Fire Ventilation

Fire Ventilation by Stefan Svensson was originally written to support ventilation training delivered by the Swedish Rescue Services Agency (Räddnings Verket). However, the English translation of this text is an excellent resource for any firefighter or fire officer.

Stefan does an excellent job of integrating practical fireground experience and the underlying science of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics that are essential to really understanding ventilation. Many of the concepts presented in this text will be familiar to firefighters anywhere in the world. Topics include:

  1. Fire Ventilation
  2. Fire Behavior
  3. Fire Gases
  4. The Spread of Fire Gases
  5. Working with Fire Ventilation
  6. Creating Openings
  7. Safety When Working at high Altitudes
  8. Openings in Different Roof Structures
  9. Tactics
  10. Examples of Firefighting Situations

The chapters on fire ventilation, fire behavior, and fire gases, were a necessary introduction to the topic, but other texts provide a more comprehensive examination of these important subjects. The chapters that I found most useful were The Spread of Fire Gases and Working with Fire Ventilation. Stefan’s explanation of influences on smoke movement, influence of inlet and outlet opening size, and other factors that impact the effectiveness and efficiency of ventilation operations is excellent. The narrative is simple and straightforward and shaded boxes highlight mathematical formula and calculations necessary for those who want to engage with this topic at a deeper level.
For individuals without an engineering background, the mathematical explanations of the underlying principles and engineering applications may seem a bit daunting. More detailed explanation and worked examples would provide better support of this content. However, this is a minor issue which does not significantly compromise the utility of this text to a wide range of audiences.
Fire Ventilation is available for on-line purchase from the Swedish Rescue Services Agency for 120 SEK (around $16.00) plus shipping. The agency will invoice for payment Swedish Kroner after your purchase (which necessitates using a bank that can produce a check in foreign currency).

NIOSH Public Meeting

On November 19, 2008, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will be conducting a public stakeholder meeting regarding the Firefighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program. This meeting will be held at 1000 hours at the Crown Plaza Hotel at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. My next post will provide a preview of my presentation at this meeting and written testimony submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Take a minute to review NIOSH Report F2007-29 before Thursday’s post.

Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE, CFO


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