About a year ago the FDNY, Underwriters Laboratory (UL), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) did a study on ventilation and what effect it has on a fire. Here is a great 2 minute video about VES and the effects of closing the bedroom door and not closing the bedroom door. It’s a great visualization of conditions when someone leaves the door open and does not isolate the bedroom. Even thought we feel you shouldn’t have to add the “I” and corrupt the acronym VES, the isolation step is in fact one of the most important components of performing VES. Click here if the video is not showing up below.


12 Comments so far

  1. LPFD 173 August 30th, 2013 10:30 pm

    Great video on the importance of isolating yourself and the victims from the fire. On a lighter note I hope you meant to write Underwriters Laboratory and not Lavatory.

  2. Jimm August 31st, 2013 9:07 am

    @LPFD …Oops, thanks for pointing that out, we went ahead and fixed it.

  3. DMAN72 August 31st, 2013 10:54 am

    Are you trying to tell me underwriters don’t use the lavatory?

  4. DMAN72 August 31st, 2013 10:58 am

    2 things:
    1. Were they using a fan to move the smoke? Im a little slow on the uptake, and didn’t read the description.
    2. I’m still gonna call it VES, because isolating is already a part of it, like sounding the floor and I already bought a t-shirt, a sweat shirt, and 2 hats.

  5. 19Piper August 31st, 2013 1:19 pm

    Question for the Truckies:
    Are you guys VESing the room with the second vent (door open?) I’m looking at that smoke and thinking… I’m not sure I have time to make that door; and the longer I take to read the smoke and make that decision, obviously, the worse conditions get.
    Even going through the whole UL deal here: http://di0zyw94wnben.cloudfront.net/courses/73/456883/story.html
    I don’t feel like I get my question answered; would I VES that room.
    Thanks in advance, I’m sure the topic would love to be discussed.

  6. Mike September 4th, 2013 10:31 pm

    I hear a PPV in the video.
    I know there were other tests happening during the day.
    Was the original vent effect (window #2) PPV driven or the natural effect?
    I can see what happens when the door is closed – I was good with that before the test ….
    I’m just not sure if they are trying to include the “don’t start the fan yet” lesson in the same video.

  7. Eric September 5th, 2013 6:22 am

    @Mike This test was done with natural ventilation, no PPV. The entire video, of all the test, can be found on the internet. Those videos give more descriptive details.

  8. 19Piper September 11th, 2013 6:54 am

    @Mike & @Eric – the link in my post is the test in it’s entirety. So… anyone have an answer to my question? I know it’s more of an experience/comfort level/gut feeling, but I’m just curious.

  9. Met Fan September 17th, 2013 11:58 pm

    I will confirm that we did not use PPV. As for 19piper’s question “should you enter” it’s got to be a result of your size up. If you are told you have a victim in that bedroom and there’s fire on the first floor keeping you from getting up there fast by the interior stairs I would think most firefighters are going to attempt to search that room via VES.

    The research teaches us how fast the fire can react to the vent openings that we make or are made. In this scenario when the window to the bedroom with the open door is taken you are creating a new flow path and entering it. The most important thing to do is to close the door and that has to be done first and fast. That’s why we should add the “I”. Sorry if it doesn’t jive with your domain name.

    As a firefighter I would routinely vent the window from the porch roof, fire escape, or portable ladder prior to donning my facepiece so I could take the time while donning my facepiece to size up whether I was going to enter based on the smoke. Based on this research I would never teach that anymore. I would teach you to have your facepiece on and be completely ready to go before breaking the window. Also I would not endorse taking the window with the ladder prior to ascending. You should not vent the window until you are at the top of the ladder and ready to enter.

  10. antiquefirelt October 8th, 2013 4:30 pm

    Like Dman, I’ll still call it VES. To my way of thinking if you need the acronym to spell out the steps you shouldn’t be performing it. I get that this video was to highlight the importance of isolating the room, but VES is has basically become the working title of the tactic, not a step-by step acronym. Acronyms are nice for tests, but when it comes to VES or size-up for that mater, if you need the acronym to guide you, you’re beyond your capabilities.

  11. Bryan October 12th, 2013 5:42 pm

    Agreed, If you need “I” you aren’t doing proper “V” for the tactic. Should we change it to PVES (Properly-Vent, Enter, Search)? Seriously though, great video. I’d love to see the same test from the interior.

    More on VES:

  12. David March 6th, 2015 7:02 pm

    Given the fire conditions shown in the video: You arrive first on scene and are met by a parent that states her child is in “that room” and points to the window that is ventilated in the video, would anyone consider VES without suppression efforts going on below you? Consider that your apparatus is a quint so you are capable of pulling a pre-connect.

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