Flash Over Trainig

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IF you ever get the chance to take this type of class I would advise you to take it. You get to see how the fire develops and how it reacts once oxygen is introduced to it. You will be able to feel heat that you will hopefully remember. This type of heat will tell you that your in trouble. This will give you a mark to know when something needs to happen and fast. Wither it be diving into another room or backing out. In a flash over situation you get about 5 seconds or 5 feet neither are good.

I first experienced the Flashover simulator in Stockholm Sweden while doing a feature video for "American Heat." I videotaped inside the simulator as Swedish probationary firefighters learned about fire behavior -- not extinguishing techniques. The instructor can create several flashover episodes during each evolution, controlling the flames with a spring loaded vent opening and a small high pressure nozzle. Once again, the nozzle is not for extinguishment but to help control the demonstration. You can very easily see that flashover can be delayed by simply cooling the superheated gases at the ceiling/ Oh, the fire is HOT. Very HOT! Take this training if it's available -- it may save your life. LPA

Just a quick point of interest. I teach this class.  They call them Flashover Simuators because they simulate a flashover. It gives you some characteristics like the signs, symptoms and conditions that lead up to a flashover. The issue I stress during class is the simulator is  produced using class A materials therefore the process is MUCH slower and far less hostile than the real world. In today's fire most of what you see in the simulator you will MISS due to the zero visabilty from synthetic and hydrocarbon combustibles, Ie: black fire.


Still great training on getting you into a hot environment, just don't expect to see as much in the real world. FETC

Ditto. Fantastic experience. Highly recommended. Drive a hundred miles for it if you have to.

Like FETC says, this is just one piece of the puzzle. Get the flashover simulation, reading smoke, fire behavior, and all the other essentials to build confidence.

The flashover chamber was, however, one of the most memorable for me.

Our county was able to obtain this for two weeks-ends. We have 24 departments in the county and we were able to fill the 100 student slots. My department sent 10 of us at $105.00 a student. It was well worth the expense to the department. This is just something on the volunteer side you will most likely never get to see at a structure fire. Not saying never will; but this training will give you a mark to know that if water is not applied quickly at this point things are going to go bad shortly.

I can confirm that you can do some real good exercises in the flashover containers. Where I come from a person must go through the container 2 times on his/her training as a firefighter - then we conduct training in the approximately every 3 years.

I am an instructor in it and use the container several times a year.

We have made some "new" container with oil under pressure to work - some places we have built two container together so the room gets bigger.


Jesper Rossen

Ditto!!! The most memorable and possibly the most valuable fire behavior training I've ever had. A must for every firefighter. Most big departments have their own now and are willing to share them or combine classes with all their neighboring departments.

Why call them flashover simulators? Why not fire behavior simulators? Unless the fire is actually allowed to get to the point where the entire area actually flashes. This would, of course, entail too much risk for a training exercise. I can't imagine anyone is letting it go that far.


It seems to me that the message some may receive is they have experienced an actual flashover and then think "hey, it wasn't so bad"! Not a good message to send.

Names on UK / USA vs. Danish is hard to translate. at Danish it's called a  (ovetænding) "flashover" which in our terms means that the smoke layer burn. a flashover is divided into several stages, skinny (lower exsplosion limit), fat (upper exsplosion limit), fat warm and delayed flashover.

If you like to "play" a little, you can close one door completely, keep the other door allmost closed in the container, closed the chimney. Then you can pull the fire down to the floor. this requires that the firefighter take off their BA of and lies it beside him/her, and is him/herself flat on the floor face up.


Jesper Rossen

"Smoke layer burn" is probably what we call "rollover". This is when you see the upper level start to burn and flames roll overhead. Fire is still developing. When a room or area becomes totally involved in flame from floor to ceiling, we call it flashover. It is untenable for more than a few seconds, even flat on your back. Fire is at it's height of development.

I'm curious as to the definitions or descriptions of "skinny", "fat", "fat warm" and "delayed flashover".

Personally, I don't like the idea of "playing" the way you described. One mistake or malfunction could cause serious injury.

We only do it (play) at the end of the exercise with experienced firefighters.
we do it late in the practice when there isent so much energy left in the smoke gases.

I have attached my best attempt at a picture I have just made, to tell how we divide flashover into skinny, fat, fat warm and delayed. available if it requires explanation.


Jesper Rossen


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