Chapter 09-Transporation Fires and Related Safety Issues


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• Examine fire behavior and safety-related problems in transportation vehicles encountered by firefighters
• Describe fire problems and safety issues experienced with transportation vehicles and explain actions that may be taken to resolve the issues
• Examine and describe special fire behavior problems one might encounter with each of the classifications of transportation vehicles
• Explain the importance of fire preplanning and familiarization procedures for each of the categories of transportation vehicles

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Chapter 09-Transporation Fires and Related Safety Issues

  1. 1. Transportation Fires and Related Safety Issues Chapter 9
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Examine fire behavior and safety-related problems in transportation vehicles encountered by firefighters </li></ul><ul><li>Describe fire problems and safety issues experienced with transportation vehicles and explain actions that may be taken to resolve the issues </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives (cont’d.) <ul><li>Examine and describe special fire behavior problems one might encounter with each of the classifications of transportation vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the importance of fire preplanning and familiarization procedures for each of the categories of transportation vehicles </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>This chapter discusses fires and related emergencies occurring in transportation vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Fire Administration in 2003 funded study by National Fire Protection Research Foundation into transportation-related deaths and injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Categories include passenger car fires, truck and recreational vehicle fires, rail transportation vehicle fires, marine vehicle fires, and aircraft fires </li></ul>
  5. 5. Passenger Vehicle Fires <ul><li>Vehicles can be brought to a stop rapidly and evacuated almost immediately </li></ul><ul><li>Growth in use of combustible plastics, increasing the fire danger without concern for fire safety </li></ul><ul><li>2000 study showed annually that passenger road vehicles were responsible for almost 60% of fire-related fatalities occurring in transportation vehicles </li></ul>
  6. 6. Front Bumpers <ul><li>Designed to absorb 5 mph crash test without damage </li></ul><ul><li>Can explode or react during the operation of an extrication tool </li></ul>
  7. 7. Air Bags <ul><li>SRS must be considered when cutting through undeployed inflators </li></ul><ul><li>SIC is one of latest innovations offered by the auto industry for side impact and rollover protection </li></ul><ul><li>Policies and procedures in place to establish safe work areas while on the roads or highways </li></ul><ul><li>Attack vehicle fire targeting passenger compartment first </li></ul>
  8. 8. Air Bags (cont’d.) Figure 9-1 An example of how a safe work zone is created on the incident scene
  9. 9. Hybrid Passenger Vehicles <ul><li>May contain hydrogen fueling systems, CNG, or LPG in pressurized tanks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May require a fire attack at a distance as the pressurized tanks holding these gases may explode </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to become familiar with new power and fueling systems </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure battery is disconnected while operations are being conducted so an ignition of leaking flammable liquids does not occur </li></ul>
  10. 10. Strategy and Tactics in Passenger Vehicles <ul><li>Always respond with sufficient resources to ensure ready availability </li></ul><ul><li>Examine situation with decision-making process </li></ul><ul><li>Start attack from downwind side and upslope </li></ul><ul><li>Use caution to prevent leaking flammable fuels from spreading into other areas of the vehicle </li></ul>
  11. 11. Motor Homes, Buses, and Recreational Vehicles <ul><li>Ranges from small pop-up tent trailer to large bus like vehicle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Class A: designed and built as mobile homes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class B: converted from a basic van bought from vehicle manufacturer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class C: use cab portion and motor from the vehicle manufacturer with the addition of body </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Same risks as residential properties </li></ul><ul><li>Seat belt use is rarer </li></ul>
  12. 12. Motor Homes, Buses, and Recreational Vehicles (cont’d.) Figure 9-6 Class A motor home
  13. 13. Fire Tactics and Strategy in Motor Homes, Buses, and Recreational Vehicles <ul><li>Wide variety of configurations </li></ul><ul><li>Most buses powered by diesel engines, but many being powered w/ natural gas or methane </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No need for concern with leaking fuel that may trap passengers when using methane </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not much difference between firefighting methods as compared to recreational vehicles and trucks </li></ul>
  14. 14. Trucks <ul><li>Designed to carry some type of cargo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Varies in size, shape, and hazard </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many have sleeping compartments </li></ul><ul><li>Could be exposed to fire from inside the compartment (smoking) or from the cab or cargo area </li></ul>
  15. 15. Challenges Encountered in Truck Fires <ul><li>Proceed with caution until cargo identified </li></ul><ul><li>Limited in ways to approach fire during extinguishment of the interior cargo space </li></ul><ul><li>Saddle tanks are vulnerable and may be hidden </li></ul><ul><li>Prior knowledge of trucks and design is desired </li></ul><ul><li>Cribbing should be set in place before rescue work begins </li></ul>
  16. 16. Truck Brake Fires <ul><li>Brakes may become overheated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Occurs when traveling in mountainous areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Occurs when descending long, steep declining grade </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can crack if cooled too quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Apply fog spray in short bursts to slowly cool the heated drums </li></ul>
  17. 17. Fire Tactics and Strategy in Trucks <ul><li>Check for hazardous materials placards </li></ul><ul><li>Do not take for granted that the warning placards will be posted or will be correct </li></ul><ul><li>Bill of lading will indicate the amount and type of cargo or freight being transported </li></ul>
  18. 18. Fires in Railed Equipment <ul><li>Can be some of the most dangerous problems a department may encounter </li></ul><ul><li>Carry large amounts of people or cargo </li></ul><ul><li>Cargo may be hazardous </li></ul><ul><li>High life hazards may be involved </li></ul>
  19. 19. Railcar Construction and Placards <ul><li>Regulated by DOT and enforced by FRA </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized business with special procedures, regulations, and equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Preplanning should be involved </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized drills and seminars can be arranged with rail officials </li></ul>
  20. 20. Locomotives <ul><li>Power producers for trains </li></ul><ul><li>Small chance of fire in diesel engine itself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the hazard is electricity being generated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Large size and weight is additional hazard </li></ul><ul><li>Have a consist or way bill identifying hazardous cargo onboard </li></ul>
  21. 21. Boxcars <ul><li>Looks like a box with attached wheels </li></ul><ul><li>Carry variety of commodities, which may or may not be hazardous and will have varied levels of combustibility </li></ul><ul><li>Often made of wood </li></ul><ul><li>Compressor is electric and powered by diesel generator attached to the boxcar </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel is carried in small fuel tank attached to car </li></ul>
  22. 22. Flatcars <ul><li>Not enclosed, so no weather protection </li></ul><ul><li>Designed and configured in different sizes depending upon the type of cargo </li></ul><ul><li>Some made of wood </li></ul><ul><li>Main fire concern is the wooden car and the cargo </li></ul>
  23. 23. Intermodal Equipment <ul><li>Flatcars with intermodal container attached </li></ul><ul><li>Could be transported to variety of transports without unloading cargo </li></ul><ul><li>Hazards are related to cargo itself </li></ul>
  24. 24. Intermodal Equipment (cont’d.) Figure 9-11 An IMO 101 tank. Like the totes, these are bulk tanks capable of carrying a large quantity of product. They are normally placed on ships and then delivered locally by a truck, although trains can also be used.
  25. 25. Gondola Cars <ul><li>Designed with flat bottoms and four walls </li></ul><ul><li>May have cover </li></ul><ul><li>Can be wood, but most are steel </li></ul><ul><li>Main fire concern is cargo itself </li></ul>
  26. 26. Hopper Cars <ul><li>Generally constructed using metal with sides and ends that are fixed </li></ul><ul><li>Transport dry bulk materials </li></ul><ul><li>Main fire hazard is cargo itself </li></ul>
  27. 27. Passenger Railcars <ul><li>Railcars designed to carry people or provide specific services for passengers, such as riding, sleeping, dining, and luggage storage </li></ul><ul><li>May carry several hundred people </li></ul><ul><li>Older ones have combustible interiors </li></ul><ul><li>Equipped by systems such as heat and air that complicate fire hazard situations </li></ul>
  28. 28. Tank Railcars <ul><li>A tank mounted on a railroad frame with wheels designed to transport a variety of liquid products, having tank capacities ranging from a few hundred gallons to as much as 45,000 gallons </li></ul><ul><li>Product and type determine fire procedures </li></ul>
  29. 29. Electric Locomotives <ul><li>Powered with electricity from a third rail or overhead wire carrying between 25,000 and 50,000 volts </li></ul><ul><li>Need to make sure no one touches or crosses over the powered third rail or wire as electrocution can occur </li></ul>
  30. 30. Subway Rail Vehicles <ul><li>Fire problems can be numerous </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility of serious loss of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor lighting, intense heat, and dense smoke along with the feeling of confinement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reaching the heart of these fires is challenging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In some cases, they are extremely difficult to extinguish </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Breathing apparatus is always needed </li></ul>
  31. 31. Fire Tactics and Strategy in Railed Transportation Equipment <ul><li>Offer unique fire behavioral and other safety related problems </li></ul><ul><li>Regulated by fire and safety requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different configuration of vehicles/cargo-carrying units </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify hazard first </li></ul><ul><li>Approach downwind w/ sufficient water supplies </li></ul><ul><li>Wear full protective equipment </li></ul>
  32. 32. Aircraft <ul><li>Issues differ because of speed at which these fires develop and the intensity of heat generated </li></ul><ul><li>No safe escape route when in flight </li></ul><ul><li>Regulated by FAA </li></ul><ul><li>Air bill identifies hazardous materials being shipped by air </li></ul>
  33. 33. Aircraft Fuel <ul><li>Identified by their ease of ignition </li></ul><ul><li>Primary fuel used is identified as Jet A fuel </li></ul><ul><li>AFFF is particularly suited for application to fires in aircraft fuel spills </li></ul><ul><li>Need to make sure the aircraft is electrically grounded </li></ul>
  34. 34. Hydraulic Systems and Fluids <ul><li>Equipped with hydraulic systems and hydraulic fluids that are operated under pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Always approach with extreme caution </li></ul><ul><li>A fluid under pressure will spray as a mist </li></ul><ul><li>Ignition source can ignite the mist </li></ul>
  35. 35. Oxygen Systems <ul><li>Automatically put into action if cabin pressure drops </li></ul><ul><li>Can increase the flammability of materials in the passenger compartment </li></ul><ul><li>Need to understand the operation of these systems and know how to shut them down </li></ul>
  36. 36. Electrical Systems <ul><li>Most have special electrical generating units working at 24 volts </li></ul><ul><li>Some have hydraulically powered systems to provide backup for the aircraft control systems </li></ul><ul><li>Drills at airports can assist firefighters to know what to expect </li></ul>
  37. 37. Anti-Icing Fluids <ul><li>Used to keep ice off the wings and the moving parts of the wings and tail portion of the airship </li></ul><ul><li>Not as great a hazard as other aircraft fuels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alcohol will burn with an almost invisible blue flame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May require greater amounts of water to dilute the fuel </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Pressurized Cylinders <ul><li>Aircraft have a number of different ones </li></ul><ul><li>All have been known to explosively disintegrate during aircraft fire fighting operations </li></ul>
  39. 39. Tire, Rim, and Wheel Assemblies <ul><li>Usually filled with nitrogen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protects the tire from the tremendous amounts of heat generated during takeoffs and landings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tires can explode with the force of a bomb when overpressurized, overheated, or damaged during a crash impact </li></ul>
  40. 40. Escape Slides <ul><li>Automatically deployed and inflated within a number of seconds from the time the exit opens in the emergency mode </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare to assist passengers as they exit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Move them quickly away from the aircraft body and wing areas </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Military Aircraft <ul><li>Be aware that explosives are used to eject the pilot seat and canopy in certain military aircraft </li></ul><ul><li>Preplanning tour of military base recommended </li></ul><ul><li>Wide variety of armaments located in and on the aircraft </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation of hazardous chemicals possible </li></ul>
  42. 42. Crash Scene Security <ul><li>Attract the public and media attention </li></ul><ul><li>Establish an area surrounding the crash to allow the performance of emergency operations and to protect the scene for evidence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inner security perimeter: first responders and medical units and investigative work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second zone extends from inner zone to a minimum distance of at least 300 ft </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Regulations for Aircraft <ul><li>FAA provides one set of basic regulations that are adhered to worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Three types of fire scenarios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After an air crash </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire occurring in flight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire occurring in flight that remains undetected for some time </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Aircraft Engines (On the Ground) <ul><li>Generally not serious </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire attack can be made directly by ground units </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dependant on whether it is in a piston-driven engine or a turbine engine </li></ul><ul><li>If contained within nacelle, extinguish fire by using the onboard extinguishing system </li></ul><ul><li>If this fails, fire will need to be extinguished using hose lines with fog nozzles </li></ul>
  45. 45. Jet (Turbine) Powered Aircraft Engine Fires <ul><li>Best controlled if engine can be kept turning over </li></ul><ul><li>Never stand within 25 ft of the front or the side, or directly to the rear of the engine outlets </li></ul><ul><li>Stand clear of the turbine or rotation area </li></ul><ul><li>Either use engine’s built in extinguishment system, dry chemicals, or foam or water spray </li></ul>
  46. 46. Wheel Fires <ul><li>Never park to the side of the aircraft or in line with the wheel’s axle </li></ul><ul><li>Smoke does not necessarily mean fire </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use water for cooling </li></ul><ul><li>Use dry chemical extinguisher and water only when dry chemicals not available </li></ul><ul><li>Use fire apparatus as a shield when water used </li></ul>
  47. 47. Strategy and Tactics in Aircraft <ul><li>Would essentially be trapped in an aluminum tube surrounded by flammable fuel </li></ul><ul><li>Quick departure and rapid extinguishment needed </li></ul><ul><li>If fire cannot be extinguished, escape route to be provided by confinement of the fire using an RIV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can discharge foam for cooling and smothering </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. Boats <ul><li>Fire threat on boats in any jurisdiction with bodies of water </li></ul><ul><li>Getting water to boat may be a problem depending on boat’s location </li></ul><ul><li>Fires in cabin should be attacked with foam or water spray </li></ul><ul><li>Will probably be glowing materials in combustible furnishings inside the boat </li></ul>
  49. 49. Ship Fires <ul><li>Regulations established by USCG </li></ul><ul><li>Safety of Life at Sea: international treaty containing minimum standards of fire and related safety issues for ships on international voyages </li></ul><ul><li>International Maritime Organization (IMO): agency of the United Nations dealing with maritime issues and responsible for maintaining the SOLAS treaty </li></ul>
  50. 50. Fires in the Hold of a Ship <ul><li>Greatly influenced by the conductivity of the steel construction </li></ul><ul><li>Smoke and heat generation is a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Determine location, find out what is burning, and determine the extent of the fire </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility of capsizing should be considered </li></ul>
  51. 51. Tanker Ships <ul><li>Tanks or cargo area contains flammable liquids </li></ul><ul><li>Contain either CO2 or steam extinguishing system </li></ul><ul><li>May not be possible to close all openings and foam will be the only effective agent available </li></ul><ul><li>Water can be used sparingly </li></ul>
  52. 52. Fire Tactics and Strategy on Boats and Ships <ul><li>Have many of the same hazards that complicate fire fighting activities as other classifications of transportation vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>Need to obtain the cargo manifest to determine the nature and problems presented by the cargo, and the type and condition of the onboard fire fighting system </li></ul><ul><li>Fire preplanning and close coordination with the harbormaster is recommended </li></ul>
  53. 53. Fire Tactics and Strategy on Boats and Ships (cont’d.) Figure 9-15 A cargo ship in port
  54. 54. Summary <ul><li>Fires and the related safety issues in transportation vehicles represent a big problem for firefighters in the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Each category of transportation fires presents specific fire and safety-related problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Found in the propulsion or power system, the fuel, electrical and hydraulic systems, and cargo areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pre-plan and review the design and specifications of transportation vehicles </li></ul>