Drill of the Week: Building Construction and Fire Behavior, Scenario 2

By Forest Reeder

Knowledge of building construction features and fire behavior allow suppression companies to safely identify the potential hazards that are present at incidents. Knowing the hazards and continually monitoring fire behavior can help firefighters predict building collapse; prevent hostile fire events like backdraft and flashover; and establish safe hazard zones to operate in. Review this scenario using similar structures in your town and determine the impact of fire behavior on the building construction as you develop your incident action plan.

This fire scenario when matched with the construction type offers a challenging set of questions for companies arriving on the scene. Consider the following

Fire Behavior and Smoke Read

  • What built-in protection features would you usually find in this construction type?
  • What indicators of additional smoke spread to floors above or areas adjacent to fire area should you be looking for?
  • What smoke conditions would you expect to find upon arrival if all features are working?  If everything is working, what would cause this smoke condition?

Tactical Considerations

  • What is my primary access point?
  • What does the SOG say about apparatus placement and initial attack?
  • What resources will be needed?
  • What ICS structure will be used?
  • Are there alternates to traditional interior based hose stretches available?

Download this week's firefighter training drill as a PDF HERE.


Forest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently serves as Battalion Chief / Director of Training & Safety with the Pleasantview (IL) Fire Protection District (www.plvw.org) and is the Director of Training for Southwest United Fire Districts (www.sufd.org). In these capacities, he is responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service training activities as well as a full-service fire training academy program. Forest holds numerous Illinois fire service certifications and holds a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University.


Buyers Guide Featured Companies

More Buyer's Guide >

Fire Dynamics

Survival Zone

Extrication Zone

Tech Zone