Flashover Chamber

On November 21, 2004, several of us (Mike Crane, Louie, L.D., Monty, Larry Dale, and myself) and 14 members of the Shawswick Fire Department went to the Wayne Township Fire Department's training facility in Indianapolis to go through their flashover chamber.

Flashover is a condition in a fire where a room is heated to the point that EVERYTHING (combustibles, smoke, gases) from the ceiling to the floor bursts into flame. Most people who experience a flashover in a real fire do not live to tell about it, so it is a great opportunity for us to experience it in a controlled evironment.

We initially spent about 30 minutes watching a powerpoint presentation and going over the rules of the flashover chamber. The guys at Wayne Township were great hosts.

Here is the flashover chamber. A fire is started in the raised portion of the chamber. When the fire reaches its flashover point the entire raised container and the blackened portion of the lower container are engulfed in the resulting flames. Firefighters sit in the lower container.

Mike Crane, Louie, and L.D. await their turn at the chamber.

This picture shows the new turnout gear and SCBAs we purchased with the FEMA grant.

Monty has finished the chamber and Mike is helping him remove his SCBA.

Here the chamber is being vented to allow fresh air in. The in-rushing of the fresh air will fuel the fire and cause a flashover. There are 10 firefighters in the chamber. The firefighters will experience a dozen or so flashovers during each session.

The session has finished and firefighters exit the chamber. Wayne Township provides helmets with an aluminized covering for the training. A normal helmet would melt.

Wood in a barrel provides the fire for the demonstration. It has been removed from the chamber for extinguishment so it can be readied for the next session.

Here is where the firefighters sit during the demo.

After each session the firefighters remove the debris in preparation for the next session.

Monty and Larry Dale help clean up the debris.

Back at the station the SCBAs are cleaned.

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