Leadership

FLASHOVER RISK MANAGEMENT

Issue 6 and Volume 157.

BY SCOTT T. BURNETTE Flashover poses a great risk to the fire service. It is imperative that fire service administrators recognize this and take steps to manage the inherent risk of flashover to their firefighters. In Risk Management in the Fire Service (Fire Engineering , 1997, 35-42) Steven Wilder outlines four methods for managing risk: exposure avoidance, loss control, separation of exposures, and contractual transfers. Separation of exposures and contractual transfers are not practical solutions for managing the flashover risk. However, fire service leaders have considered the first two methods, exposure avoidance and loss control. EXPOSURE AVOIDANCE Exposure avoidance is a risk management tool designed to eliminate firefighters’ exposure to the risk. This method has largely been reactive: When a line-of-duty death or serious injury from flashover occurs, the department then issues an exposure avoidance directive. It usually prohibits firefighters from entering a structure with active fire. Such directives usually…

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