Above the Fire Floor: Hazards and Precautions

BY DANNY STRATTON Firefighters working above the fire floor are in the most dangerous location at a structure fire. The convective energy, fire, smoke, heat, and steam from the fire streams tend to move in a vertical direction, making operating above the fire a challenge. The fire can eat away at the load-bearing structural supports, weakening the structure's load-carrying capability. The interior firefighter must be able to identify hazards and know how to execute precautions to prevent death and injury when operating in such a vulnerable position (photo 1). (1) A fire on a lower floor with its tendency to spread upward, not to include other influences, poses a threat to firefighters o...

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