Live Fire Training in Acquired Structures: Who is for it? Who is against it? Why?

Lets use this forum to see what people really think about live fire/burn training in acquired structures. Is it illegal in anyone's home state? What are the variables? Do the risks outweight the rewards? Are those rewards lofty enough to create an unnecessary IDLH? Let's hear it...


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REMEMBER: Standards are always designed to protect the least intelligent people first, that way we are ALL safe. It is a blessed burden. - Inexperience - Poor fuel/ignition control, IC - WOW! Misinformation... - Blocked egress, freelance, no control


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Replies to This Discussion

I personally do not see the distinct advantage in acquired home live fire burns. However, using an abandoned building of any type for forcible entry, fast or rit drills, ventilation drills (using artificial smoke) or search drills, firefighter escape and self rescue...ALL the things you can do without using real fire...thats substantial...thats two different drills in the same space.

Hardly see the need to burn when purposefully designed burn buildings are accessible.
Aquired structures provide valuable training when the training is conducted correctly. Take a look at the burn buildings and how they are designed. Most do not mimic a house layout. I can take students into a burn building with or without propane props and they will not get the same experience that you would if you was using an aquired structure. The aquired structure allows fire to behave as it would if you was on an actual fire scene.

I have been involved in numerous live burns at aquired structures and all have been successful. The latest one was this week and we was able to take a donated house and burn in it several times giving the members training on fire attack and coordination.

Aquired structures also allow departments that do not have access to burn facilities to conduct live burn training.

The bottom line though when you are doing these live burns is to follow NFPA 1403 and conduct the training safely.
We do both. We have a regional training center available that gets smoked up...and teach all of the above mentioned things in. I think that very valuable training comes out of taking them to the RTC, but we can not do anything over a small fire (in a barrel) for smoke and can not spray water. I try to take my Station to do this a couple times a year.

When we are able to get a house and EPA permit (once a year or every other year) we will do a house burn. As stated it has to be done correctly and safely. This is the first time that some of the students actually get to watch fire behavior first hand and be able to extinguish it.

Just my 2 cents.


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