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House Fire Process


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Can anyone tell the process firefighters carry out when they are called out to a house fire? Such as equipment they bring, what happens when they get to the house (do you surround and check the house for a safe entry? where do you usually enter from and what's the first things you look for?) and how to stay safe inside the house (walking along walls etc).

I am University student designing a project to enhance fire safety in households and would be grateful for any answers that I can use as part of my research.


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Asking for us to document the process of a domestic property fire is very difficult, as each one is different and starts the moment we respond to it. There are far too many variables to take into account, each based on what is encountered on route and on arrival before we even begin. 

Every firefighter could write a book on the process and each one would be different. Yes there will be similarities, but unsure on what replies you are expecting ?

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I agree with @Carl. It's impossible to give you any real quality info that you could use if one has to record it free and via a forum

Is it possible for you to frame the info you are after in a series of questions on a Survey Monkey type questionnaire- even as a starting point?

This would provide terms of reference to responders and help you collate the answers given

Just a thought

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@CMcQ as the other guys have said, it largely depends on each and every scenario and situation. 

Roughly I’ll use a 2 up 2 down family house with no additional dangers such as cylinders etc for an example. Let’s say flames are visible from downstairs front window.

On arrival, the initial appliance will have 2 riders will jump off and don a BA set. The driver will be flaking out a hose reel/45mm jet and getting the pump in. OIC will be doing an initial plan/assessment/on the radio for a make up. If they’re riding 5 the other person is either likely to be finding a hydrant or helping with hose or setting up an entry control point.

They’ll try open the door, if it’s locked it’ll be forced in. Crew will go in and put the fire out in the front bedroom. Driver may or may not use a hose reel from outside to put some water on the fire whilst the crews preparing to go in.

Within this time, hopefully another appliance will have turned up (most house fire calls will have a pre determined attendance of 2 pumps). It’s most likely another 2 riders will be putting sets on, whilst the officer is probably starting to do a 360 assessment looking for ventilation, life risk, smoke conditions, fire, access/egress. Driver is probably either helping with hydrant/hose/on the radio/becomes entry control.

The second crew will be committed with some form of extinguishing media and will most likely be conducting a search in the upper floors whilst the first crew searches the ground floor.

We travel through a property using safe movement, google BA Shuffle to watch. Sticking to a wall. 
We wouldn’t look for one thing in particular: dangers such as holes, life, fire, smoke, general fire conditions

Hope that helps a little. Again it all depends on each scenario but that’s roughly what will be going on.

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I think I was expecting there to be routine checks in and around the house but I realise now that no two house fires are going to be the same! Thanks for the reply:) 

This was great help! It’s good to know the different roles that each firefighter might play and to learn about stuff like the BA shuffle!! Thanks 😊 

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On 17/03/2020 at 00:16, CMcQ said:

I think I was expecting there to be routine checks in and around the house

There are routine checks carried out but they are usually after the fact stuff like checking for fire spread after the main fire has been dealt with and structural integrity. There's also fire investigation that would be involved depending on the nature and seriousness of the fire. And also as above with regard to utilities.

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You also have differences between different services and stations within a service. My stations typical response is our Ladder and pump turn out together so normally 8 (but often still 9) firefighters will be on the fireground straight away leading to quite a quick set up. However we'd prepare Tac Vent straight away with the fan being the second thing off the truck after the hosereel. Then again other stations may only arrive with 4 FFs so can't tac vent and go straight to Rapid Deployment. Other services don't use Tac Vent, On-call may not be confident with it. So many factors.

You could always contact your local station and arrange a visit if they'll let you. Give the management a good excuse to get the lazy boys off the lazy boys and out drilling. 

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