I know your all going to say whatever it takes, but we've got one of the largest departments in our area and it seems like whenever we get called for mutual aid, we get to the scene and all the windows are smashed out on the first floor, instead of venting through the roof, I feel this makes it very hard to fight a fire because you supplied the whole home with fresh air and don’t have an attack team in place. We'll ask them why they did not vent through the roof and they'll say something like that’s to dangerous or its easier to smash the window all out. What do you guys feel about this?
It is better to ventilate with an agenda in mind. If you have an attack team in place it may work to ventilate horizontal or verticle. How ever you ventilate you better have a game plan in place to work with that type of ventilation. If not you are going to have a real fight on your hands.
Venting a house depends on alot of things. How fast crews get there, how much fire there is, where the fire is, how many crews do you have there, and type of building. If you are in a more urban area where people get there quick and you have fire showing then you can do Horizontal vent as you go. If there is no fire showing then you would want to vent before making an attack. Usually by a Verticle Vent. But you should never use a PPV before the the fire is contained or you will find the fire very quickly.
One of my big pet peeves is there are companies out there that will bust out every window in a house or cut the roof for simply a room off. The best think it to learn and train how to use Ventilation correctly.
Smashing all the windows out is not venting it's feeding the fire and eventually spreading the fire to un-involved areas of the home, we use our PPV about 90% of the time with great success and often vent through a window near the seat of the fire (usually quicker and safer). The most important thing I can say is do your perimeter check and look for the location of the fire take note of the wind direction and where to make your entry. Stay safe...
PPV is the best option. We also have a dept that calls us for aid all the time and when we get there all the windows are smashed, every door is wide open and the OIC says "weve got her ventilated" I think thats a lack of proper training T.J.. After a proper scene sizeup I like roof venting it was just the way I was trained and it sticks with you I guess. Just make sure the roof is solid if not you tend to fall through and break your leg. And it hurts.