New UL FSRI Online Training Course Provides Tactical Considerations for Fighting Basement Fires

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October 20, 2020
—The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) is pleased to partner with the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) to release the new “Understanding and Fighting Basement Fires” online course.

This online course explores the results of fire experiments conducted as part of a collaborative effort between UL FSRI and ISFSI to reduce risk and improve firefighter effectiveness when fighting below-grade fires.

After taking this course, firefighters will be able to:

  • Describe the basic principles of fire dynamics, including the stages of fire development, heat release rate, and flow path.
  • Categorize below-grade spaces based on exterior access and describe the fire behavior associated with each category.
  • Chronicle the previous research that provided the foundation for this project and describe the basement fire experiments.
  • Incorporate tactical considerations based on experimental results into standard operating guidelines to improve firefighter effectiveness, safety, and occupant tenability.

"From a firefighting perspective, basement fires or below grade fires are the most difficult, challenging and dangerous fires encountered within a residential structure. Over the years, many firefighters have been injured or killed while trying to extinguish a below grade fire,” said Dan Madrzykowski, UL FSRI director of research. “This course consolidates decades of research and experience from the fireground to provide tactical considerations that can be incorporated into Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) to improve both firefighter safety and occupant survivability."

In part, this project was supported by a Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

This course is dedicated to the memory of Captain Matt LeTourneau, of the Philadelphia Fire Department, and all the firefighters that have been killed or injured as the result of a basement fire. Matt was involved in planning, preparing, and conducting the ISFSI Study on Understanding and Fighting Basement Fires.

Click here to access the course through the UL FSRI Fire Safety Academy.

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