Extinguishment is based upon removing or hindering any one of these properties.

* Fire triangle: Model for understanding the major components necessary for fire: heat, fuel and oxygen. See also fire tetrahedron for a more comprehensive model.

* Fire wall: Building structure designed to delay horizontal spread of a fire from one area of a building to another; often regulated by fire code and required to have self-closing doors, and fireproof construction.

* Fire warden:

* Fire watch: Fixed or mobile patrols that watch for signs of fire or fire hazards so that any necessary alarm can be quickly raised or preventive steps taken.

* Fit test: Periodic test of how well the facepiece of an SCBA fits a particular firefighter.

* Flammable range, limits: The percentage mixture of fumes with air that will sustain fire; outside the limits the mixture is either too lean or too rich to burn.

* Flash point: Lowest temperature at which a material will emit vapor combustible in air mixture. Lower than fire point of same material.

* Flashover: simultaneous ignition of combustible materials in a closed space, as when materials simultaneously reach their fire point; may also result in rollover.

* Forcible entry: gaining entry to an area using force to disable or bypass security devices, typically using force tools, sometimes using tools specialized for entry (e.g., Halligan, K-tool).

* Forward lay: Procedure of stringing water supply hose from a water source toward a fire scene; compare with reverse lay.

* Freelancing: dangerous situation at an incident where an individual carries out tasks alone or without being assigned; violation of personnel accountability procedures.

* Friction loss: Reduction of flow in a firehose caused by friction between the water and the lining of the hose. Depends primarily upon diameter, type and length of hose, and amount of water (GPM) flowing through.

* Frontage: The size of a building facing a street.

* Fully involved: Term of size-up meaning fire, heat and smoke in a structure are so widespread that internal access must wait until fire streams can be applied.

By Wikipedia

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Glossary of Fire Fighting Terms (A to C)


* Above-ground storage tank: Storage tank that is not buried. Compare Underground storage tank. Unburied tanks are more prone to physical damage, and leaks are released to the air or ground, rather than the soil surrounding a buried tank.

* Accelerant: flammable fuel (often liquid) used by some arsonists to increase size or intensity of fire. May also be accidentally introduced when HAZMAT becomes involved in fire.

* Accountability: The process of emergency responders (fire, police, SAR, emergency medical, etc...) checking into and making themselves announced as being on-scene during an incident to an incident commander or accountability officer. Through the accountability system, each person is tracked throughout the incident until released from the scene by the incident commander or accountability officer. This is becoming a standard in the emergency services arena primarily for the safety of emergency personnel. This system may implement a name tag system or personal locator device (tracking device used by each individual that is linked to a computer).

* AFA: Automatic Fire Alarm/Actuating Fire Alarm

* Alarm: (1) system for detecting and reporting unusual conditions, such as smoke, fire, flood, loss of air, HAZMAT release, etc; (2) a specific assignment of multiple fire companies and/or units to a particular incident, usually of fire in nature; (3) centralized dispatch center for interpreting alarms and dispatching resources. See fire alarm control panel.

* All companies working: Status report at fire scene indicating that available manpower is busy, and more resources may become necessary if incident is not controlled soon.

* Ammonium nitrate: component of ANFO; contents of two ships that exploded in Texas City Disaster, killing over 500 people, including all 28 volunteer firefighters at the scene.

* ANFO: Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil combination making a high explosive.

* Apparatus: A term usually used by firefighters describing a piece of equipment, usually a company vehicle.

* Arson: the crime of maliciously (or perhaps recklessly) setting fire to property, especially a dwelling. Punishable in various degrees, depending upon the circumstances. Occasionally occurs as a psychotic act of a mentally ill firefighter.

* Authority Having Jurisdiction (or AHJ): organization or agency with legal authority over a given type of incident (e.g, fire, EMS, SAR, arson, HAZMAT); may change or overlap as incident changes, as where fire becomes arson investigation once danger is over, or Motor Vehicle Accident becomes police business after vehicle extrication, fire, and HAZMAT issues are complete.

* Autoextended fire: structure fire that has gone out a window or other opening on one floor and ignited materials above, on another floor or other space (attic, cockloft).

* Available flow: total amount of water that can be put on a fire, depending upon water supply, pump size, hoses, and distance to the fire. IC must assess available flow to determine whether additional apparatus or streams are required. See Fire flow requirement.


* BA Set: Breathing Apparatus Set comprising of a face-mask and oxygen cylinder

* Backdraft: A fire phenomenon caused when heat and heavy smoke (unburned fuel particles) accumulate inside a compartment, depleting the available air, and then oxygen/air is re-introduced, completing the fire triangle and causing rapid combustion.

* Backfiring: A tactic used in wildland firefighting associated with indirect attack, by intentionally setting fire to fuels inside the control line. Most often used to contain a rapidly spreading fire, placing control lines at places where the fire can be fought on the firefighter's terms.

* Back burning: Australian term, for Backfiring, above.

* Backflow preventer: Automatic valve used in hose accessories to ensure water flows only in one direction. Used in permanent fire department connections (FDC) to sprinklers and dry standpipes, as well as portable devices used in firefighting.

* Bank down: What the smoke does as it fills a room, banks down to the floor, creating several layers of heat and smoke at different temperatures -- the coolest at the bottom.

* Boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE): Explosion of a pressure tank containing an overheated material when the vapor expansion rate exceeds the pressure relief capacity (e.g., steam boiler or LPG tank). If the contents are flammable, the rapidly released vapor may react in a secondary fuel-air explosion.

* Box (Alarm): A mailslot or other file system containing a notecard with a planned response to an incident type. For example, a reported structure fire on Some Road would be tagged with Box 6; the notecard in Box 6 would contain the list of apparatus from various fire stations that should be dispatched to that incident. Assigning Boxes to areas (or even specific structures) significantly facilitated the process of getting the right tools to the right place on the initial dispatch, and helped eliminate the guesswork of "which department has what" on the fire scene. Boxes later evolved to contain escalation procedures - on the "2nd alarm", the Box would contain the next group of apparatus from various fire stations, etc. Modern CAD systems now abstract the Box Alarm concept, and allow box definitions to be triggered based on arbitrary geographic area, time of day, incident type, weather, and any other planned situation. For a given hydranted area, the "Summer" box will contain the usual response of Engine, Truck, and Rescue companies. In the winter, however, the box may be modified (automatically, or manually) to include Water Tankers on the initial dispatch, to handle the case of frozen hydrants. The term "Box" comes from the fire alarm pull boxes that were commonplace in major cities for well over fifty years. This was a telegraph system that involved bells to ring out the box number. This system was in place from the 1920's (or earlier) to well into the 1960's and 1970's in some cities. Boston was one of the first (if not THE first) major U.S. Cities to have a telegraph alarm system. They installed it in 1852. The Boston Fire Department STILL USES this system of paper rolls and bells. The modern use of "box cards" based upon an imaginary box location for dispatch or move up is often known as the "Phantom Box System".

* Bus* another term for ambulance,

* Bushfire: Australian term, for Wildfire, below.


* Call Firefighter: Call firefighters respond as needed on a part time basis to all types of emergencies. Call firefighters train with their local engine companies in their districts. Call firefighters are utilized in three different ways. “First Responder" call firefighter units, are those units that are staffed entirely by paid call firefighters. These firefighters respond to all emergency incidents within their jurisdictional areas and are supported by full-time companies from adjoining jurisdictions. "Supplemental" call firefighter units are those units that staff a second engine company from a station that is also staffed by a full-time company. These units respond to all multi-unit responses in their district, and cover the station when the career companies are committed. "Augmentation" call firefighters are assigned to an existing career company and respond directly to the scene to augment that company's staffing.

* Career Firefighter: A person whose primary employment is as a firefighter for a municipality or other agency or company and who derives the majority of his earned income working in the fire service.

* Charge a hose: To make water pressure available on a hose in final preparation for its use. This is done on the scene after the hose is deployed.

* Charged hose: A hose that is filled with water and pressurized; ready to use. This is done after the hose is deployed.

* Chauffeur: See Engineer.

* Chimney fire: Fast and intense fire in a chimney flue in which accumulated creosote and other combustion byproducts ignite.

* Class A: A fire involving combustibles such as wood, paper, and other natural materials. See Fire Classes.

* Class B: A fire involving hydrocarbons. See Fire Classes.

* Class C: An electrical fire. See Fire Classes.

* Class D: A fire involving metals, such as sodium, titanium, magnesium, potasium, uranium, lithium, plutonium and calcium. See Fire Classes.

* Class E (Europe/Australia): A composite Class A/Class B fire that is not also a Class C fire.

* Class F (Europe/Australia): See Class K.

* Class K: A fire involving cooking oils. Technically, this is a subclass of Class B. See Fire Classes.

* Cockloft: structural space above ceiling and below rafters, often connecting adjacent occupancies and permitting fire to spread laterally, often unseen.

* Collapse zone: The area around a structure that would contain debris if the building were to collapse.

* Combustion:

* Company: two or more firefighters organized as a team, led by a fire officer, and equipped to perform certain operational functions. Compare with platoon and unit.

* Compartment Fire: An "Isolated" fire, or a fire which is "boxed in" or "closed off" from the rest of the structure. An example of this is a fire in a room where all the windows and doors are closed preventing the fire from spreading to other rooms.

* Confined space:

* Conflagration: a large, typically urban, fire involving numerous structures; loosely defined as enveloping an area equivalent to one or more square blocks. Compare with firestorm.

* Crash Tender: a pump capable of spraying foam used at airports.

* Cross lay: Arrangement of hose on a pumper such that it can be quickly unloaded from either side of the apparatus; often pre-connected to a pump outlet and equipped with a suitable nozzle. Also know as Mattydale Lay.

By Wikipedia

Chief Fire Officers Association

The Chief Fire Officers Association or CFOA is the professional body representing senior fire officers in the UK. The organisation used to be known as the Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association, it was formed in 1974 following local government re-structuring.

The CFOA website says, "CFOA's Aim is to continue as the professional voice of the UK Fire Service, assisting and supporting our members to fulfil their leadership role in improving the well being of local communities in all matters relating to the Fire Services' activities.

Memebership of the CFOA is open to any UK-based senior fire officer above the rank or assistant chief officer, in addition to Chief Fire Officer, sometimes now known as brigade managers or, in Scotland, Fire Master. The CFOA acts as a collective 'voice' for the Fire service in the UK on issues such policy, training; legislative and fire safety issues.

By Wikipedia

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fire Products At Great Prices

Fire Equipments At Great Prices
Extinguisher Covers and Stands
Extinguishers Factory Sealed
Extinguishers Refillable
Fire Blankets
Miscellaneous Fire Products


As well as providing safety information, Fire Sense is also a leading distributor of fire equipment.

Standard Members 10% discount on every purchase.
Fire Sense Plus Members 30% discount on every purchase

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fire Lookout

A fire lookout is a person assigned the duty to look for fire from atop a building known as a Fire lookout tower. These towers are used in remote areas, normally on mountain tops with high elevation and a good view of the surrounding terrain, to spot smoke caused by a wildfire.

Once a possible fire is spotted, so-called "Smoke Reports", or "Lookout Shots" are relayed to the local Emergency Communications Center (ECC), often by radio or phone. A Fire Lookout can use a device known as an Osborne Fire Finder to obtain the radial in degrees off the tower, and the estimated distance from the tower to the fire.

As part of the Lookout's duties, they must also take weather readings and report the findings to the Emergency Communications Center throughout the day. Often several lookouts will overlap in coverage areas and each will “shoot” the same smoke, then the ECC will use triangulation from the radials reported to achieve a very accurate location of the fire.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fire Siren

A fire siren is another name for an air raid siren or outdoor warning siren used to summon volunteer firefighters for emergencies. While fire sirens were the primary means of alerting firefighters for many years, more modern means of notification have now been implemented to replace the fire siren. As there can be problems with modern communications, many fire departments (typically in smaller communities) still sound the siren as a backup or auxiliary to these devices (for example, pagers and radios). Many fire sirens also pull double duty as tornado or civil defense sirens, alerting an entire community of impending danger. Most fire sirens are either mounted on the roof of a fire station, or on a pole next to the fire station. Fire sirens can also be mounted near government buildings, on top of tall structures such as water towers, as well as in systems; where several sirens are sporadically placed around a town for better sound coverage. Most fire sirens are single tone and mechanically driven by electric motors with a rotor attached to the shaft. Some newer sirens are electronically driven by speakers, though not as common. The most common types of sirens include the Federal Signal Model 5, Model 2, STH10, STL-10, SD-10, and the Sterling (now Sentry) siren Model M. Fire sirens are often called "fire whistles", "fire alarms", "fire horns" even though the nomenclature is incorrect. Although there is is no standard signaling of fire sirens, some utilize codes to inform firefighters to the location of the fire. Civil defense sirens pulling double duty as a fire siren often can produce an alternating "hi-lo" signal (similar to a British police car) as the fire signal, or a slow wail (typically 3x) as to not confuse the public with the standard civil defense signals of alert (steady tone) and attack (fast wavering tone).

By Wikipedia

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fire Alarm Pull Station

A fire alarm pull station is an active fire protection device, usually wall-mounted, that, when activated, initiates an alarm on a fire alarm system. In its simplest form, the user activates the alarm by pulling the handle down, which completes a circuit and locks the handle in the activated position, and sending an alarm to the fire alarm control panel. Fire alarm pull station are often reset using a key, which allows the handle to go back up to its normal position. Single pull systems are simpler, but run a higher risk of accidental pulls.

Many fire alarm pull stations are single action and only require the user to pull down the handle. Other fire alarm pull stations are dual-action, and as such require the user to perform a second task before pulling down, such as lifting up or pushing in a panel on the station, or shattering a glass panel. The Fire-Lite BG-10 and the Cerberus Pyrotronics (Siemens) MS-501 are examples of this design. Perhaps the most recognizable pull station is the T-bar style pull. The style is so named because the handle is shaped like the letter "T". This style was first manufactured by Simplex, and is now manufactured by many other companies.

By Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

List of UK Public Fire and Rescue Services


Avon Fire and Rescue Service
Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Cleveland Fire Brigade
Cornwall County Fire Brigade
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
Isles of Scilly Fire and Rescue Service
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service
Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Service
London Fire Brigade
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service
Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service
West Midlands Fire Service
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

By Wikipedia

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. Typically, a fire extinguisher consists of a hand held cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent which can be discharged to extinguish a fire.

The typical steps for operating a fire extinguisher (described by the acronym "PASS") are the following:

P - Pull the safety pin
A - Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, from a safe distance (about six feet away)
S - Squeeze the handle
S - Sweep the extinguisher from side to side while aiming at the base of the fire

There are various types of extinguishers, which are used for different types of fires; using the wrong type can worsen the fire hazard, but using the right one can better the situation. Please note: You are not required to fight a fire. Get out or away and call the Fire Department.

By Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is a statutory instrument which places the onus on individuals to carry out risk assessments on certain types of property and submit them to their local fire authority. Its full title is: Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1541 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It became law on 1 October 2006, and only applies to England and Wales.

Office of Public Sector Information:
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, England & Wales

Gas tank explodes during battle with flames

The Fire and Rescue Service were called to the Annesborough Industrial Estate on the Annesborough Road shortly before 8pm yesterday evening after receiving reports of a blaze in the former Irlandus Circuits premises.

The fire, in a large, unoccupied building which does not adjoin any other businesses, was well underway by the time firefighters arrived.

Group commander Alan Fulford said the operation was further complicated when a cylinder exploded. Two other cylinders inside the building were also in danger of exploding late last night.

"The building is quite large, fifty metres by fifty, so this is a major operation for us," he said.

He added that five fire appliances and an aerial platform were used by firefighters to tackle the incident, while two other fire trucks remained on stand-by.

A PSNI spokesman described the fire as a "major" incident.

He said the Fire Service were urging all householders in the vicinity of the estate to stay well away from the scene.

"They have also asked that residents keep all windows and doors closed," he added.

Written by Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Goals of Firefighting

The three main goals in firefighting are (in order) life safety, incident stabilization, property conservation and environmental preservation. Firefighting is an inherently difficult occupation. As such, the skills required for safe operations are regularly practiced during training evolutions throughout a firefighters career. In the United States, the preeminent fire training and standards organization is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Often initial firefighting skills are taught during a local, regional, or state approved fire academy. Depending on the requirements of a department, additional skills and certifications such as technical rescue and Para-medicine may also be taught at this time.

Firefighters work closely with other emergency response agencies, most particularly local and state police departments. As every fire scene is technically a crime scene until deemed otherwise by a qualified investigator, there is often overlap between the responsibilities of responding firefighters and police officers such as evidence and scene protection, initial observations of first respondents, and chain of evidence issues. The increasing role of firefighters in providing emergency medical services also brings firefighters into common overlap with law enforcement. One example of this is a common state law requiring all gunshot wounds to be reported to law enforcement agencies.

Most career (full time, paid) firefighters in North America are represented by the International Association of Fire Fighters

Fire fighting has several basic skills: prevention, self preservation, rescue, preservation of property and fire control. Firefighting is further broken down into skills which include size-up, extinguishment, ventilation, and salvage and overhaul. Search and Rescue, which has already been mentioned, is performed early in any fire scenario and many times is in unison with extinguishment and ventilation.

By Wikipedia

Friday, June 1, 2007

Fire Equipments At Great Prices

Fire Equipments At Great Prices
Extinguisher Covers and Stands
Extinguishers Factory Sealed
Extinguishers Refillable
Fire Blankets
Miscellaneous Fire Products


As well as providing safety information, Fire Sense is also a leading distributor of fire equipment.

Standard Members 10% discount on every purchase.
Fire Sense Plus Members 30% discount on every purchase

The Fire Brigades Union

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is the main union for firefighters in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1918 in the London area as the Firemans Trade Union, but soon grew to cover the entire country. During the Second World War, it began to unionise auxiliaries for the first time. Today, it has around 50,000 members.

Home Page of Fire Brigades Union

Founded := 1918
Members := 50,000
Country := United Kingdom
Affiliation := TUC, STUC
Key people := Matt Wrack, general secretary
Office Loc := Norbiton, Kingston upon Thames
Website :=

By Wikipedia

Monday, May 28, 2007

Fire Alarms For the Deaf (By Haydn Lewis)

LIFE-saving smoke alarms designed for deaf people will be fitted free by the fire brigade as part of an awareness drive.

During Deaf Awareness Week next week, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service is teaming up with RNID - the national charity for deaf and hard of hearing people - to raise awareness of special smoke alarm systems, which could save the life of a person with hearing loss in the event of a fire.

Station manager Carl Boasman, said: "It's really important that people have working smoke alarms and, more specifically, for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to have special smoke alarms.

"This is particularly important for deaf or hard of hearing people living in rented accommodation, which may have a standard smoke alarm that is unsuitable for them.

"Contact us on 01609 788545 and we will visit your home to give fire safety advice and fit a smoke alarm that meets your needs."

A third of people with a hearing loss say they would have difficulty waking up to a conventional alarm, especially considering most remove their hearing aids before they go to sleep each night.

Almost a quarter, 23 per cent, say they would struggle to know if the alarm went off during the day.

"Deaf people need to place a vibrating pad under their mattress or pillow at night. If smoke is detected, the alarm will sound and set off the pad to assist in waking them," said Mr Boasman.

"We all have a part to play in creating safer communities. Deaf Awareness Week is an ideal opportunity for those who know anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing, to make sure they have alarms that meet their needs."

Brian Grover, head of technology and research at RNID, said: "Fire can strike at anyone's home, but not everyone is equally protected because deaf people cannot rely on hearing an ordinary alarm.

"We encourage deaf and hard of hearing people to think about their personal fire safety and ensure they have the right alarm for their needs." Deaf Awareness Week promotes the positive aspects of deafness and social inclusion, and raises awareness of the huge range of local organisations that support deaf people and their family and friends.

How do smoke alarms work?

Conventional smoke alarms work by emitting a loud noise when smoke is detected, providing a vital early warning of fire, and aiding escape. People who are deaf or hard of hearing need additional ways of making them aware the alarm has been activated, including vibrating pads and flashing strobe lights.

Read Article: The Press

digg story

Sunday, May 27, 2007

National Fire Service

The National Fire Service (NFS) was the single fire service created in Great Britain in 1941 during the Second World War; a separate National Fire Service (Northern Ireland) was created in 1942.

The NFS was created in August 1941 by the amalgamation of the wartime national Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) and the local authority fire brigades (about 1,600 of them). It existed until 1948, when it was again split, with fire services reverting to local authority control, although this time there were far fewer brigades, with only one per county and county borough.

The NFS had both full-time and part-time members, male and female. Its uniform was the traditional dark blue double-breasted tunic, and it adopted the peaked cap worn by the AFS instead of the peakless sailor-style cap which had been worn by many pre-war fire brigades (including the London Fire Brigade). The peaked cap was retained by fire services after the war.

When they were on duty, but in the frequent long stretches between calls, many firemen and firewomen performed vital wartime manufacturing work, in workshops in the fire stations or adjacent to them. This was entirely voluntary, but since many of the wartime personnel had worked in factories before the war it was work with which they were familiar and skilled.

The Chief of the Fire Staff and Inspector-in-Chief throughout the war (until 28 February 1947, when he retired) was Sir Aylmer Firebrace, former Chief Officer of the London Fire Brigade.

At peak strength the NFS had 370,000 personnel, including 80,000 women. The Fire Services Act 1947 restored fire services to local authority bodies in 1948.



* Fireman
* Leading Fireman
* Section Leader
* Company Officer
* Senior Company Officer
* Column Officer
* Divisional Officer
* Assistant Fire Force Commander
* Fire Force Commander
* Chief Regional Fire Officer
* Chief of the Fire Staff


* Firewoman
* Leading Firewoman
* Senior Leading Firewoman
* Assistant Group Officer
* Group Officer
* Assistant Area Officer
* Area Officer
* Regional Woman Fire Officer

By Wikipedia

Chief Fire Officer

The rank of Chief Fire Officer or CFO is the highest in the fire Service in England and Wales. Its equivalent in Scotland is Fire Master, although this title has been replaced by Chief Fire Officer in some Scottish brigades. With the changes to the UK fire service in 1974, the title changed to reflect the new county structures and now other titles for this office can include 'County Fire Officer' and 'Chief Executive', neither of which are in common use on their own for example, Greater Manchester FRS use the title 'County Fire Officer and Chief Executive'. In the London Fire Brigade, the CFO is known as 'Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade' - the post is currently held by Sir Ken Knight.


A CFO is responsible for the day-to-day command of the fire service in all areas. Ultimately however major policies and procedures have to be agreed and passed by the Fire Authority to whom the CFO reports. The Fire Authority is a committee of locally elected councilors. The committee's prime responsibility is to ensure that the fire service is run properly and responsibly. In simple terms the Chief Officer is directly answerable to someone who represents the interests of the general public. The collective voice for CFOs on policy, planning and strategy in the UK is CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association, previously known as CACFOA (Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association).

By Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

London Fire Brigade

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) is the statutory fire and rescue service for London, England. It is run by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and is the third-largest fire service in the world with nearly 7000 staff of which 5800 are operational firefighters and officers.

In 2004 it answered nearly 300,000 emergency calls, responded to 60,000 fires and over 5000 traffic accidents, making it one of the busiest fire brigades in the world. In 2005, it received over 9000 hoax calls, the highest number of all the fire brigades in the United Kingdom.

As well as fire fighting, the LFB responds to hazardous material incidents, conducts emergency planning and performs fire safety inspections and education.

It does not provide an ambulance service, this function is performed by the London Ambulance Service as an independent NHS Trust, however all firefighters are trained in first aid and fire engines - or appliances as they are known - carry first-aid equipment including basic resuscitators.

By Wikipedia

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fire Damages Famed Cutty Sark Ship (21st May 2007)

A spectacular fire caused heavy damage to the clipper ship Cutty Sark on Monday, adding millions to the cost of restoring one of London's proudest maritime relics. The cause of the blaze was under investigation, but within hours officials responsible for the graceful 19th-century sailing ship said they were determined to carry on with a four-year restoration project.

"We're going to redouble our efforts to ensure that the ship is open, available, back and running in the future," said Chris Livett, the chairman of Cutty Sark Enterprises, responsible for restoring the world's only surviving tea clipper.

Read Full Article at Fire Fighting News

Fire Classes

European and Australasian Classifications

In Europe and Australasia, a different classification system is used.

* Class A: Fires that involve flammable solids such as wood, cloth, rubber, paper, and some types of plastics.

* Class B:
Fires that involve flammable liquids or liquifiable solids such as petrol/gasoline, oil, paint, some waxes & plastics, but not cooking fats or oils.

* Class C:
Fires that involve flammable gases, such as natural gas, hydrogen, propane, butane.

* Class D:
Fires that involve combustible metals, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

* Class E:
Fires that involve any of the materials found in Class A and B fires, but with the introduction of an electrical appliances, wiring, or other electrically energized objects in the vicinity of the fire, with a resultant electrical shock risk if a conductive agent is used to control the fire.

* Class F:
Fires involving cooking fats and oils. The high temperature of the oils when on fire far exceeds that of other flammable liquids making normal extinguishing agents ineffective.

The system is more or less the same as the U.S system, with letter designations shifted around - for instance, Class C fires in the U.S system are known as Class E in Europe.

By Wikipedia

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fire Fighting

Firefighting is the act of extinguishing destructive fires. A firefighter fights these fires and prevents destruction of life, property and the environment. Firefighting is a highly technical profession which requires years of training and education to become proficient in.

Historically, physicists created a graphical representation detailing the three elements of fire (fire triangle). In recent years, one more point has been added, creating the fire tetrahedron. The four elements needed to sustain combustion are:

fuel, oxidizer, heat and a chemical chain reaction.

To extinguish a fire, it is necessary to remove one or more of the four components of combustion. Removing any of these components of the fire tetrahedron will stop the other elements from interacting and not allow combustion to continue. Firefighters work on limiting exposures (fuel that is in jeopardy of being ignited by nearby flame or from radiant heat), containing and extinguishing fire and then overhauling charred and burned debris from the affected areas as well as extinguishing all hidden fires to prevent a rekindle.

goals are to save life, property and the environment. A fire can rapidly spread and endanger many lives; however, with modern firefighting techniques, catastrophe is usually avoided. To prevent fires from starting a firefighter's duties include public education and conducting fire inspections. Because firefighters are often the first responders to people in critical conditions, firefighters provide basic life support as emergency medical technicians or advanced life support as licensed paramedics.

By Wikipedia

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fire service in the United Kingdom

The fire service in the United Kingdom has undergone dramatic changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process that has been propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. Fire services in the UK are not nationalised, but are generally known as fire and rescue services (FRS) in legislation and by government departments. Many FRS were previously known as brigades, or county fire services, but legislative and administrative changes; and alterations to boundaries has led to the almost universal incorporation of FRS into the name.

A FRS is usually the operational fire fighting body, as distinct from the fire and rescue authority which is the legislative, public and administrative body made up of civilians and councillors that runs the FRS. Prior to the introduction of devolved parliaments and assemblies in the UK, the fire service had been the sole responsibility of the Home Office. There are now many layers of governance including central, devolved and local government; fire brigades, fire and rescue services; and other executive agencies, including Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate (HMFSI), HMFSI Scotland, and the Chief Fire Officers Association, all with a degree of operational, legislative or administrative involvement with the fire service in the UK.

By Wikipedia

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Risks of a Fire

The primary risk to people in a fire is smoke inhalation (breathing in smoke); most of those killed in fires die from this, not from burns. The risks of smoke include:

* suffocation due to the fire consuming or displacing all the oxygen from the air;
* poisonous gases produced by the fire;
* aspirating heated smoke that can burn the inside of the lungs.

As an example, plastics inside a car can generate 200,000 m3 of smoke at a rate of 20-30 m3/sec. Firefighters carry self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) (an open-circuit positive pressure compressed air system) to prevent smoke inhalation.

Obvious risks stem from the effects of heat. Even without contact with the flames (conduction), there are a number of comparably serious risks: burns from radiated heat, contact with a hot object, hot gases (e.g., air), steam and hot and/or toxic smoke. Firefighters are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes fire-resistant clothing (nomex or polybenzimidazole fiber (PBI)) and helmets that limit the transmission of heat towards the body.

The heat can make pressurised gas cylinders and tanks explode, producing what is called a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion). Some chemical products such as ammonium nitrate fertilizers can also explode. Explosions can cause physical trauma or potentially serious blast or shrapnel injuries.

Heat causes human flesh to burn as fuel causing severe medical problems. Depending upon the heat of the fire, burns can occur in a fraction of a second. A first degree burn (on the skin surface) is extremely painful. A second degree burn is a burn into the skin, and can cause shock, infections, and dehydration and if left untreated often results in death. Second degree burns compromise nerve tissue and are not painful. Third degree burns leave muscles and internal organs exposed from completely destroyed skin. If the person survives the shock and exposure to germs, medical treatment is extremely difficult.

By Wikipedia

Friday, May 4, 2007

Will The Fire Safety Order Affect Me?

Yes if you are:
• Responsible for business premises.
• An employer.
• Self employed with business premises.
• A charity or voluntary organisation.
• A contractor or agent with a degree of control over any premises.

Fire Risk Assessments
All non – domestic premises with 5 or more employees and all shared or common parts of a property with more than one occupier are legally required to produce a written fire risk assessment. Completing a fire risk assessment is not only a legal requirement under the FSO; it can also deliver realistic benefits to employers and their Company. Through the risk assessment, the likelihood of a fire and loss of life or injury can be significantly reduced. By taking a few simple steps, employers can not only prevent fires breaking out but also ensure their business continuity and safety of their premises and employees. This is an interesting viewpoint when you consider that:-

• 70% of businesses close within 2 years of the fire.
• 80% of businesses that suffer a moderate fire do not stay in business, lose their market share or lose their skilled staff to competitors.

By Pyrotech

Fire Watch

Fire watch, the act of watching for the occurrence of fires. This is usually done with the intent of detecting fires early so that they can be extinguished quickly and damage to land and/or property can be prevented or minimalized. Fire watches are often employed in forested areas where the risk of fires is high (dry conditions, hot weather, etc) or in industrial settings where "hot work" (welding, metal grinding, etc) is occurring.

By Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Fire Hazard

A fire hazard is any situation in which there is a greater than normal risk of harm to people or property due to fire. Fire hazards can take the form of ways that fires can easily start, such as a blocked cooling vent, or overloaded electrical system, ways fires can spread rapidly, such as an insufficiently protected fuel store or areas with high oxygen concentrations, or things which, in a fire, pose a hazard to people, such as materials that produce toxic fumes when heated or blocked fire exits.

By Wikipeida: Fire Hazard

Monday, April 30, 2007

Fire Protection Engineering

Fire protection engineering (also known as fire engineering or fire safety engineering) is the application of science and engineering principles to protect people and their environments from the destructive effects of fire and smoke.

The discipline of fire protection engineering includes, but is not exclusive to:

* Active fire protection - fire suppression systems, and fire alarm.
* Passive fire protection - fire and smoke barriers, space separation
* Smoke control and management
* Building design, layout, and space planning
* Fire prevention programs
* Fire dynamics and modeling
* Human behavior during fire events
* Risk analysis, including economic factors

Full Article at Wikipedia

Friday, April 27, 2007

Live Fire Training - The Missing Link

The recent death of an apprentice firefighter in Baltimore, Maryland (Linskey, 2007b) during live fire training has many people asking questions. The preliminary investigation conducted by the Baltimore City Fire Department determined that this training exercise was not conducted in compliance with 1403 Standard on Live Fire Training in Structures (National Fire Protection Association, 2002). But does this answer the question of how this happened or why this young mother died? I would contend that lack of compliance with existing standards provides only a partial answer.

Read Full Article At: Fire House

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