How Different Types of Construction Affect Roof Ventilation, by Firefighter Nation

We posted a series of articles a few months ago by Lt. John Hayowyk, Jr. of the Passaic, NJ Fire Department on how to access the roofs of Type 3 buildings during fires. That got us thinking: Just what is a “Type 3” building?

Capt. Randy Frassetto of the Surprise, AZ Fire-Medical Department has the answer over at Firefighter Nation. And since we sell roof ventilation blades, this article is about roof ventilation, too.

As you know, buildings can be grouped into five types based on their fire resistance. According to Frassetto, each type influences safe roof ventilation in surprising ways:

  • Type 1 (Fire-Resistive): Buildings of this type are made of fire-resistant materials like concrete and steel. They include high-rises and skyscrapers. They’re almost impossible to ventilate vertically or horizontally due to their height and heavy construction materials.
  • Type 2 (Non-Combustible): Buildings of this type are made of non-combustible materials like reinforced masonry and tilt slab. They include big box stores and strip malls. They often have metal roofs that are prone to early collapse and that resist most ventilation blades (but not the Fire Rescue Safety Blade).
  • Type 3 (Ordinary): Buildings of this type typically have non-combustible walls and wood roofs. They include a wide range of new and old construction. Vertical ventilation is often effective on Type 3 buildings, but their roofs and walls are sometimes unsafe for ventilation crews.
  • Type 4 (Heavy Timber): Buildings of this type are made of heavy, large-dimensional timber. They include many buildings built before 1960. These buildings normally resist fire well. However, their timbers may be poorly maintained or infested with termites, forcing roof ventilation crews to take extra care, and are heavy enough to slow cutting.
  • Type 5 (Wood-Framed): Buildings of this type are made of combustible materials like wood. They include many modern homes. They’re often roofed with ceramic or asphalt shingles over lightweight trusses or oriented strand board (OSB), materials that are easily cut by most roof ventilation blades. These buildings can collapse quickly, but they respond well to roof ventilation, especially over isolated room fires.

Read more at Firefighter Nation, and let us know what you think in the comments here.

Capt. Randy Frassetto, Firefighter Nation, “Understanding Building Construction Types

How to Cut Decorative Joints in Concrete, by

How to Cut Decorative Joints in Concrete, by ConcreteNetwork.comYou’ve probably seen decorative joints in concrete before, from faux paving stones to circular medallions. You may have even wondered how they’re made. After all, saw blades only cut in straight lines, right?

According to Bob Harris of the Decorative Concrete Institute, not really.

Harris shows you how to cut both round joints and precise straight joints with walk-behind saws and angle grinders in this video. (You may remember him from another video that we featured two weeks ago on cutting control joints in concrete). Since this is a video about decorative concrete, there’s also a section on dyeing and acid staining. Watch it now, and let us know what you think in the comments section.

How to Attack Hinges on Outward-Opening Doors during Forcible Entry, by Fire Engineering

How to Attack Hinges on Outward-Opening Doors during Forcible Entry, by Fire Engineering

Courtesy of Brotherhood Instructors, LLC

There are times when you want to attack a door’s hinges instead of its latch side during forcible entry, say Lt. Samuel Hittle of the Wichita, KS Fire Department and Capt. Chad Dailey of the Kansas City, MO Fire Department. (We agree; we’ve had videos on attacking the hinges of outward-opening and inward-opening doors on this blog before) Maybe the occupant’s loaded the latch side with lots of security devices, or you want to remove the door so that your lines won’t be obstructed.

That’s why they wrote this article for Fire Engineering. It tells you how to attack door hinges on outward-opening doors with saws (our personal favorite) and the irons. Whether your department emphasizes these skills in their training or not, this is still a good article. Read it now.

Fire Engineering, “Hinge-Side Forcible Entry on Outward Swinging Doors

How to Cut Control Joints in Concrete with a Cut-off Saw, by

How to Cut Safely with a Diamond Blade and Handheld Saw

We’ve shown you how control joints in concrete work. Now we’re going to show you how to make them with cut-off saws.

You can make these cuts with walk-behind or early entry saws, of course. However, some surfaces like stamped and other decorative concretes demand smaller cut-off saws, according to Bob Harris of the Decorative Concrete Institute. This video from shows you how to do cut control joints in these surfaces with these saws. Watch it now, and let us know what you think in the comments section.

How to Use Fire Escapes to Access Roofs Safely, by Firefighter Toolbox

Lt. John Hayowyk, Jr. of the Passaic, NJ Fire Department has been running a three-part series on accessing the roofs of Type 3 construction buildings over at Firefighter Toolbox. He’s already covered using the roofs of adjacent buildings and ladders. Today, Hayowyk wraps up his series with one of the most dangerous and least desirable ways to access roofs: fire escapes.

This article covers choosing which fire escape to use on a building, sizing it up, climbing it safely, getting your tools to the roof, and then climbing back down. Oh, and if you’re not checking out the fire escapes in your district on a regular basis, both for yourself and for potential victims, then you just don’t get it.

Read his article now.

Firefighter Toolbox, “3 Ways To Access The Roof Quickly – Part 3