Truck Company

Residential Fire Tactics

Issue 6 and Volume 165.

By JIM DUFFY Private dwelling fires are the most common structure fires that occur throughout the United States and Canada. More than 2,500 civilians die in residential fires each year. Historically, more than 75 percent of these civilian fire deaths occur in private dwellings. In addition, about 47 percent of firefighter combat deaths occur in these residential structures. It is no secret that the fire environment in these structures has changed in the past 30 years. Buildings are made to be more energy efficient, and their structural members are being made lighter and cheaper. These lightweight “engineered” structural members are prone to collapse after just a few minutes of fire involvement. Fuel loads have changed; with just one upholstered chair and some other ordinary room contents, a room can be brought to flashover. Some say that fires are burning hotter. This may not be true; the furnishings actually have a…

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