There is no necessity to put ourselves in harm’s way during training to learn about flashover, and backdraft or the dynamics of fire when most of these subjects can be demonstrated in details in a small scale scenario (when I say small scale, I mean it). During a Live Fire Training Class given at the Fort Buchanan Fire Department training facility, participants observed the changing conditions, and the fire dynamics of ordinary combustible when heated. A 2' x 2' wooden box with a access way, and a vertical access (simulating a wood frame building) with a little hey, some paper and scrap wood inside of it was ignited to demonstrate the following: the first few phases of fire, pyrolysis process, stratification, some rollover, flashover, and a small production of backdraft, and the effect of vertical ventilation. Everybody was amaze to distinguish most of the objectives (especially the small explosion at the end) during the session, and appreciated the visual effects this little inexpensive wooden prop put out for all of the participants; Off course, all of the safety precautions were taken to prevent injuries: all of the participants were about 10 feet away from the prop, two extinguishers, and a fire truck were on stand by, and the prop it self was constructed very sturdy (I made it).
I hope that this session will give a different perspective to each of the fire fighter present that day when responding to any structural fires in their districts.
Training Officer's, Assistant Chief for Training, coordinators, remember that our mission is to demonstrate new skills to our peers, not to hurt them. Please use all available tools to teach safely the new generation of fire fighters how to take care of each other on the fireground.