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Tackling vehicle fires

By Michael Lee
FireRescue1 columnist

Remember to carry out strong PPE safety practices when operating at vehicle fires. Full protective clothing and SCBA should be utilized on all vehicle fires!

While booster lines were somewhat effective in the past for extinguishing, the vehicles of today are manufactured with larger amounts of plastic. These molded plastics drastically increase the BTUs generated by a vehicle fire.

As the total amount of fire volume today is nearly twice that of 20 years ago, larger attack lines from the onset are called for. I recommend a minimum 1 ½" line and the utilization of a 1 ¾" line from the start. If dealing with a large van, bus or semi or if the vehicle is hauling a significant amount of combustible material, utilize a back-up line for protection.

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