The Max Fire Box

The fire department’s most important asset cannot be built, purchased, or ordered; it is an experienced, well-trained, and properly educated firefighter. Communities deserve to have properly trained firefighters available in time of need but, more importantly, firefighters deserve to be properly trained prior to responding to their first working fire. Unfortunately, before working in the field, a majority of firefighters haven’t benefited from receiving fire and smoke behavior training. Most often, the cost and space required for a live burn facility prevent the firefighter from receiving any live burn training. With this in mind, after years of research and development, the patent-pending Max Fire Box is now available to the fire service from Max Fire Training, Inc. This compact fire and smoke behavior prop can be purchased at an affordable price even by a small department with a limited budget.

The Max Fire Box interactively demonstrates essential fire and smoke behavior terminology in a controlled environment. As fire behavior research is completed, scientific principles are understood and reinforced through repeatable experiments. There is no better way to demonstrate the scientific principles behind smoke and fire behavior than to recreate them in a controlled, interactive learning environment.

When firefighters are fortunate enough to participate in an acquired structure burn, instructors are limited in their ability to show critical fire and smoke behavior patterns and convey terminologies such as flashover, backdraft, and smoke explosions. It can be difficult to properly reinforce terminology without the ability to quickly and easily reproduce the conditions.

Using the Max Fire Box for interactive live fire training allows your firefighters to be trained in the following fire and smoke behavior terms:

  • Rollover/flameover.
  • Flashover.
  • Backdraft.
  • Smoke explosions.
  • Volume, velocity, density, and color of smoke.
  • Thermal layering.
  • Flammable limits.
  • Door control.
  • Flow path.
  • The fire behavior curve.
  • Ignition temperature.
  • Pyrolysis.

These are only a few of the more than 40 key fire service definitions firefighters will be able to witness during a live burn with the Max Fire Box. Because of the interactive learning style, firefighters will stay more actively engaged in the training session. Instructors will not be competing with text messages, social media, or the score of a sports team; firefighters will be too busy using their phones to record flashovers, backdrafts, and smoke explosions demonstrated by the Max Fire Box.

The Max Fire Box comes as a complete educational package with laminated, easy-to-follow instruction and procedure manuals for the instructor and a portable drive with many additional training tools. The unit is equipped with all of the tools needed to ensure that current and future firefighters are trained properly in smoke and fire behavior.

(1) Photo by Drew Mitchell.
(1) Photo by Drew Mitchell.

Typically, firefighters benefit from a hands-on learning approach; that’s why students have reacted so positively during training sessions using the Max Fire Box. The live fire and smoke demonstrations enable firefighters to view critical events that occur during a working fire in a way that cannot be matched during a video presentation. Also, the 23- × 23-inch footprint of the Max Fire Box is minimal because its compact design allows for maximum control during live fire demonstrations. It was designed for use with training by any department regardless of its available space. The Max Fire Box’s compact design also allows it to be transported easily and reduce cost. Max Fire Training, Inc. provides every fire department with the opportunity for proper fire and smoke behavior training even with a limited budget or space.

Every current and future firefighter deserves the chance to witness fire and smoke behavior in a controlled environment. Max Fire Training, Inc. developed the Max Fire Box to solve the fire and smoke behavior training problem that every training instructor must overcome.

SHAWN BLOEMKER is a 20-year veteran of the fire service and the president of Max Fire Training, Inc. He developed the Illinois Fire Service Institute’s (IFSI’s) Fire Behavior and Smoke curriculum and was recognized by the IFSI as Instructor of the Month in November 2013. He also served as the coordinator of the Fire Fighting Program at Lewis & Clark Community College. He developed the Max Fire Box, which has been instrumental as an instruction tool as well as used with research activities. Bloemker is an assistant chief with the Godfrey (IL) Fire Protection District.

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