FSRI Releases Research on Single-Family Search and Rescue Tactics

May 21 • 2022

 Underwriter Laboratories’ (UL) Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) has released three new research reports based on the findings and tactical considerations from the “Study of Fire Service Residential Home Size-up and Search & Rescue Operations.”

Through funding provided by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), the FSRI team conducted 21 full-scale fire experiments involving bedrooms,  kitchens and living rooms in single-family homes.

The experiments examined the impact of isolation of fire and non-fire compartments, the timing of search relative to suppression and the influence of isolation, elevation and path of travel during rescue with respect to fire fighter and occupant safety.

The first two reports provide an overview of the experiments and the third  provides evidence-based concepts in the form of tactical considerations for the fire service. Nine tactical considerations were developed based on the research findings in conjunction with a fire service technical panel. Fire fighters can use these considerations to boost their efficiency and effectiveness on the fire ground during search and rescue.

“Is it best to conduct a search through the front door or the window? What time of day is it? Where is the fire? How do all these aspects play into our operations on the fire ground?” asks Keith Stakes, research engineer, FSRI.

He adds, “Through this study, we’re building on previous research as we continue taking a closer look at the impact of fire ground operations on potentially trapped occupants inside residential structure fires. As we conducted experiments inside single-story, single-family structures, we were also looking to better understand how proximity to the fire and the elevation in the space can impact occupant survivability.”

Learn more and download the reports.