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Structure Fire

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Reducing the Spread of Structure Fires



This paper gives an overview of just a few of the ways fire companies can help limit the spread of a structure fire. A few factors to take into consideration that are discussed here are ventilation, nozzle type, and time. Along with the ways that these concepts can help reduce the spread of a structure fire are ways that, if used incorrectly or misjudged, can greatly worsen the situation and the behavior of the fire.

Reducing the Spread of Structure Fires

Structure fires can spread very rapidly if proper precautions are not taken. Fire companies have a variety of actions they can take and many factors to take into account to help limit the spread of structure fires. A few of these are ventilation, nozzle type, and time. These factors can be very helpful in limiting the spread of a fire, however if used improperly or misjudged they can cause worsen the situation tremendously.

Ventilation has a great impact on fire behavior within a structure. West, Garcia, and Hartin (2009) describe ventilation as, “The exchange of the atmosphere inside a compartment with the atmosphere outside the compartment. Ventilation is ongoing in all habitable spaces. Under fire conditions, this involves exit of smoke and intake of fresh air” (para. 35). Fire companies can use Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) to influence and boost the exchange of fire effluent and air. This can be achieved by using a blower at the inlet opening to amplify the pressure differential between the inlet and the exhaust opening. Inlet openings are used to release fresh air into the structure while exhaust openings are used to eliminate fire effluent. Although this can be a great plan to put into action, ventilation is not always planned and can also occur...

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