Leadership

MORE ON FIRE PHENOMENA

Issue 11 and Volume 144.

MORE ON FIRE PHENOMENA RANDOM THOUGHTS Last month 1 tried to explain my frustration with fire texts that tell us that every rapid oxidation reaction (explosion) on the fireground is a backdraft, or that backdraft is a common occurrence. If that’s true, what is all this we hear about fire extension in remote areas of structures while firefighters are within “doing their thing”? Construction trends have contributed greatly to smoke explosion (and to “cold smoke” explosion in particular). Explosive gases, the by-product of incomplete combustion, are trapped longer than ever by structures that are tighter due to energy-conservation efforts—in particular, the doubleand triple-pane windows and the virtually airtight aluminum and plastic siding, which covers the original asphalt, wood, and asbestos siding. While smoke explosions in remote enclosures within the fire building are not as detectable as the conditions forecasting backdraft, some size-up indicators are available. The detection of thermal pane…

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