hi everyone i would like to get your input on flashover simulators such as pos and neg sides of it.

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Personally, I would like more info on what you are looking for. As a crude answer, simulators are safer than a real flashover. That would be a positive thing. A Negative would be the same as the positive in that you don't get the experience of controlling the flashover without the protective safeguards as the simulator, like the venting by the instructor.
And as always...more training is a good thing.
What is the reason behind the question?
the reason that i am asking derek is im planing to take one in a few months and i was tring to get input on them.sorry that i dodnt really say much about the reson why i was aking.i never did one and i heard that its a good learning experince and i am just tring to get other fire fighters outlook on it.
Here in Kentucky the state fire commission has 3 or 4 they use during regional school, they do a great job of showing how a flashover happen and they a pretty fail safe. Follow your instructors instruction to a T it gett very hot inside of the thing. Make sure you have all your PPE in place. I remember the first time I was in one it cooked all the stripping off my helmet, I hugged the floor and it was still hotter than hell and it was in the month of Feb. Hope this gives you some input... One of the instructor had a old style 660 on without the dumpcap in it and he melted the thing down on his head. if not for his hood he would have gottin burnt bad....
Simulators will do the best job for the student as long as they burn wood not propane, the instructor has time in the simulator to know WHAT they should be teaching you as a student. To get burned or so hot you are the floor proves nothing you learn nothing by lying on the floor or getting burned. I over the past five years have been in the can 100 times or more, also own my own simulator.
Tell me again the purpose of a flashover simulator - is it to observe the phenomenon from a safe position, or to teach what a flashover feels like when one is caught inside?

Either way, about the only pro I can think of would be introduction to flashover under controlled conditions. Cons might include degradation/destruction of PPE, thermal burns, and death.
Kevin, I understand what you are loioking for in your post.

The use of a flashover simulator has both positive and negative issues. Now I am not talking about burning up gear and hurting people. A positive - you get to see a flashover before, during, and after in a CLEAN, controlled environment. The issue I have with them is they can create a false sense of security when you leave the prop and head out to the real world.

You see the simulator uses clean wood, hay, pallets. Meets the NFPA fuels. When using these old school fuels it takes a long time to create the environment or phenomon of a flashover. Not to mention the design of the boxes and the protection afforded by said design is not the same as the real world.

Most firefighters that have been involved in a near miss or actual flashover incident will tell you, "It happened so fast that the conditions presented were not the same as the simulator." or "Time was just sped up like 10 fold or the fact that the fuels in a dwelling created such a rich environment, (thick snooty, zero visability smoke) that you couldn't see ANYTHING that was present in the real world except super heated gases that were far more insulting than the clean training environment.

The only way this training can be beneficial is if "seasoned" instructors explain what I am saying and the student needs to keep in mind that the training simulator cannot possibly create the same environment without injuring or killing firefighters.

Do I think they are a great tool for our training toolbox? Absolutely yes, but I like to emphasize to students that things occurred long before the flashover event that other training and tactics could have dramatically changed the situation.

So go to the training, you get to see the fire behavior first hand instead of a book or powerpoint slide but keep an open mind that it may not present the same in the real world.

i would like to thank everyone who has replied to my post.i fully understand the that it is a contolled enviroment and that it is a trainging tool.and that it will not be like on the actual fire scene.i would like to take the knowlegde i gain from the simulator and put it to use on the firegrounds if i need to do so.again thank you guys so far for your input.
That doesn't sound like safe or appropriate operation of a flashover simulator. If you're going to get the simulator so hot that it damages gear, tell me again why use a simulator at all?
The only really safe place from which to observe a flashover is from well outside of the flashed-over compartment.

Our gear is not designed to protect us from global direct flame contact - and that is exactly what a flashover is.
I agree completely that flashover simulators create a false sense of security with the students.

However, if the fire behavior doesn't really replicate actual fire behavior, what is the point of using the simulator at all? We might be better off keeping the students a safe distance back from the simulator and using more realistic fuels and fuel arrangements.
The simulator is tool in order to recognize some of the precursors of flashover. If one learns to recognize the warning signs, then they can potentially void getting caught in one.

FYI...at the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Fire Academy, masonite and wooden pallets are burned in the flashover simulator. It creates a very dense smoke and high heat condition.
holy crap....really though, Ben. Don't sound too safe to me. We weren't allowed to use our own helmets. And they never let it get so hot that we needed to hug the floor. My thought is that the simulator is to show the progress of flashover and techniques to control it enough to get out safely. Of course they let it go a bit so you can feel the temp increase, and see the rollover above you but not to the point where you have to hit the floor and damage your PPE.

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