Truck Company

Primary Roof Ventilation Operations for Flat-Roof Structures

Issue 8 and Volume 163.

BY DANIEL M. TROXELL Roof operations are among the most important yet sometimes overlooked fireground functions. The actions of the members operating on the roof can make or break the success of a working fire incident at a flat-roof structure (photo 1). (1) Photos by author. Flat roofs are common on commercial structures in most areas. However, in older urban areas, flat roofs are also often found on private and multifamily dwellings of ordinary construction, because flat roofs were easier and cheaper to construct on these structures. In Washington, D.C., most of the private dwellings are ordinary construction row structures, built between 1900 and World War II. Many of the multifamily dwellings in older areas of the city also feature this type of construction. Proper ventilation operations on flat-roof structures can prevent flashover, prevent the spread of fire in cocklofts and attics, and make it easier and safer for members…

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