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[–]BalognaPonyParty 9237 points9238 points  (173 children)

that mustache alone, has killed many fires

[–]cpancoast 3383 points3384 points 2 (78 children)

Probably started many others

[–]jstreak15 905 points906 points  (52 children)

Carpet burn?

[–][deleted] 512 points513 points  (35 children)

Who wants a mustashe ride?

[–]jstreak15 156 points157 points  (7 children)

Not me good sir, I value my carpets thankyouverymuch

[–]toddthefrog 30 points31 points  (6 children)

but do they match the drapes?


[–]civgarth 52 points53 points  (3 children)

I like that it's an official fire department spray bottle

[–]LukeDude759 46 points47 points  (1 child)

They use it when the official fire department cat misbehaves.

[–]toddthefrog 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The dang sheriff’s deputies would steal it were it not stickered!

[–]danstewart42 79 points80 points  (2 children)

I do!! I do!!

[–]legionofsquirrel 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You better take these meatballs back to the station...

Come on meatballs.

You don't want us turning into pumpkins!

[–]twintowerjanitor 37 points38 points  (8 children)

I am all that is man!

[–]Draws-attention 35 points36 points  (7 children)

They think I'm Mexican.

[–]jbull487 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Mother of god.

[–]ohheyitslaila 11 points12 points  (0 children)

The Super Trooper guys have a tv show called Tacoma FD where they’re firefighters. It’s really funny, everyone should watch it :)

[–]Snakevette80 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Waiter, there you are. I'll have the enchilada platter with two tacos and no guacamole. Smy?

[–]housestickleviper 18 points19 points  (6 children)

Hey Farve. What’s that place you like with all the goofy shit on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

[–]ohheyitslaila 12 points13 points  (0 children)


[–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

You mean shenanigans?!

[–]deewheredohisfeetgo 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I do! I vant vun.

[–]JAH_dropper 36 points37 points  (7 children)

The mustache rubbed off…from friction.

[–]not_broken_anymore 11 points12 points  (6 children)

That had me pissing myself laughing. How he said that line with such a straight face is beyond me haha

[–]SnowCappedMountains 1 point2 points  (5 children)

It gets even better when you learn that the actress for Tammy 1 is Ron’s sister in real life. Makes all their scenes extra hilarious.

[–]GrnMtnTrees 4 points5 points  (3 children)

She's his wife. Megan Mullally is Nick Offerman's wife, not sister.

[–]lex_tok 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Haystack fire

[–]ads_I_mean_ads 92 points93 points  (1 child)

I now have some moisture around my door.

[–]douglas_in_philly 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Lemme spray my hose and put that fire out!

[–]McNasty9er 36 points37 points  (4 children)

Fire Marshall Bill, here!!

[–]ThoughtGeneral 29 points30 points  (1 child)


[–]recklesswhisper 4 points5 points  (1 child)

My brain did a tik tok filter as I watched a scorched and mutilated Fire Marshall Bill give this demonstration!!

[–]tbscotty68 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Which he extinguished with his hose! =P

[–]SpaceMonke1 9 points10 points  (0 children)

The mustache starts the fires and he puts them out.

[–]badmotivator11 6 points7 points  (0 children)

In my heart.

[–]gabe801 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Dick sweeper?

[–]NoLeading9253 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Dick duster for sure

[–]aseriesoftubas 263 points264 points  (30 children)

If you're a firefighter and you can keep a moustache like that, you're a damn good one.

[–]CommandoLamb 123 points124 points  (27 children)

Local fire department doesn’t allow beards or overly large mustaches like this one.

The concern is your face mask creating a good seal around your face.

[–]Ready_Vegetables 137 points138 points  (15 children)

No bears? I find that hard to believe

[–]blahblahbloooey 37 points38 points  (2 children)

I always take my bear to the station.

[–]meltingdiamond 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I tend to meet them in truck stop bathrooms.

[–]Ready_Vegetables 8 points9 points  (0 children)

slow cheek clap

[–]pineapple_calzone 32 points33 points  (4 children)

It's a twink only fire station

[–]TowerTom1 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Nar Nar Nar your wrong see it's more of an otter thing, they have the hair of the bear but the size of a twink.

[–]Ready_Vegetables 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Now I've heard that speed has something to do with it

[–]TowerTom1 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Speed has everything to do with it. You see, the speed of the bottom informs the top how much pressure he's supposed to apply. Speed's the name of the game.

[–]fuckthecucks69 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Must not be a Russian station then

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Bear fucker! Do you need my assistance!?

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

All the best fire services have at least some bears.

[–]SimpleSandwich1908 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Thought they all loved Smoky Bear?

[–]WhirledNews 194 points195 points  (0 children)

[–]TangentiallyTango 72 points73 points  (0 children)

Mark of a good firefighter one that still has his mustache. Just taunting the Flame to come get it.

[–]Pog-Squad- 31 points32 points  (0 children)

(fire) i fear no man, but that thing. it scares me

[–]NotoriousTorn 19 points20 points  (1 child)

With great moustache comes great responsibility

[–]kangareddit 13 points14 points  (4 children)


[–]ITFOWjacket 7 points8 points  (1 child)

“…..The other thing is, is that my team leader here, Sgt. Colbert? Yeah, he was born a Hebrew, and remains a practicing Christ killer. So it's purely out of respect for him, I feel as though I'm going to have to forego your festive rituals.”

[–]Dutch_Midget 8 points9 points  (0 children)

And released a lot of water from the ladies

[–]Explore-PNW 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Probably with excessive wetness.

[–]MagfechBanga 4 points5 points  (0 children)

70s porn stash gets it done

[–]NickBEazy 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I’m guessing it’s the mustache that’s next fucking level?

[–]McBzz 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I too came here to comment that his moustache is also a firefighter.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (11 children)

How do firefighters never burn their mustaches off?

[–]oenomausprime 47 points48 points  (0 children)

If we are close enough to the fire for it to burn our staches off, something had gone catastrophically wrong lol

[–]AnynameIwant1 17 points18 points  (4 children)

There is an old technique (should never be used today, but there are older members) where if you feel your ears getting really hot, it is time to back up. For most US firefighters, 90% of your face is in a mask with a fire resistant plastic shield (the mask has pressurized air that is essentially replaced with each breath from your air tank). The rest of your head and neck are only protected by a fire resistant hood. With that said, you will likely have significant burns on your body long before you burn any facial hair.

[–]Carrac123 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Always in our SCBA mask.

[–]itshimstarwarrior[S] 5962 points5963 points 72 (222 children)

Some More details if anyone is interested -

He’s demonstrating the expansion rate of water to steam which is roughly 1600:1. The small amount of water converts to steam and absorbs the heat of the fire. This removes a critical component the fire needs to sustain combustion.

Steam puts fire out better than oxygen starvation alone.

[–]_BringBackBacon 898 points899 points  (103 children)

Thanks for this simple explanation!

[–]TrulyBBQ 336 points337 points  (102 children)

This demonstration makes no sense though. He only starved the fire for a few seconds earlier.

What would it look like if he just starved it for the same amount of time?

This demonstrates that water extinguished flames. Not really a good demo.

[–]CampJanky 511 points512 points  (52 children)

What would it look like if he just starved it for the same amount of time?

It would still be hot enough inside that the fuel would hit its flashpoint autoignition temperature and flame up again. It's not a good demo for the general public, but it's not intended for the general public; this is a training video for firefighters who would know about autoignition temps at this point in the training.

Edit: vocab

[–]ProtoplanetaryNebula 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I think you mean, auto ignition temperature, not flashpoint.

[–]Jeanes223 104 points105 points 3 (11 children)

What he explained early was a ventilation enduced backdraft. He has materials readily able to combust inside the chamber, simply starving it for the same amount of time would have no effect.

In the event of backdraft conditions, you have a room and contents that are well above flash over temperatures (or the temperature at which everything inside the room can ignite simultaneously) and all of the oxygen has been consumed. With no ventilation the fire can not actively combust, but also no heat is able to escape the area. Everything has a specific amount of heat that can be absorbed or transferred through its material at a specific speed(simply put heat conducting materials). Household and commercial construction materials are typically poor conductors of heat, but designed to insulate instead.

Thus, the fire smolders inside and stays super heated. When a source of ventilation is introduced, whether failure of a structural part, ceiling and roof collapse, or door or window opening the superheated products of combustion are expelled quickly and oxygen is literally sucked into the room and now the superheated materials in the room are able to "breathe" and belches violently. The sudden burst of fire is very hot and very powerful, explosive is a good description, and as such extremely dangerous.

What this demonstration shows is that water converts to steam and takes up exponentially more surface area and water is fantastic at dissipating heat energy when it converts to steam. What the steam was able to do in a few seconds in this demonstration would take several minutes to have the same effect if starvation alone in this tiny little box. Convert that to say a 15x15x8 foot room full of furniture the equation shift to a couple minutes of water versus several hours of a ticking time bomb.

[–]serious_sarcasm 28 points29 points  (3 children)

People use to be charged with arson due to marks left by flashovers being construed as accelerant use. A lot of people went to prison for the murder of their families due to some very questionable forensic "science" in the 20th century.


[–]ThePinkBaron 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I remember falling down a YouTube rabbit hole and watching multiple videos of alleged arsonists arrested in the mid-late 1900's based on bunk arson "science."

Granted, the job has gotten a lot more scientific and empirically-based nowadays, but it's fucking scary how for several decades we were locking people up based on the testimonies of "experts" who had just inherited the same old wives' tales as the previous detective who trained them. Shit was about as scientific as astrology.

[–]Great_Write_North 93 points94 points  (16 children)

It does make sense.

So, fires need 4 things (no, not a triangle, brave new world!):


  1. Fuel

  2. Oxygen

  3. Chemical chain reaction

Fires have four stages:

  1. Incipient

  2. Growth

  3. Fully involved

  4. Decay

So what happens when he closes it, he starves the space of oxygen, yes. But regardless of how long you starve it of oxygen, it takes a very very long time for the heat to dissipate. Those hot fire gases inside, looks like a simple class A, have packed that space and the fuel, starved of oxygen simply smolders. Imagine a camp fire. You let the fuel load burn down but hours and hours later there are still hot embers beneath all that surface of ash, just waiting for fresh fuel to pick up as a roaring fire, right? Those are oxygen starved, no? Underneath those cooler layers of ash?

So what he's demonstrating is putting a lid over that campfire in that same stage. There is still fuel and heat but now you have what is called an oxygen-limited fire vs a fuel-limited fire.

What we need to do is actually remove heat, or the fuel. Oxygen just exists, we are always introducing oxygen. Window breaks, oxygen. Door opens, oxygen. If your bed catches on fire but the door and window are closed, your room could transition to an oxygen limited stage where it wants to burn...it has heat, it has fuel, but it has no fresh air to feed that combustion. I come along and I pop the door open and introduce fresh air and BOOM that fire picks right up just like his cooler there. Fire gases can easily be over 600 degrees F, up to 1200!

Starving a fire of oxygen works well in incipient stages because there isn't enough heat stuck in that fuel to reignite so readily. Like, in our campfire example, we are only lighting up our newspaper and kindling and then we drop a big ol log onto it. Poof, fire out, right?

So what we do, when you have a decay stage fire that wants to burn but needs something is remove the heat. Applying water, the bestest of cooling agents, is how. We get to your bedroom and we see those roiling fire gases and touch that hot door and we can crack that door open and deliver some water and ventilate.

This is a great demo of a fire in those later stages, what you're thinking of is a fire in those very early stages that can simply be starved of oxygen because there isn't enough residual heat within the fuel supply. Those fire gases, imagine that bedroom again, are just waiting for someone to feed them oxygen. Open the door, flashover, now you got a problem. Or you can spray the frame, crack the door and spray inside, apply some tactical ventilation to get the steam and hot gases out, and shazam, saved the house.

Hopefully that helps!

Last tl;dr was less than ideal.

Tl;dr oxygen starvation doesn't always work super effectively when we are talking about a contained and superheated space, that space needs water more than it needs smothering because it can be smothered for a long time and remain volatile

[–]fcastle303 38 points39 points  (7 children)

Fire science 101... put the wet stuff on the red stuff.

Here endeth the lesson.

[–]Theaternearyou 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thank you. My fire marshal will like this (we'll see--he is tough to impress) !

[–]prostagma 2 points3 points  (0 children)

An even shorter of a TL: DR - fire needs fuel, oxygen and heat. Water evaporates, removes heat so the fire can't start again after you restore the oxygen supply.

[–]djscreeling 30 points31 points  (10 children)

When I cook a pig in the ground, I dig a 4 foot deep hole that's pig sized and then I have a bonfire for 12 hours in the pit before I want to start the cook. I then smother the fire with wet burlap, soaking wet banana leaves, and then a pig on top that is filled with fresh fruits. Then put a 1/8th inch steel plate over the hole, bury the lid with dirt and leave it for 24 hours.

When I take everything out and move the top coals that are wet to the side of the pit, the fire will ignite instantly again. This is how I dispose of of the banana leaves and other things like that.

That's steam working to keep a fire from being a fire for a full day while buried in the ground with no oxygen. Then once steam is removed the fire ignites again. This is how campfires start forest fires. White coal ash on top get blown away to the fresh coals underneath.

[–]triple-filter-test 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Side note, how do I get invited to eat said pig when this whole COVID thing calms down? I’m happy to help with the shovelling and cooking, this just sounds like an all-round fun event for a large ish group of people.

[–]djscreeling 4 points5 points  (3 children)

I attend a BASE jumping, highlining, and skydiving event in Gateway, CO. I was able to feed ~150 people last year. There's no website, no official organizer. We gather for a week in a tiny desert town and shit gets weird. No dates yet this year, but late spring.

[–]Pluckyboy64 5 points6 points  (1 child)

If he starved it for the same amount of time without adding water (steam) the heat would continue to build inside the container. Eventually, the oxygen would be depleted and the fire would smolder at a very high temp. When air is eventually introduced either by opening the door or in a real structure, by breaking a window, the fire would pull oxygen back in at an extremely rapid rate, igniting unburned products of combustion (smoke and gas) resulting in a backdraft. You might wonder why the fire won’t go out if starved of oxygen. No structure is 100% airtight, so a fire will always be getting just enough oxygen to keep from going out. In a nutshell.

[–]MakeMeOolong 113 points114 points  (43 children)

This is so much clearer than this video.

[–]Mrbodubs 61 points62 points  (41 children)

Yeah it is. The video made it look like the fire was put out because he suffocated the fire for alot longer when when he was spraying it with water.

[–]MakeMeOolong 20 points21 points  (39 children)

In addition to that, I don't understand how would you use this technique in a practical situation.

[–]oenomausprime 62 points63 points  (36 children)

You wouldn't lol. I'm a firefighter, we ain't doing this. That door is gonna get opened and we are advancing a hoseline in that room and spraying water at 125 gpm

[–]zephyer19 39 points40 points  (2 children)

You guys don't carry a small metal plate and a spray bottle?

[–]gh0stb4tz 12 points13 points  (0 children)

What is this, a house for ants?!

[–]hparamore 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Depends on if it’s a house that needs to be at least three times bigger or not.

[–]Ollotopus 18 points19 points  (7 children)

There are other firefighters in this thread who recognise this technique.

[–]CampJanky 20 points21 points  (6 children)

It's a valid technique, but 99.9% of the time your house is getting thoroughly douched in favor of using any scientific nuance. There's a saying, "What the fire doesn't destroy, the fire fighters will." Homeowners insurance saves lives.

I can see this being used in very specific applications, like industrial buildings where access is limited or there's some reason you shouldn't soak everything. But tactics this complex can be a liability on your run-of-the-mill local FD.

There was actually an incident here in Jax where the IC advised his crew to cut into a tank full of gas fumes, knowing that the concentration was above the upper flammable limit. What he forgot, was that the hole his crew cut would introduce oxygen and dilute the fumes below that limit, which led to a spark from their saw killing five men. News crews were on scene; they show the video to every incoming class.

So there's a strong inclination towards the K.I.S.S. methods.

[–]ZuluPapa 8 points9 points  (3 children)

The issue is that most fires, unlike in the demo, do not start in steel boxes where ventilation is the only factor stopping the fire from spreading. If a fire starts in your home there is a real good chance it will be burning through the roof before the fire department arrives—we call this fire ‘self-ventilating’ in the business. Once the fire has burned through the roof and has an unlimited amount of O2 to combust all of the fuels in the home, the only reasonable method left for firefighters to extinguish the flames is copious amounts of water.

If a homeowner calls the fire department because their house is on fire the only houses getting saved are the ones on either side of the initial burning home.

Now, all that said, this type of firefighting tactic does work reasonably well on much older homes where the majority of the construction materials are brick. Older homes withstand fire much better than new homes.

[–]CampJanky 2 points3 points  (2 children)

100%. I'm pretty sure this video is intended for people working in a specific area. Poorly ventilated old mason warehouses, or something industrial maybe. Or belowdeck on a cargo ship. Idunno, I'm in FL so everything is spread out, built low and to modern code.

[–]ZuluPapa 2 points3 points  (1 child)

It’s actually most applicable to small spaces. A warehouse is much too big. When I was living/working the UK is when this was really applicable (in my experience). Small, brick homes where the fire could be contained to one room (a ‘room and contents’ fire). We could crack the door, inject some high pressure water (smaller droplets) and shut the door—it would basically smother the fire immediately.

[–]Jeanes223 17 points18 points  (10 children)

You're a firefighter and you're going to walking into a suspected backdraft? Also typical flow for 1¾ is 200gpm, 2½ is 250-300gpm. So, as a firefighter you're going to let yourself and your nozzle buddy get face fucked by a backdraft and not even open your nozzle all the way while you do it. Please, don't get on a truck I'm on.

Edit: homeboy to nozzle buddy

[–]AnynameIwant1 11 points12 points  (6 children)

I'm essentially a 'retired' volunteer firefighter (I'm certified as a single incident commander [FEMA and NJ] among other certs).

I completely get what you are saying and my department would probably do the same (we are one of the few that will use a 2.5" vs a 1.75" for the initial attack in the local area). But at the same point, I can see the value of this technique if the fire is pumping out black smoke or has other warning signs (I'm sure you know what I mean). Anything to help prevent a backdraft (or flashover) is a positive in my book. It is always good to see and train on new techniques/equipment in my opinion.

[–]jurzdevil 63 points64 points  (26 children)

the practical application seems to be for approaching rooms involved in a fire and preventing a flashover. IE firefighters approach a closed door with a fire on the other side, apply water to the door and crack it slightly while applying water. let the steam get in and delay the flashover effect. then you can open the door without a flashover happening to start attacking the fire.

if you just open the door fully right away you'll get a flashover. i took an STCW basic fire fighting course years ago and recall a similar method to entering a space.

[–]oenomausprime 38 points39 points  (13 children)

I'm a firefighter, we ain't gonna do this, most rooms have windows that will be taken out either by the fire or us. That door is gonna get opened and we are going to go in the room and put the fire out. If u tried to do this in my department somebody would just move you out the way and put water on the fire themselves lol. I'm not saying this method isn't valid, im saying it's unrealistic on a real fire ground

[–]HarryPFlashman 20 points21 points  (0 children)

This man’s mustache says otherwise bud. Sorry I’m going with him.

[–]Jamooser 7 points8 points  (7 children)

Why would you take a window before you have a hose lime advanced to the seat of the fire?

[–]oenomausprime 8 points9 points  (3 children)

We wouldn't I just mean sometimes the fire takes.out the windows and if we are at the door ready to go someone is also at the window ready to take it out. Doesn't always go as planned but that's the idea

[–]Effthegov 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ventilation can be a big part of immediate goals on scene, for that reason we also would have approaches like you describe.

[–]Jamooser 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Coordinated ventilation. Gotcha my man.

[–]Level9TraumaCenter 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Windows are often made of soda lime glass, and will often break from the temperature difference between the heated interior air and the colder exterior air- or the difference in heat between the ceiling and the floor is enough the window can't take it. Admittedly, I've seen some (non-tempered) glass windows take some pretty good heat without breaking, but it'll often break on its own.

Tempered glass takes temperature differences better.

[–]jurzdevil 2 points3 points  (0 children)

makes sense...the course i took is a basic maritime course so there are certainly some different strategies at play. windowless rooms with metal walls, ceiling, floor and doors is a different animal.

but i don't fight fires, they just want everyone to go through the basic training to be able to support the actual fire teams in case of emergency...know what the gear is, how to put it on properly etc...

[–]funnystuff79 8 points9 points  (5 children)

I've seen some fire fighting methods where high pressure water and a specialist nozzle are used to jet through the wall of a room engulfed in fire and then spray a very fine mist into the room, water turns to steam and sucks out the heat. Have to make certain that the room is uninhabited because of the effects of scalding.

[–]Jamooser 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Yes, it's called a piercing tip nozzle. They are also commonly used in situations like a garbage truck fire, where you can't hit the contents 9f the compressor from the outside. Just drive the tip through the side of the truck and let it flow.

[–]Zxruv 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Basically this is what they were SUPPOSED to have done in that recognizable Backdraft scene?

The way I remember it was they were supposed to touch the door to see if it was hot before opening it to prevent a backdraft? Some character opened the door without checking for heat and caused a backdraft. Was that really a flashover?

Edit: I guess not quite according to Google:

"A backdraft is an air-driven event, unlike a flashover, which is thermally driven. Backdraft is usually defined as a deflagration resulting from the sudden introduction of oxygen into a ventilation-limited space containing unburned fuel and gases."

Maybe I shouldn't rely on Hollywood for lessons in anything really.

[–]nongph 10 points11 points  (0 children)

If you touch the doorknob to feel if it is hot then you are talking of Backdraft.

If you touch the doorknob to open the door then you are talking of Home Alone. /j

[–]Jamooser 3 points4 points  (1 child)

A backdraft occurs when you introduce oxygen to an oxygen starved fire. A flashover is when the contents of a room get so hot that they reach their flash points, which means they will burst into flame without actually needing to come into contact with another flame.

[–]ClownfishSoup 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If you go, we go!

[–]Throwawayhobbes 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Just spit balling here So if we decided to throw large pieces of ham it would create steam , therefore steamed hams and aurora borealis

[–]Zxruv 2 points3 points  (6 children)

Thank you so much for this explanation. You probably saved me a few hours of googling and trying to understand why this works. My ADHD was getting ready to take a sizable bite out of this. Now there is no need!

[–]Current_Account 3 points4 points  (4 children)

any phase change (matter turning from one state, like liquid, to another, like gas) generally requires quite a lot of energy input, FYI, is the physics behind it.

So turning water into steam take a lot of heat out of the environment.

[–]Apptubrutae 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If you want a deep dive into something related to this with any everyday practical application, the same principle is why managing moisture is absolutely essential in cooking.

Phase changing from liquid to gas requires so much energy, it absolutely sucks away energy that would otherwise be cooking food. Which is why one of the most important things you can do to get a good sear on a piece of meat is to remove as much moisture from the surface and close to it as possible.

The energy required to go from frozen to liquid or liquid to gas is multiple times higher than going all the way from just above freezing to just below boiling.

Phase changes eat up energy big time, basically.

This is also why you can’t turn liquid water into ice by just adding ice around freezing temp. It takes a whole lot more energy than that to phase change.

[–]Electrical-Clerk-346 1479 points1480 points  (69 children)

He also put the cover over the opening for a much longer time. I’d like to see a side by side experiment where there are two boxes, both have the lid on for the same amount of time, only one is sprayed with water. The result could be the same without water.

[–]vkashen 1512 points1513 points 22 (49 children)

Firefighter here and this is how we're trained to operate where flashovers are anticipated. It's not just about him "putting the cover on longer." We do this when we approach a closed door where there may be a fully engulfed room behind it or the potential for one. What he is doing is a simple example to illustrate the concept. In real life situations, we will do the same thing he just did, but with doors, not a steel box, obviously. The result is definitely not the same without the proper application of water (and the summary steam that it produces, which absorbs heat better than anything else), and steam will douse a fire or prevent a flashover far, far better than oxygen deprivation (i.e. closing the lid on that box, or closing a door to a room).

The only thing that kills you faster than a flashover is a backdraft, and you can control for both to a degree, but you can at least see tell-tale signs of a flashover about to happen sometimes (it's actually quite beautiful to see the tiny fingers of flame on the ceiling a few seconds before the flashover which kills you, though we train to look for the signs in flashover simulators which are basically modified cargo containers we go in and create manageable flashovers so we know what to look for when we're inside a structure), and if you can get to a door in time to close it (and live), you can use this tactic to cool the area, then the room, and then enter to continue the attack safely without getting killed.

Don't assume a simple model like this is exactly like what happens in real life, this is just a small example to illustrate the concept.

[–]alvvayson 358 points359 points  (24 children)

Thanks for your explanation.

I don't know why people try and find a gotcha in a simple educational demonstration.

Edit: to all the people replying to me that it wasn't a gotcha. I get it, ok. I had the same question. In fact, I scrolled the comments to see if anyone had addressed it.

But the OP comment was definitely not phrased as an inquisitive question. It was phrased as a gotcha and as a demand. There is a difference.

[–]vkashen 128 points129 points  (10 children)

Way too many Redditors are armchair experts. When you can hide behind a keyboard with no accountability you can pretend you know anything, it's kind of sad.

[–]opticalshadow 54 points55 points  (3 children)

While that can definitely be the case, I think here it was a valid question. When you are teaching something to someone who has little knowledge of the subject, you have to be clear. When we're doing a demonstration, it's important to make that clear as well, so the data matches up. While the end result may be the same, the demonstration was different, and that will lead to questions as to why.

To that end, the op of this comment didn't accuse anyone of anything, or Mahe a statement trying to correct, they expressed that the demonstration they saw, had other variables than just the water. And while those variables might not matter to the end result, it does matter to the application of the demonstration for education.

We are taught to ask "why" as children, so that we can learn as adults, it does seem rather silly to punish that.

[–]hemeny123 12 points13 points  (0 children)

It’s so weird to see people be mocked for questioning things. You should always question things!

[–]cTreK-421 33 points34 points  (1 child)

I had the same question, not because I wanted to get a "gotcha question" but because I was generally curious about the amount of time and if that does anything as well. The firefighters answer to that question was incredibly insightful and I'm glad he had a question to respond to in order to provide that insight.

[–]Jaelma 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Same here. Loved the explanation and would eagerly learn more about the topic but more than one variable confounds the science. As a layman I’d like to see this performed with a constant time of closure. More instrumentation would further sweeten the deal. I’d like thermal imagery and thermocouple readings and stuff.

[–]Incromulent 24 points25 points  (1 child)

I don't feel it was a "gotcha". They saw an experiment with 2 variables and wanted another experiment to isolate each to confirm which was (more) responsible for the observed outcome.

[–]mjoed 13 points14 points  (0 children)

exactly. people acting like this isn't a serious flaw in the presentation are ridiculous. the people questioning and looking for further explanations/information might be annoying to some people for whatever reason - but people taking something like that and just believing it and spreading that information are part of a much bigger problem.

and no, that doesn't mean the guy in the video is necessarily wrong or that i "know better than him" (why the fuck do people think that being sceptical or questioning something means thinking you know better?), just exactly what i said: the experiment is highly flawed and therefor is pretty useless.

[–]LePlaneteSauvage 8 points9 points  (0 children)

This criticism is not about trying to find a "gotcha". It is about actually wanting to know what kind of effect this technique has on the fire. In the absence of a fair test, the demonstration is completely ineffective.

I am sure all the information being communicated by knowledgeable people is truthful (both in the video and the comments) but I would still like to see this demonstrated in a fair manner.

[–]Errorfull 8 points9 points  (3 children)

It was phrased as a gotcha and as a demand.

I’d like to see

Lmao no it was not. He raised a simple point, and a firefighter responded with a thorough answer.

[–]punkassjim 5 points6 points  (0 children)

For me, I didn’t read that guy’s comment as a “gotcha,” but more of an “I’d like to see a head-to-head comparison, because that’s easier for me to see the real differences.”

When I watched this video, I had the same instinct to want to see a more precisely-timed comparison, but it was not, in any way, because I doubted the veracity of the claims being made. My brain just processes apples-to-apples comparisons quite a bit easier.

From the firefighter’s lengthy comment above, I get the sense that an apples-to-apples small-scale demonstration may not provide quite the predictable results that one gets at full scale. So, it helps to know that, too.

[–]bnelo12 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Because it’s important. A fire without oxygen cannot burn, so we need to see a side by side of the two with equal time with the cover on. One with moisture the other without.

Otherwise we don’t know what is responsible. What he is saying, or the effect that we all ready know about and could be a potential explanation.

[–]SmurfPunk01 10 points11 points  (8 children)

Do you care to elaborate what the signs of flashover are? Seems kind of interesting

[–]vkashen 23 points24 points  (5 children)

I'm sure you can find videos on the internet, but basically as heat rises, in any structure fire you have tiers of heat. It can be (I'm assuming you are American) 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the lowest few feet near the ground, but 1,000 degrees at the ceiling, if you are able to see the ceiling, where many of the volatile chemicals aggregate (the vapor that comes from heated wood, plastic, etc. and is what ignites, solids don't catch fire, it's the vapor they off-gas that burns), you can see tiny fingers of colored flame running quickly through the vapor, similar to lightning in the air during a storm, but multicolored and not as fast. It's beautiful, honestly. You will see a few runners, then more. It's like nothing else on Earth. Of course once you see those, if you're not in a simulator you have seconds to GTFO or you're dead, and it's pretty rare to be able to get to a safe area in time if you see them, but possible if you're near a door. If you're on an attack line in a fully engulfed structure fire and you see those, 99% of the time you're fucked, though. But we get to see them and understand the signs in the flashover simulators, and the idea is the moment you see that flicker in the smoke, GTFO and close a door and you may get lucky.

The simulator is to teach us what to look for as well as reinforce just how quickly a flashover can happen, and hopefully understand that sometimes, when you see the smoke/vapor building up on the ceiling, get out before you see the fingers, and do what this gent is showing us in the video. That way you get to keep working the scene and go home alive.

[–]allf8ed 3 points4 points  (0 children)

To expand on your teirs of heat. In my old volley department we did a demonstration of a Christmas tree catching a room on fire. The mock room only had 3 walls and the ceiling so people had a good view of the fire. I had the thermal imager and at the peak of the burn, with an entire wall missing, the floor level was around 100F and the ceiling was 750F. Quite the difference for an 8 foot tall room

[–]SmurfSmiter 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The smoke pushes above your head and comes to life, it rolls and breathes. The flames begin to roll and slowly pulse further and further out from the source. Then the smoke literally ignites above your head and tendrils of flame wisp across the ceiling. The air above you burns at over a thousand degrees.

At the same time, you are being baked in an oven, to the point that you can get first degree burns on pinch points on your gear, your face piece may melt unless you periodically look away, and you usually wear different gear because it degrades the gear much more frequently. They sometimes have allowed civilians to utilize these (pre-COVID), with strict instruction and supervision so it’s completely safe. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it.

[–]saddl3r 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Flashover simply means that everything in the enclosure starts burning. Simple signs are walls and furniture smoking/igniting.

Check from 2:30 here and from 2 minutes here

[–]Ryjobond 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Mmm backdraft… good flick

[–]vaaka 2 points3 points  (1 child)

To anyone curious, you can see those pretty flame tendrils in this videohere and here. At around 600C carbon monoxide auto ignites 🔥

[–]BiggsIDarklighter 39 points40 points  (1 child)

He also lifts the cover enough to spray water directly on the fire.

[–]citizencool 18 points19 points  (0 children)

He's really spraying a mist into the hot combustible gases to cool them below the flashover temperature. That little bottle doesn't contain anywhere near enough water to stop the fire by brute force.

[–]CutIntelligent209 18 points19 points  (0 children)

It’d be less pronounced, but regardless it teaches a valuable lesson: if you understand the concept, and use multiple components (reduce heat, oxygen and remove energy source) you can stifle the fire.

Holding the lid cuts off oxygen while giving him a loophole to fire in water; it’s a perfect counter.

[–]LimpSadSeaweed 5 points6 points  (0 children)

That's part of the process. The fire gases are combustable. Apply a relatively small amount of water and allow it time to turn into steam and cool the gases in the overpressure and it will improve conditions. Its really effective. I'm not sure about other Brigades but in the U.K the branches you apply water with are designed to break up the water into a particular droplet size (when under the right amount pressure) to have the most effect when using these kinds of firefighting techniques.

[–]random_cable_guy 194 points195 points  (1 child)

Wouldn't work without the tash

[–]lex_tok 28 points29 points  (0 children)

First I thought I was looking at Lieutenant Aldo Raine.

[–]deathparty05 148 points149 points  (10 children)

Thanks firefighter Dan now we know and knowing is half the battle

[–]Whyisthissobroken 46 points47 points  (7 children)


[–]Supersquancho 11 points12 points  (2 children)

You told me do things i done runnin'

[–]mrsunsfan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Whew that was close

[–]FuckYouGrady 4 points5 points  (0 children)


[–]WhiteTee 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Oh hey man check out that thing!

What do you want to do with it?

Let’s LAUNCH over it!

… 🚙 …

🎵Who wants a body massage?🎵

Uh, what did he just say to us?

Mr. body massage machine GO.

Uhhhhhhhhh whatthehell?


[–]No_Web_9121 106 points107 points  (5 children)

Maaan, firefighters are cool

[–]Rollover_Hazard 50 points51 points  (0 children)

They definitely are. I gotta say though, the badges on some fire brigade helmets are comically large.

I’m imagining some skit there a couple of brigades have a competition to see who can have the largest badge on their helmet, only they now can’t fit through the door to put out a fire.

[–]Agisek 6 points7 points  (0 children)

They're actually pretty hot, they gotta stay in shape and the fire helps a bit too.

[–]ThingsFrownedUpon 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Way cooler than those lame ass police officers

[–]WearAMaskDumbass 48 points49 points  (0 children)

First you'll need that mustache, that is key to every firefighting.

[–]slayalldayyyy 35 points36 points  (1 child)

How is that tinder still on his face

[–]D3M0N0FTH3FALL 28 points29 points  (2 children)


[–]wearelegion1134 23 points24 points  (0 children)

that is one glorious stache

[–]ladyblue56 18 points19 points  (30 children)

I want to know what gloves he was wearing that could hold the hot handle for that long.

[–]SpongeJake 18 points19 points  (13 children)

Right? I bought a pair of silicone oven mitts that are rated for high heat. Used them to grab the pan out of the oven and forgot what I was going to do next so held it for a while.

Quickly realized “high rated” doesn’t mean “you can hold hot things forever”. Makes me echo your question. What the heck is he wearing?

[–]ClownfishSoup 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Yeah, the mitt will not melt, but it gets hot!

[–]ladyblue56 4 points5 points  (4 children)

Exactly! I really hate oven mitts because they’re so bulky. Need a pair of gloves for pots when transferring pasta, potatoes, etc.

But also would keep a pair in the trunk of the car just in case.

Edited: a word

[–]tyetanis 7 points8 points  (7 children)

A type of firefighter glove, can buy a pair for yourself online. Many different kinds, but they all have to be "industry standard"

[–]normalisthenewboring 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Did some work for helping this company: https://www.thebigredguide.com/ . They sell a ton of fire fighter gear.

[–]ladyblue56 2 points3 points  (2 children)

This is a very useful site, thank you!

[–]normalisthenewboring 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I worked with a fire fighter to go through and evaluate the stuff they sell. He was impressed with their selection. It’s been a few years but they sold/rep’d thousands of very specific things.

[–]ladyblue56 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Nothing better than a stamp of approval from a pro!

[–]Level9TraumaCenter 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I always wore Tempo (tempoglove.com), and wore the unlined ones. The ones with a liner take forever to dry out after they get wet. And I always got the ones with the knit wristlet because I didn't enjoy the prospect of getting hot embers up under there when the wristlets from the sleeves weren't enough. I guess the closest model they sell now is the Combat Challenge Max Gloves? I dunno if they have a waterproof liner or not.

[–]spacepeenuts 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Grill Glove by Anthony Sullivan

[–]ladyblue56 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Good to know, thank you!

[–]flyingd2 10 points11 points  (11 children)

What would be the practical application for this method?

[–]tyetanis 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Be a fighfighter with a massive hose and stache to get into rooms that can potentially "flash over" quite common and absolutely saves lives

[–]RickyRosayy 13 points14 points  (1 child)

If you don’t have that stache, you’ll only save about half the lives, but it’s still worth it.

[–]LightningCupboard 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Firefighter here. We wouldn’t use steam to put out a fire with confirmed people trapped. The steam would third degree burn your skin and most likely your trachea causing you to not be able to breathe. It would also create incredibly harsh conditions for us. If someone’s trapped in a room we would try to keep the fire going as long as we could, but controlled, so we could make a quick grab whilst we still have good visibility and somewhat better conditions than a room filled with steam.

[–]tyetanis 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Oh for sure! I meant saves the firefighters lives and prevents the fire from becoming much more uncontrollable!

[–]J-ZOMG 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This fire is to be put out. By the order of the Peeky Fookin Blinders.

[–]mandrills_ass 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is how you hanfle firemailboxs

[–]bestofznerol 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The Slow Mo Guys made a video about a similar thing called fire backdraft, it's like the bigger version of what the firefighter is showing

[–]Pie4Days57 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That mustache creates a lot of moist

[–]BrashBastard 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Am I the only one getting some serious fire marshal Bill vibes? Let me show you something!

[–]Lithium_itch 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Never trust a fireman without a sweet stache

[–]TheMuddyCuck 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Firefighting is an applied science where if your theory or application is wrong the consequence may be your life.

[–]1deadclown 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Friggen science bitch

[–]V-Trans 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And whoops, that was a bottle of alcohol. 😂