The main operating standard procedure for responding to fire outbreaks has been to force entry, pull lines and to set up PPV fan to aid interior operations. This method was useful in the past but due to advanced technology, new methods have been developed. This paper describes fire fighting tactics and the speed of response. An effective fire fighter is the one who consider the changing dynamics of structural fire. There are several causes of fire such as synthetic fuel, lightweight construction. In the homes today most of the furniture is made of synthetic fibre that are air-opened and they can develop fires quickly.
Structures made of lightwood frames burns easily. These includes wood truss for supporting the roof and the floor. The combustion rate of lightwood construction materials is higher than the traditional materials. Fire need to be investigated to establish the cause, the origin or the conditions. According to NFPA921, 2011 edition, there are some methods that can be used to investigate the fire. The most recommended method is scientific method. The method provides an organization with desirable analytical processes that are important for successful fire investigation.
The Scientific method is a basis for engineering processes such as fire investigation. It follows some steps that include: Receiving the assignment- the person who is responsible for investigation should be notified his/her role. For example, if he is expected to identify the cause, write a report, make recommendations, etc. The other step is preparation for the investigation that involves plan development for investigation. This step is very critical because it determines the efficiency of the investigation. It involves acquirement of resources, personnel, equipment and tools for the investigation.
After planning, the investigation is carried out in the fire scene. In the scene, all relevant data is collected from the eye witnesses for analysis purpose or presentation to the court. The next step after data is collected it is to analyze using scientific method principles. The origin of the fire should be explained in detail. This require the establishment of a hypothesis. This method ends with a conclusion where a final hypothesis is formulated. This is followed by reporting the outcomes.
Kirk’s fire investigation, the seventh edition was written by John D. DeHann (Forensic scientist) and David J. Icove. This edition is up to date with detailed essential skills. It relates closely with NFPA 2011 edition 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation and NFPA 2009. Kirk’s investigation addresses all the kinds of fire and covers areas such as fire behaviour and building construction, electrical causes of fire, explosion and explosive combustion, ignition sources, laboratory services and arson as a crime. Fire is grouped into four classes; A, B , C, D and K.
class A fire is made up of ordinary combustibles such as wood, trash, papers, etc. These compounds leave ash when burnt. Class B fires consist of flammable liquids which include oil, gasoline among other liquids. This class can be stopped by any agent that prevents oxygen from being supplied to the fire. Class C is mainly electrical energy fires. Class D is composed of combustible metals such as Titanium and Magnesium. Finally, class K fires mainly originate from the kitchen and are caused by cooking oil, fats or grease.