FAST (or F.A.S.T.)
Firefighter Assist and Search Team (also called Rapid Entry Team or Rapid Intervention Team) firefighters assigned to stand by for rescue of other firefighters inside a structure; an implementation to support the Two-in, two-out rule; may have specialized training, experience and tools.
FDC (Fire Department Connection)
Location in which pumping apparatus hooks to a buildings standpipe and or sprinkler system. Usually a 3 female connection.
Fluoroprotein film forming foam.
Fire alarm control panel
System for receiving and announcing location of fire based upon input from smoke, flame or heat detectors, or manual call points or pull stations.
There are two main types of axes used in firefighting, a flathead axe, which just has a wedge for cutting into objects. The second type is a pickhead axe which has a cutting wedge on one side, and then a pointed pick for penetration of objects.
The manner in which a fire reacts to the influences of fuel, weather, and topography.
Temporary camp established at large fires to provide food, rest, and other necessities to fire crews.
Fire code ( Fire safety code)
Regulations for fire prevention and safety involving flammables, explosives and other dangerous operations and occupancies.
Fire department keys
Special keys provided to firefighters to access a lockbox, located on some commercial buildings, containing additional keys required for entry or other safety features.
The boundary of a fire at a given moment.
Scientific design of materials, structures and processes for fire safety
A building structure arranged outside to assist in safe evacuation of occupants during an emergency; may connect horizontally beyond a fire wall or vertically to a roof or (preferably) to the ground, perhaps with a counter-weighted span to deny access to intruders.
See Extinguisher above.
The amount of water being pumped onto a fire, or required to extinguish a hypothetical fire. A critical calculation in light of the axiom that an ordinary fire will not be extinguished unless there is sufficient water to remove the heat of the fire.
Glass bottle filled with carbon tetrachloride or similar fire extinguishing fluid; meant to be thrown and shatter at base of fire to mix with air to produce non-combustible mixture; Similar to extinguishers comprised of glass fixtures with spring-loaded clapper released by heat-fusible link. Limited effectiveness, and phased out in 1950s when better extinguishers became available.
Materials, structures or processes that may result in creating a fire, permitting a fire to grow undetected, or preventing people from escaping a fire.
The study of pumps, hoses, pipes, accessories and tools for moving water or other extinguishing agents from a water supply to a fire.
A person responsible for issuing permits and enforcing the fire code, including any necessary premises inspection, as before allowing (or during) a large indoor gathering.
A boundary of a fire scene established for public safety and to identify the area in which firefighters may be working.
Fire load (Btu/sq ft)
An estimate of the amount of heat that will be given off during ordinary combustion of all the fuel in a given space; e.g., a bedroom or a lumberyard.
A person that keeps an eye for possible fire starts and conditions. They can work in a Fire Lookout Tower or perform the duty as a role for a fire crew on the fireline.
Fire lookout tower
A structure located at a high vantage point to house and protect the person performing the duties of a Fire Lookout.
Administrative and investigative office for fire prevention and arson investigation.
Temperature at which materials give off flammable gases that will sustain fire, typically higher than flash point. Temperature at flashover.
Fire safety; standards for minimizing fire hazards.
Any substance (except plain water) that by chemical or physical actions reduces flammability of fuels or slows their rate of combustion. See retardent slurry, AFFF, and Foam as examples.
An aluminized tent offering protection by means of reflecting radiant heat and providing a volume of breathable air in a fire entrapment situation. Carried as a safety tool, fire shelters should only be used in life threatening situations, as a last resort, as severe burns or asphyxiation often result.
Distinctive yellow shirts made of Nomex or other lightweight materials of low combustibility, used as uniform PPE of wildland firefighters.
Fire station alert system
Fire department dispatching system using radio controls to activate remote signals at designated fire stations and to transmit emergency information via audio or digital channels.
Water (possibly mixed with foam) emitted at nozzle and directed at burning materials.
The fire tetrahedron is based on the components of igniting or extinguishing a fire. Each component represents a property necessary to sustain fire: fuel, oxygen, heat, and chemical chain reaction. Extinguishment is based upon removing or hindering any one of these properties.
Model for understanding the major components necessary for fire: heat, fuel and oxygen.
Building structure designed to delay horizontal spread of a fire from one area of a building to another; often regulated by fire code and required to have self-closing doors, and fireproof construction.
Fixed or mobile patrols that watch for signs of fire or fire hazards so that any necessary alarm can be quickly raised or preventive steps taken.
Weather conditions that affect fire vulnerability, fire behavior and suppression.
Materials designed or treated to have an increased fire point.
A natural or constructed barrier used to stop or check fires that may occur, or to provide a control line from which to work.
People who respond to fire alarms and other emergencies for fire suppression, rescue, and related duties.
Firefighter Assist and Search Team
The operational area at the scene of a fire; area in which incident commander is in control. Also used as name of radio frequency to be used by units operating in the fireground, as in Responding units switch to fireground.
See also hose, below.
Another term for Fire station. Where fire apparatus is stored and where full-time firefighters work.
The part of a control line that is scraped or dug to mineral soil. Also called fire trail. More generally, working a fire is called being on the fireline.” May also refer to a “wet line” where water has been used to create a burn boundary in light fuels such as grass.
A small red booklet carried by U.S. firefighters on the firelines, as a quick reference on various firefighting topics.
Set of tools used for opening elevator doors from the lobby during rescues; come in many different shapes and sizes, each designed for a specific elevator type.
A conflagration of great enough proportions to noticeably create its own wind conditions.
Extreme fire behavior indicated by widespread in-drafts and a tall column of smoke and flame, where added air increases fire intensity, creating runaway fire growth.
Periodic test of how well the facepiece of an SCBA fits a particular firefighter.
Flammable range, limits
The percentage mixture of fumes with air that will sustain fire; outside the limits the mixture is either too lean or too rich to burn.
Flanks of a fire
The parts of a fire’s spread perimeter that are roughly parallel to the main direction of spread.
Any sudden acceleration in rate of spread or intensification of the fire. Unlike blowup, a flare-up is of relatively short duration and does not radically change existing control plans.
Fuels such as grass, leaves, draped pine needles, fern, tree moss and some kinds of slash, which ignite readily and are consumed rapidly when dry.
Lowest temperature at which a material will emit vapor combustible in air mixture. Lower than fire point of same material.
Simultaneous ignition of combustible materials in a closed space, as when materials simultaneously reach their fire point; may also result in rollover.
The moving portions of an extension ladder.
The aerated solution created by forcing air into, or entraining air in water containing a foam concentrate by means of suitably designed equipment or by cascading it through the air at a high velocity. Foam reduces combustion by cooling, moistening and excluding oxygen.
A nozzle that discharges water in small droplets. Oftentimes, the nozzles are adjustable, permitting the pattern to range from a straight stream to a narrow fog to a wide fog stream. Can also be designed to automatically adjust pressure depending upon selected pattern.
A fire stream characterized by small droplets of water. The droplets are unable to travel very far, but absorb heat very quickly because of the high surface area they present.
Backflow preventer at inlet of suction hose used in drafting; helps avoid losing prime by keeping water from running back out of the suction hose.
Gaining entry to an area using force to disable or bypass security devices, typically using force tools, sometimes using tools specialized for entry (e.g., Halligan, K-tool).
Procedure of stringing water supply hose from a water source toward a fire scene; compare with reverse lay.
Dangerous situation at an incident where an individual carries out tasks alone or without being assigned; violation of personnel accountability procedures.
Reduction of flow in a firehose caused by friction between the water and the lining of the hose. Depends primarily upon diameter, type and length of hose, and amount of water (GPM) flowing through.
The size of a building facing a street.
The mass of combustible materials available for a fire usually expressed as weight of fuel per unit area (e.g., 20 tons per acre).
Percent water content of vegetation, an important factor in rate of spread, ranging from dead-fuel and fine-fuel moisture (FFM), of 10 percent or less, to live-fuel moisture (LFM), of 60 percent or more. FFM can be estimated by weighing calibrated wood sticks.
An identifiable association of fuel elements of distinctive species, form, size, arrangement, or other characteristics that will cause a predictable rate of spread or resistance to control under specified weather conditions.
A natural or manmade change in fuel characteristics which affects fire behavior so that fires burning into them can be more readily controlled.
Term of size-up meaning fire, heat and smoke in a structure are so widespread that internal access must wait until fire streams can be applied.