Firefighting techniques and tactics

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) sponsors research to improve firefighter and building occupant safety through a better understanding of firefighting techniques and tactics. Review the research below to see how structural ventilation techniques and wind-driven and other conditions can affect your safety.

Structural fire venting techniques

In a structural fire, two common ventilation techniques include positive pressure venting (PPV) and natural venting.

To improve firefighter safety, USFA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted research to better understand structural ventilation techniques.

The research used full-scale practical experiments and an online firefighting training tool to review the effects of ventilation on fire behavior.

Explore the research findings by downloading these reports from the NIST:

Order a free DVD set for a full summary of all the research.

Wind-driven conditions

Changes in a building's ventilation or presence of an external wind can increase the energy release of a fire and the spread of fire gases. This can limit building occupants' ability to escape and firefighters' ability to rescue them.

USFA and NIST, along with the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, the Fire Department of New York City, and the Chicago Fire Department, conducted research to improve the safety of firefighters and building occupants by enabling a better understanding of wind-driven firefighting tactics, including structural ventilation and suppression.

Explore the research findings by downloading these reports or ordering a free DVD set that contains the reports and videos from all of the project’s experiments.

More information on wind-driven conditions