Study of the Effectiveness of Fire Service Vertical Ventilation and Suppression Tactics in Single Family Homes Completed

UL FSRI is proud to release the technical report for the 2010 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program – Fire Prevention and Safety Grants project titled “Study of the Effectiveness of Fire Service Vertical Ventilation and Suppression Tactics in Single Family Homes.”

UL conducted a series of 17 full-scale residential structure fires to examine fire dynamics and the impact of firefighter ventilation and suppression tactics. This fire research project generated the experimental data needed to quantify the fire behavior associated with these scenarios. Analysis of the data resulted in the immediate development of the necessary firefighting ventilation and suppression practices to reduce firefighter death and injury.

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Director Steve Kerber stated, “Two years of teamwork went into the creation of this report. I would like to thank everyone that contributed, especially our fire service technical panel that made this study pertinent. The results of this study provide the fire service with data that shows the impact of vertical ventilation and suppression tactics. It does not say whether or not to conduct vertical ventilation, but what may happen when you make that tactical decision. In addition to this report, an interactive online training program is being developed and will be released by the end of July.”

This report provides all the detail that went into the execution of the experiments. The results from the experiments led to the identification of 12 tactical considerations for the fire service to integrate into their education and fire ground tactics where applicable. These tactical considerations include:

  • Today’s Firefighter Workplace
  • Control the Access Door
  • Coordinated Attack Includes Vertical Ventilation
  • How big of a hole?
  • Where do you vent?
  • Stages of Fire Growth and Flow Paths
  • Timing is Everything
  • Reading Smoke
  • Impact of Shut Door on Victim Tenability and Firefighter Survivability
  • Softening the Target
  • You Can’t Push Fire
  • Big volume, apply water to what is burning

Click this link to download the report: UL FSRI 2010 DHS Report

Click this link to download the Fire Service Summary report: UL FSRI 2010 DHS FD Summary Report

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute is dedicated to increasing firefighter knowledge to reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and in the communities they serve.