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If you can remember from what you were taught or if you currently instruct in engine operations how do you handle the question of opening the line in smoke. I say you do not open the line in smoke, however when the smoke is extremly hot you must open the nozzle. Other options include leaving the area (fallback position) and increasing ventilation of the area. What do you say?

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Replies to This Discussion

- For Adam: you can find also info about the impact of humidty, here:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/heat-stress.html

- For John: you will suffer more with a wet turn out gear than with a dry one. See previous doc.

- For Russ

We have a totally different fire load than you.  Fog for interior attack burns too many firemen.  This will not work here.

We have all the same furniture: sofa, harmchair, bed, television. Do you think I'm living in a tipee, in the far deep of the forest, using a bicycle to produce electricty for my internet access :) :) :)

Now I'm living in Brasilia. The town named Aquas Claras has builing of about 30 floors, same shops than in the USA (I've a Wallmart at 300 meters from my appartement) or Europe. The fire load? Check for real data. You will see that the difference disappear about 30 years ago. Also, you must know that, in structural fire, the fire load is not the key element. The max HRR of a fire in a structural environnement depend on oxygen. It was first compute in 1917 by Thornton.

see http://jfs.sagepub.com/content/2/5/380.abstract

also:

nvl.nist.gov/pub/nistpubs/sp958-lide/280-282.pdf

As you see, Thornton is an American guy, and the last doc is... from the NIST.

Or maybe you think you have less fire load than we have? which can be true. The only difference you have, today, is that in many residencial area you have wooden houses. So you can cut, open wide and so on. In Europe, cutting a wall like you do with an Halligan Bar is impossible as we have concret houses. But, as I indicate previously, you will face, soon, very big problem with the new houses.

Do you know these guys:

http://nypassivehouse.org/

It's not a European nightmare. It's YOUR next nightmare. And this nightmare is from... New York.

Stop believing your fire are differents. Change. You don't know what these houses are. I know. And I can only tell you to change. Quickly my friend. Quickly.

 

Best regards

Pierre-Louis

 

Pierre.. you absolutley do not have the same fire load as us.  I know for a fact that you do not use the same amount of POL products.  Your penciling and fogs have burnt up guys.  Let us just agree to disagree with this.  You fight your fires your way, we will fight ours in our way.  We have a ton more than you, and the experience to prove it.  Enough said, please do not respond.

Pierre-Louis LAMBALLAIS said:

- For Adam: you can find also info about the impact of humidty, here:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/heat-stress.html

- For John: you will suffer more with a wet turn out gear than with a dry one. See previous doc.

- For Russ

We have a totally different fire load than you.  Fog for interior attack burns too many firemen.  This will not work here.

We have all the same furniture: sofa, harmchair, bed, television. Do you think I'm living in a tipee, in the far deep of the forest, using a bicycle to produce electricty for my internet access :) :) :)

Now I'm living in Brasilia. The town named Aquas Claras has builing of about 30 floors, same shops than in the USA (I've a Wallmart at 300 meters from my appartement) or Europe. The fire load? Check for real data. You will see that the difference disappear about 30 years ago. Also, you must know that, in structural fire, the fire load is not the key element. The max HRR of a fire in a structural environnement depend on oxygen. It was first compute in 1917 by Thornton.

see http://jfs.sagepub.com/content/2/5/380.abstract

also:

nvl.nist.gov/pub/nistpubs/sp958-lide/280-282.pdf

As you see, Thornton is an American guy, and the last doc is... from the NIST.

Or maybe you think you have less fire load than we have? which can be true. The only difference you have, today, is that in many residencial area you have wooden houses. So you can cut, open wide and so on. In Europe, cutting a wall like you do with an Halligan Bar is impossible as we have concret houses. But, as I indicate previously, you will face, soon, very big problem with the new houses.

Do you know these guys:

http://nypassivehouse.org/

It's not a European nightmare. It's YOUR next nightmare. And this nightmare is from... New York.

Stop believing your fire are differents. Change. You don't know what these houses are. I know. And I can only tell you to change. Quickly my friend. Quickly.

 

Best regards

Pierre-Louis

 



John Ceriello said:
What I've been told is that steam is not hotter than 212 F, it's still there it's just not hotter that 212 F. The Europeans disagree with that. 

Law of physics are not the same in Europe and in the USA?

Be serious John. Here is a document from Massachusetts! It's not really in Europe.

And if you look for steam engineers on the web, you'll find that:
I suppose your "steam engineers" friend was sleeping during the "Superheated steam" course.:)  :)  :)
Best regards
Pierre-Louis


Russ Chapman said:
Pierre.. you absolutley do not have the same fire load as us.  I know for a fact that you do not use the same amount of POL products.  Your penciling and fogs have burnt up guys.  Let us just agree to disagree with this.  You fight your fires your way, we will fight ours in our way.  We have a ton more than you, and the experience to prove it.  Enough said, please do not respond.
Sorry, but I know for a fact US fire load is of about 2,56 times less important than European one.
Great no? Does it can be prooven? No of course. No more than your "fact".
We are not in the school garden. We are professionals and we train people. It's not a game. And if the only answer you"re able to give is that, it's sad.
Pierre-Louis


Adam Miceli said:

Pierre-Louis, we are dealing with changing architecture, green homes and energy efficient buildings. We're making them be sprinklered. While far from complete across the U.S. almost every major building code book now requires sprinklers in nearly every new occupancy. There are many states fighting the adoption of these codes for fear of the increase in cost to build, but even slowly, they will come around. 

 

I know a bit about that. In Europe, we are late about sprinkler in home, and in south america that's the same. ButI think even with that, this kind of home will need a change in the fire service.

 

 

As for your "new" methods of "dealing with fire, with no stress, no over production steam" I must ask how this effects unaccounted for civilians? Or are you merely using penciling/pulsing as a means to safely reach the seat of the fire and not changing the other tasks involved in a typical fireground operation?

 

Well, it depend on many parameter. In fact, the common way of thinking of FF tend to demonstrate it seems that trying to find civilian is the best things to do to save them. But unfortunatly, we must admit that it's not so easy. For that, computer simulation, using FDS for example, is of a great help as you can simulate an imaginary fire, or a real one. It's very realistic and, you can repeat, which is not possible in reality. What we discoverd is that opening to find people increase quickly the HRR and let the fire run to flashover. We also know that finding some one can be very long. And, in all cases, more time consumming that finding the fire.

 

When we see US method, we see a completly logical way of doing. The VES method for example seem to increase HRR in many cases. So, as you don't want to die, you learn how to jump throught a window, how to break a wall and so on. Many things we don't learn.

In fact, the  "save first" was the main concept in France. But a few years ago, we started to thing that maybe, it was perfect from the outside: put a ladder and save. But inside... not sure.

 

Actually, we start to explain the concept of interrupt. The main goal of the firefifghter is to fight the fire. It's not to save. This don't mean you don't have to save. You must save. But finding a victime is just an interupt of the main action. Like a software: if you unplug the mouse, you have immediatly a message. The main process is stopped by an interrupt.

This way of thinking change completly the spirit. Remember a few years ago, a US chief told you to stop thinking of safety and think of attack. Everybody was shouting after that, but he was right.

 

First, save all visible people because they are easy to see, so to save. After that, the problem is smoke and heat. If you are able to enter, and suffer heat, how can you imagine people in pyjamas will survive? So enter, and kill the fire, quickly. That's easier.

But avoid steam as steam push heat. Cool the gazes, for you, for visibility (this contract the smoke and rise smoke layer) and for victimes. And go to the seat of the fire. If someone is in his bedroom, with door closed, let him there. The speed of smoke production is so important that people in contact with smoke are dead in a few second, so before you arrived. Of course, if you find someone, "interupt" the attack and take the victim off the house. In fact "each time I see a victime, I save her. If I don't see a victim, I kill the fire".

If you have eg 3 or 4 team, of course you can perform search and attack at the same time. But remember that it was what the guys were doing on sunday 23 january 2005 in NYC. It's not possible to rewind, but imagine that, rather to have one team attacking the fire, the guys would have been all attacking the fire? 3 or 4 nozzle over a fire kill it in a few second. Do you think that these 10 seconds will decrease the chance of survival? we are not so sure.

If saving people is performed under or on the same floor than the fire, and you can put a nozzle between the victime and fire, so you can save. On other cases, it's very dangerous for a little benefit.

Remember Keokuk. The NIOSH doc is very interessant. But what is terrific is that Keokuk is strictly the same accident that the one of Blaine (Wales). same house, same position of the fire, same "victims" and, of course, same result (3FF at keokuk, 2 at Blaina).

 

We have made exercices a few years ago, to check the time needed to enter a house, going throught one of two rooms with heavy smoke conditions,  and kill a really fiercy fire, without changing the ventilation (no opening). 7 tests. Each time, less than 3 minutes were needed.

 

If we would have spent 30 minutes, OK, save first, then attack. But with good nozzle method, only 3 minutes put doubt in our mind. We have in may, an international flashover instructor meeting in Lisbonne, with people from Belgium, France, Italy, Peru, Brasil and so on... and this tactical approach will be one of the main subject.

 

Ah, also a key point: water is heavy. We can see a link between collapsing risk and use of continuous flow. Also, we must think of the damage made by water. When we leave the house, the fire is out. But the water is in. And damage everything. We must remember we are here to save live AND property. When we flow tons of water, how can we imagine we can preserve old photos, old clothes which are, in many case, the only "souvenir" of old friend, husband or woman.

With the pulsing method, we use a very very small amount of water.

We can resume that by the sentence of the Marchal Lyautey, in north africa in 1920. He said "finding an officier able to take a village (attack and win), is easy. But finding an officier able to take a village in the morning, and able to open the market place at mid day, it's far more difficult". We can say that finding a FF able to flow water and kill a fire is easy. But finding FF able to kill a fire in the morning with a so perfect extinction method that people are able to sleep in the house at the end of the day, is far more difficult.

 

Regards

Pierre-Louis

 

 

Hi,

 

A special note to Russ, who was able to let me think in a wrong way. I was searching for fire load info when I suddenly remember this have no importance.

 

First, I am sorry if I disturb you. But fire is a chemical reaction. Not a human one. War depend on two nations, made of men, and the way the other is thinking is sometimes strange. During WWII as everything was lost, Japanese and German were still fighting, in a completly illogical way.

Facing a fire is different. Fire is not an enemy. An enemy wants to kill you. The fire wants nothing. He just react. I perfectly understand that, in front of things we don't really understand, it's far more easy to talk about "the flashover is a killer", "strange things happening" or to reply "well boy, I know, not you, so shout up". But we live in the same world and Chinese are selling you the same flamable sofa that they sell us. You have 2 legs, 1 head, like other human. Some of us are using nozzle "made in USA" but some of you are using nozzles "made in France" and the air your beath is same as mine. That's life.

 

The problem you face, is that, as 99,99% of the FF all around the world, the fact that the population look at you as heros and "professional", put you in a bad state: you say something, so, as you are FF, that's true. If that's true, OK. But if it's not, you are completly paralysed and are not able to change. If someone say "I have learn something, and I accept the way it can be wrong" allright. But if you start to say stupid think and be sure, sure, sure it's true, if it's not, it's very hard to admit.

 

I d'ont know personnly John Ceriello. The 212F heat limit is wrong. John is not stuppid. He just have to see the doc, to think a little then write: "well, I was wrong". It's not a problem. It's hard for a human to say that. Being able to accept your wrong is hard. But science and especially fire science will not change for you.

 

Back to fire load with Russ. A fire use fuel and O2. The fire must not be seen as a photo or a static event. Better to see it as a film, then check it one image, after the other. First image, the fire start and use a litlle amount of fuel, and a little amount of O2. Second image, the fuel and O2 comsuption, are bigger than on first image, and so on.

Inside the air, we have 21% of O2. We know that, under 15% of O2 in the air, flames are not possible (so at 14%). This mean you have 21-14 = 7% of the air volume which is availble for flame production. If you have a room of 3200 cube feet  (20x20 by 8 of ceilling height), you have only 224 cube feet of O2, availble for fire (7% of 3200). Some will reply that doors of window can be opened. Yes, but tis will change nothing. This can "renew" the air, but even with doors and windows wide opened, the max volume of air depend on the size of the room: by opening window, size of my bedroom don't increase.

Imagine you have a windows, able to renew air at 500 cube feet a second so 105 feet cube of O2 (21% of the air intake). The fire start, consuming 2 cube feet of O2. The windows renew 2 and the total amount is still (in our example) of 224. The fire grow consuming more and more O2. As the fire consumes less than 105 feet cube of O2 per second, the windows is enought for a complete renewal. But if the fire want to consumes more, it would not be able to, because of a lack of O2: the fire rise up to the renewal limit. This is the way we explain the vent induce flashover, explained on www.tantad.com

 

What we can understand, easily, is that the heat release rate of a local fire, is very dependant on O2, and not on "fire load". Of course if you have a large dining room, and as flamable element only a piece of paper, the HRR will be the one of the paper. But, if you increase the fire load, you will quickly touch the O2 limite. If you have enought O2, so enought volume to burn at the same time eg 2 sofas, and have only one, the max HRR will be of one sofa, of course. But if you have 3, 4, or 10 sofas the max HRR would be of only 2 sofa as the O2 available will allow only the burn of 2.

Take care: this dont say only two sofa will burn! After the burn of one, another will be on fire and at the end, all will be destroyed. But, on the "film" of our fire, the max surface of fire, fully developped will represente the HRR of only 2 sofas.

And we can push the needle a bit more: in 1917, a US man named Thornton discoverd than the HRR of a fuel can be estimated by O2 comsumption. If you burn wood, you use O2. To burn plastic too. To burn grass too. If you need twice more wood to produce the same HRR than plastic, you will see that the combustion of the two (for generating the same HRR) will use the same amount of O2. This has been validatd in the 80' by Clayton Huggets (NIST USA) and in the 2000 by Sylvain Brohez (Mons university, Belgium). And this is the way the famous Cone Calorimeter work.

 

The conclusion? if we have a very low fire load, the HRR will depend on it. But this limite is very low (with only a bed, you rise it). On all "modern" countries, the fire load in appartement is far more higher than this limit. So the max HRR in our countries, depend on volume of the room. And the fire we are all facing are about the same: appartement volumes are various, but are about the same: from a small appartement in the Bronwx to a very large manor or from a small bedroom with kitchen in Paris to a large apparement in the mediterraner coast, thats' the same. Here in Brasila, we have appartement from 100 square feet to more than 13.000 ! And of course, when you have enought money to by such apparment, you have money to buy many TV, sofa, harmchair and so on. And as TV are know all china made, you have the same Sony than on the other location of the planet.

 

Regards

Pierre-Louis

Does superheated steam need to be pressurized to be hotter than 212 F? I believe it does. How does this pressurization occur in a fire building.Is not it cooling the entire time it exists? When I get a chance I will read your links, then respond. I do not believe your fires are different, lets make that clear. I just not sure if steam follows the laws of an ideal gas, when it is mixed with many other products of combustion in a fire building. Does that make sense? By the way lets keep things intelligent when we discus this topic, remember we are professional firefighters trying to learn from each other, at least that is my angle. JC

Pierre-Louis LAMBALLAIS said:


John Ceriello said:
What I've been told is that steam is not hotter than 212 F, it's still there it's just not hotter that 212 F. The Europeans disagree with that. 

Law of physics are not the same in Europe and in the USA?

Be serious John. Here is a document from Massachusetts! It's not really in Europe.

And if you look for steam engineers on the web, you'll find that:
I suppose your "steam engineers" friend was sleeping during the "Superheated steam" course.:)  :)  :)
Best regards
Pierre-Louis

"This way of thinking change completly the spirit. Remember a few years ago, a US chief told you to stop thinking of safety and think of attack. Everybody was shouting after that, but he was right."

 

I believe the speech you're speaking of was delivered by none other than the Original Poster of this topic! :)

 

I agree with John, that we can keep this a professional discussion. While we tend to be very stuck in our ways, few of us really think we know it all. Without a doubt the reason these forums exist is to share different views and experience so that we may understand how things work outside our immediate areas. While I'm skeptical of many things outside my comfort zone, I'm intrigued to learn more and seriously doubt everyone outside the US has it all wrong. But we tend to have grasped some "new" tactics poorly and as a result are going back to tried ans true methods. I'm thinking fog attacks and PPV, both of which seem to work elsewhere but rarely seem to be as successful stateside or at least in my area? 

Adam a recent UL fire research might shed some light on what the application of water in a private dwelling to the other parts of the building. In other words all the temps decrease when water is applied. Now I know that is not earth shattering statement, however I believe some would say you will steam people to death, that is just not correct, temps decrease throughout the home. Go to UL website and search ventilation and it will bring you to the info.

Adam Miceli said:

Pierre-Louis, we are dealing with changing architecture, green homes and energy efficient buildings. We're making them be sprinklered. While far from complete across the U.S. almost every major building code book now requires sprinklers in nearly every new occupancy. There are many states fighting the adoption of these codes for fear of the increase in cost to build, but even slowly, they will come around. 

 

As for your "new" methods of "dealing with fire, with no stress, no over production steam" I must ask how this effects unaccounted for civilians? Or are you merely using penciling/pulsing as a means to safely reach the seat of the fire and not changing the other tasks involved in a typical fireground operation?

Thats the spirit man, lets learn. My dept. is a tried and true solid bore dept. however I respect everyones opinion and I want to learn what everyone is doing and why, then I can gleen the good stuff that works. Would everyone agree that flashovers are happen more frequently, are we looking at this and trying to understand why, is there something out there that can help us deal with this increasing issue, or do go about business as usual?  

Adam Miceli said:

"This way of thinking change completly the spirit. Remember a few years ago, a US chief told you to stop thinking of safety and think of attack. Everybody was shouting after that, but he was right."

 

I believe the speech you're speaking of was delivered by none other than the Original Poster of this topic! :)

 

I agree with John, that we can keep this a professional discussion. While we tend to be very stuck in our ways, few of us really think we know it all. Without a doubt the reason these forums exist is to share different views and experience so that we may understand how things work outside our immediate areas. While I'm skeptical of many things outside my comfort zone, I'm intrigued to learn more and seriously doubt everyone outside the US has it all wrong. But we tend to have grasped some "new" tactics poorly and as a result are going back to tried ans true methods. I'm thinking fog attacks and PPV, both of which seem to work elsewhere but rarely seem to be as successful stateside or at least in my area? 



John Ceriello said:
I just not sure if steam follows the laws of an ideal gas, when it is mixed with many other products of combustion in a fire building. Does that make sense?
yes. In fact mix gaz are very hard to study. In fact, maybe its hard to rise over the 212F but in a fire you have a HRR producing far more than this temp. So in a 500°F situation, steam will not stay at 212°F.
Last time I gave a flashover instructor  course, we were on our knees, facing the fire and practising noozle tech. I had a few heat sensation at the top of my head so I touch my helmet (we have MSG Gallet F1). The top part of the helmet was melting, like a chewingum and the helmet of the first row of traines was doing the same. And we were on our knews.. The therrmocouple recorded about 200°C (392°F)  to 240°C (482°F)  at helmet level.
In these conditions, the water cool a lot but the steam continue rising in temp. And we were at 20' from the seat of fire.
In a flashover container, with an opening of 1/3 of a second of a nozzle with flow rate at 30GPM, we destroy a sea of flame of 1,5' thick, 8' wide and 8' long  ( ' is for feet that's right??) . But if we open the nozzle a longer time (eg 1 sec) or use a higher flow rate, we see we have exactly the same effect, but suffer a "piston effect" from steam.
After a good period of thinking, we admit it was logical: we flow water at some distance, and some surface. If you open a nozzle 1 second or 1 min this will change nothing: the surface you will cover will be the same (assuming of course you d'ont move the nozzle).
If we compute the heat of smoke and compute the volume of water needed, according to the rate of absortion; we conclude that the best effect would be to have a nozzle wih wide angle (60°), at 45° from the ground, a flow rate of 30 to 40GPM and an opening of 1/3 of a second. That's funny to see that, on 1999 on his book "Fog Attack", Paul Grimwood, after some test, conclued the same.
With more water, you will not do "better": when smoke is cold, smoke is cold and you can't turn it to ice. The water you've sent too, will have another effect: producing over heated steam as it splash on over heated surface.

Regards
Pierre-Louis
PS: I'll search for steam temp in fire. But I must admit real data are not so numerous. For our course, we have a set of 16 thermocouples, but checking data is not very easy as humidity, wind and so on affect a lot the data.


Adam Miceli said:

 

I agree with John, that we can keep this a professional discussion. While we tend to be very stuck in our ways, few of us really think we know it all.

 

But we tend to have grasped some "new" tactics poorly and as a result are going back to tried ans true methods. I'm thinking fog attacks and PPV, both of which seem to work elsewhere but rarely seem to be as successful stateside or at least in my area? 

 

The fact US FF have grasped some new tactics poorly is real and this happened in many cases and in other countries too. In France, some think we can adopt directly the PPV US method. But in europe, to break a wall you need a buldozer, not an halligan bar. The result? Guys try the PPV "US method", are not able to perform it as the only info they have is a three pages paper documentation about the ventilator, two Youtube video and a 3 slides PPT... Conclusion? the PPV method suck...

In the fog nozzle application, this is the same. Have you ever seen a guy, knowing perfectly how to perform that, explaining this to you, face to face? I suppose no. You have (like we have with the PPV) a nozzle, two Youtube video, and a book tryuing to explain with text, how to use a tool. Hard to build a good opinion. When my student ask me about PPV, I reply we can do without that, and that before knowing exactly the why, how and when, it's better not to consider this as a game.

 

A friend of mine, FF in Switzerland, told me a story: flashover course in Geneve, with instructor who had seen many Youtube video (great!). The instructor tells the guys to flow againt smoke at 135GPM (which is stupid) then show them a video to "proove" that; The video shows Sweedish FF, using a nozzle, pulsing and going throught an appartement. And the instructor claimx: "Look, they pulse at 135GPM!". Unfortunatly, I know this video. It shows Sweedish  FF using a very specific and orange nozzle, the TA Fogfighter. The max flow rate of this nozzle is about 92 GPM and the setting of low for pulsing is at 26GPM...

 

It nice to talk and see video. But we must meet. On sunday I've a barbecue at the fire school. I'll ask the boss if it would be possible to organise a meeting.

 

Concerning the use of both PPV and fog, in my opinion, both are not always usefull together. As, by flowing water in solid bore, you can't refresh a lot the smoke and you'll over-produce steam, the use of PPV is nice. But, you must admit that when PPV don't work correctly (no ventilator, difficulties to open top, too long time to open and so on...) you start to face hard conditions. No? In fact, I think your use of PPV allow you to "obtain correct conditions" when you can.

The fog attack method is different. As soon as you arrive on scene, you can perform it, in a few second, with a very small team (in many locations, the first on the scene for up to 5 minutes is a lonely pumper with 3 or 4 guys). After that, we use the PPV for overhault, to clean quickly the structure.

If you try to use both PPV and fog, this can be hard as the air movement will probably affect the fog pattern.

I think the best, would certainly to have a bigger tool box: solide steam with PPV in some case, no PPV and use of fog attack in other cases. A professional is not a man who know how to use a hammer or how to use a screwdriver. This is a man who know when to use a hammer and when to use a screwdiver.

Because, as we said, if you try to use a screwdriver to fix a nail, you will conclude the screwdriver is really a very bad tool and you will throw it away.  But  the only mistake is the "link" with "what I need" and "the tool I choose".  And this is our mistake: not the one of the method or of the tool. But its easier to trash the tool and buy another rather than facing the miror. We are human.

 

Regards

Pierre-Louis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best regards

Pierre-Louis

 

 

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