Tactical Considerations Web Series: Ep. 8 - Keep the Wind at Your Back
Jennifer Williams
July 17, 2018

In Episode 8, check out UL FSRI’s Dan Madrzykowski as he explains why firefighters should keep the wind at their back:

When entering a structure or initiating fire attack, knowing the wind direction is a critical fireground factor. Winds greater than 5 mph will directly affect the rate at which the fire develops and potentially jeopardize the safety of the advancing crew(s).

Knowing whether the wind is at your back or if you are going against the wind is a key size-up factor. Entering into the wind is like fighting your way down a chimney. As the winds increase, the fire growth and speed of spread will increase, too.

Watch this additional video showing a computer simulation of a wind driven basement fire that resulted in a line of duty injury. This was developed at NIST, by authors currently employed at UL FSRI.


This series of videos will bring you tactical considerations from firefighter research and will feature members of the UL FSRI team and Advisory Board.

A Tactical Consideration is an evidence based concept for the fire service to consider implementing into their department to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and increase knowledge to accomplish their mission. With all of the measurements made during UL FSRI experiments as well as the vast experience of our project technical panels, several consistent themes have emerged that may be helpful to the fire service. Each of these themes is packaged as a tactical consideration with supporting text and visuals.

The application of tactical considerations depends upon many factors such as:

  • building structure and geometry
  • capabilities and resources available to the first responding fire department
  • availability of mutual aid

There is no silver bullet tactic for structure fires and these considerations are meant to increase the knowledge of the fire service and to be incorporated into training and procedures, if deemed applicable.

Follow @UL_FSRI on social media and share the videos with your fire service friends using #TacticalTuesday.

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.