Firefighting, Structural Firefighting, Terrorism

The Impact of Air Movement on High-Rise Commercial Fires

Issue 12 and Volume 166.

BY CURTIS MASSEY Every high-rise building breathes. Air moves in and out and up and down. It is very important fire personnel responding to events in high-rises understand where the air is going. This will give the incident commander (IC) a better idea of where the smoke and toxic gases also may be going. If you understand how a building behaves and breathes, you will have a firmer grasp on where the problem areas are going to be and where the danger zones are within the confines of the building. You can literally predict where the smoke is most likely to go and, in turn, where you should dedicate your resources to address those problem areas, sometimes even before they begin to expose themselves. You can minimize or even avoid potential casualty counts just by knowing how the building will be acting during the fire. Staying ahead of the game…

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