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fire service building construction

Our Building Construction Course covers the ever-changing battleground we preform are duties

  • Overview of the 5 class of building construction

  • Firefighting concerns

  • Warning signs

  • FF safety

  • The future of building construction

Building Construction and “Reading Smoke” Training

Sometimes early in a firefighter’s career, usually as part of fire school, building construction is touted to be one of the most important things firefighters should be aware of in their new trade. They learn how to date a building predict collapse tendencies and patterns, determine fire severity from smoke factors and how to best ventilate the structure.

Buildings are broken down into five categories (Types 1-5), ranging from the stoutest of construction to that which will most likely fail rapidly when under fire conditions. Each building type has specific characteristics. Although these buildings are most often identified and typed during preplans there are hints that a firefighter can use to help identify a building as they pull up during an emergency. Later as a firefighter gains more experience, they start to develop the art of reading smoke. Being able to understand what smoke conditions are indicating provides a wealth of information that can be used to better determine what steps are needed to initiate (or not initiate) an interior attack.. More than any other factor, the smoke coming from the building provides a real visual indicator of fire growth, relative toxicity, and what direction the fire is traveling through the structure.


Throughout the month of March the Fire Department invested in the continued education of our personnel in these two topics by having Superior Fire & Emergency Response Training LLC conduct training on both. The training was given on multiple shifts to reach the majority of our crews and was very much received.

The Instructors brought both decades of combined experience and vast practical knowledge to the table. The Picatinny Fire Department would like to thank Captain Disbrow, and Battalion Chief Seeburger from Bayonne Fire Department as well as Battalion Chief Pratts from North Hudson Fire Department for sharing it with us.

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