Well, it is not meant to be taken literally, because fires are still extinguished with water. Nevertheless, the use of air is a very powerful weapon in fighting fires, because, as every firefighter is aware: “Our worst enemy is not the fire, but the smoke!” It obscures our view, is hazardous and, depending on the concentration of pyrolysis gases, can be highly explosive.

The term “tactical ventilation” is used to refer to the targeted use of air in firefighting. The cooling fan serves for this purpose as the first operational medium. Particularly in the case of building fires, the use of a FANERGY high-performance fan is of great assistance to SCBA crews, in ways including:

  • Better visibility through rapid smoke evacuation from the building
  • Smoke control of escape/rescue routes
  • Reduction of temperatures in the burning object
  • Minimizing the risk of flashover
  • Immediate supply of fresh air for emergency crews and persons trapped by fire smoke

Tactical ventilation is not only crucial to the safety of the emergency crews, but also aids in limiting the damage to the burning object.

 

What must be observed when ventilating a burning object?

  1. Ask local residents, owners, or eyewitnesses about possible sources of the fire.
  2. Explore the scene: explore buildings from all sides, study building plans, examine the object with a thermal imaging camera
  3. Check for possible dangers (electricity, risk of collapse, chemical hazards, etc.).
  4. Locate an exhaust vent that faces downwind (attention: the wind direction must not push against your exhaust opening) and secure it.
  5. Think about the possible ventilation channel (for instance, how the air passes to the outside).
  6. Place the cooling fan in position, keeping the correct distance from the air inlet (dependent on the strength and volume of the airflow). For the FANERGY, an installation distance of 2-7 m is recommended. Set the angular position of the ventilation unit upwards or downwards if, for example, the ventilation channel involves stairs.
  7. Make sure that the suction area (the area behind the fan) is free of objects.
  8. Start the ventilation. Please note: the operational leader must give the start signal, no arbitrary start-up.
  9. Give the SCBA crew all the necessary information and send them to the burning object. The operations team should move with the airflow toward the direction of the seat of the fire.
  10. Secure the fan and adjust the fan speed to the conditions.

In order to present the basic principles of tactical ventilation as simply as possible for you, we have briefly summarized the most important key points in a small animation, because pictures are worth a thousand words…

Is the fan also an integral part of your operational tactics? How do you use and practice tactical ventilation?
I look forward to your comments!