Peekin’ in the Attic: Discussion on recent Research Findings


Peekin’ in the Attic: Discussion on recent Research Findings

Join us Wednesday 04.01 at 8pm ET on for a live discussion on key elements of the recent published findings from the UL Residential Attic & Exterior Fire Hazards Research Study. Guests include Captain Joe Pronesti, who serves on UL’s Technical Review Panel on Positive Pressure Ventilation and Chief Doug Cline who served on the ISFSI/NIST Spartanburg Burns.


Join us on  LINK  

Wednesday evening April 01 at 8pm ET

The show will be available for download on iTunes within a week of the program


USFA   Topical Fire Report Series; Atic Fires in Residential Buildings Study (2011):    LINK


UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Training Module:

Residential Attic Fire Mitigation Tactics and Exterior Fire: Spread hazards on fire fighter safety: PDF LINK

Study of Residential Attic Fire Mitigation Tactics and Exterior Fire Spread Hazards on Fire Fighter Safety: LINK to UL comprehensive info on Study and Tests


From the UL FSRI Site: UL FSRI Launches Residential Attic and Exterior Fire Hazards Online Training Program

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) is proud to announce the release of “Residential Attic and Exterior Fire Hazards” – an online course that serves as a culmination of the small scale, full-scale, and field experiments performed by UL as part of a research study funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

The purpose of this study is to increase firefighter safety and effectiveness by providing the fire service with scientific knowledge on the dynamics of attic and exterior fires and the influence of coordinated fire mitigation tactics from full-scale fire testing in realistic residential structures.

Attic fire course 3

The interactive training takes learners through all of the details that went into the experiments, experiment results, and tactical considerations derived from the results.  Experiments included 28 wall tests, 3 wall and eave tests, 4 full scale attic tests, and 3 field experiments.

Field experiments were conducted in three acquired structures located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Fires in these 1 ½ and 2 ½ story residential houses provided a real world application of theories and tactics.

UL FSRI Director Steve Kerber shared, “This training program brings science to the streets by providing a dozen tactical considerations to the fire service.

Through the use of video, data, and 3D drawings of the structures, firefighters are given information that directly relates to the fireground.  For the scientifically inclined, there are also links to the detailed report as well as the data graphs and full experiment video.”

Attic fire course 2

Tactical considerations derived by a fire service technical panel and supported with video and interactive features include:   Increased use of plastics in exterior walls will change the situation to which you arrive; If the fire starts on the outside, start fighting it from the outside; learn to anticipate where and how an exterior fire will migrate to the interior; attic fires are commonly ventilation-limited fires; closely time or limit vertical ventilation until water is in the attic; plastic ridge vents can affect size-up and fire dynamics; wetting sheathing with an eave attack slows attic fire growth; attic construction affects hose stream penetration; consider flowing up instead of down with a master stream; knee wall fire dynamics; apply water on a knee wall fire at the source and toward the direction of spread before committing to the attic; and Interior operations on knee wall fires.




UL recently posted the following on their FB page:UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute

Did you know, over 60% of the fuel surface area in a residential attic is the underside of the sheathing material. Limiting the involvement of the sheathing was found to be the best way to knock down an attic fire while preventing further spread.

The construction of a residential attic makes applying water to the sheathing difficult. Rafters and trusses prevent hose stream penetration and deflect water away from the sheathing material. The most effective way of putting water on the sheathing was through the use of the natural ventilation path.

In residential attics fresh air enters low through the eaves and is exhausted out through some combination of ridge and/or gables vents.

Applying water through the eaves wets over 60% of the surfaces in the attic providing suppression and preventing regrowth.

A video of the tactic being preformed on our test structure can be found here: