Category Archives:

Balloon Frame Construction: From the Inside

This short clip show balloon frame construction from the inside. With Engine House Training, LLC this summer, we had the opportunity to hold a class in this building. It was going to be torn down and the interior wall coverings in most of the house had been removed. That exposed the balloon frame construction charecteristics that we so often speak of but seldom have the chance to see.

Type V Construction-Wood Frame

We just need to remember the hazards and myths of this type of construction. One is that if one truss fails they all fail. I like to ask the classes that I teach if any of them has seen a house constructed with wood truss systems with a part of the roof burnt off and the rest of it still intact? The answer is always yes.

Fire Service Books

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Keeping these books and others within reach is a good way to stay engaged. These resources gives you valuable information at your fingertips when you need it. It is also a good way to pass on information to others and to have meaningful conversation about “fire stuff.”

Good Roof Vent Video

Here is a good video an actual roof ventilation on a two story house. It is a little rough from the helmet cam and I am not a big fan of the music on these types of videos, but the intent on showing a good roof vent is really good.

Lucky Stop

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If you get a chance to look at some of these buildings as they are going up, do so and look for these types of building components and fire stopping. Oh, the ceiling did have the proper rating with two sheets of drywall.

What Do You See?

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As an officer that will be making the initial decisions on this building you have a great responsibility to know as much about this structure as you can. It will certainly help you to make the best possible decision about your tactics.

Residential or Commercial Alarm?

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Firefighters are falling through floors immediately after entering. Roofs are collapsing much earlier than before. Contents are causing fires to burn faster and reach untenable temperatures much earlier in the fire. The larger area requires the firefighters to search longer and further into a building than in the past.

Apply the Lessons Learned

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Above all, don’t let the lives lost at any LODD be lives lost in vain. Learn from their mistakes, but don’t be critical, we have all screwed up and been lucky enough to get away with it. Be constructive and train on the recommendations so that you don’t repeat history.

What Is Above You?

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By lifting the tiles and breaching the ceiling, we know how far the fire has advanced before committing people into these buildings. The concealed spaces are important for initial fire attack in these situations. It might indicate that the front door is as far as you go.

Light Weight Strip Malls

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As you look at this building you can see that it seems to be a series of stores or spaces in a commercial building. Most likely a strip mall type building.

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