Fire Technology

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 857–889 | Cite as

Analysis of One and Two-Story Single Family Home Fire Dynamics and the Impact of Firefighter Horizontal Ventilation

  • Stephen KerberEmail author


This paper describes experimental investigations on fire service ventilation practices in modern house geometries. Two houses were constructed inside a large fire facility. The first of two houses constructed was a one-story, 111.5 m2, 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with 8 total rooms. The second house was a two-story 297.3 m2, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house with 12 total rooms. The second house featured a modern open floor plan, two-story great room and open foyer. Fifteen experiments were conducted varying the ventilation locations and the number of ventilation openings. Ventilation scenarios included ventilating the front door only, opening the front door and a window near and remote from the seat of the fire, opening a window only and ventilating a higher opening in the two-story house. One scenario in each house was conducted in triplicate to examine repeatability. The results of these experiments examine potential occupant tenability and provide knowledge for the fire service for them to examine their horizontal ventilation standard operating procedures and training content. The fire dynamics resulting from ventilation practices such as ventilation near or remote from the seat of the fire and high versus low in relation to the fire are examined. Several other tactical considerations were developed utilizing the data from these experiments to provide specific examples of changes that can be adopted based on a departments current strategies and tactics. Such tactical considerations and a systems approach to fire service tactics should be investigated further.


Fire behavior Ventilation Firefighting Tenability Tactics 



The author would like to thank the Grant Program Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency for funding this research through the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UL LLCNorthbrookUSA

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