So much of the personal protective equipment (PPE) that firefighters wear is meant to protect them from the often-deadly environments they face. Helmets keep them safe from falling debris; respirators filter smoke and toxic fumes; turnout gear insulates them against intense heat; and so on.
However, there is one technology that provides more than passive protection, actively working once the fire is out to make the air inside a building safer for all to breathe. High-powered fans that create positive pressure ventilation in buildings have become a critical tool for first responders — and for good reason.
Continue reading to learn how PPV fans for firefighting work and what makes them indispensable.
How Positive Pressure Ventilation Works
Even after the flames have been extinguished, smoke and soot can linger in the air inside a structure. Getting fresh air into the building is crucial so that firefighters can do the rest of their work as safely as possible.
The conditions that require continuous positive pressure ventilation might otherwise create hazardous situations for personnel. A PPV fan helps alleviate these concerns by forcing air into the space. This creates an area of high pressure inside the property. Using an open door or window as an exit portal means the contaminated air inside is forced out because of the lower pressure outside.
The disparity in pressures and the single exit point are extremely important in order for PPV fans to work. Simply setting up a fan inside a large room only creates circulation, and the majority of the air will just swirl around inside the same space. Putting a fan in a door or window opening where it blocks more than half the open space is necessary to generate enough working pressure for the desired effect. Using proper setback when possible will allow capitalize on entrainment, ensuring optimized flow through the structure. Setback is placement outside the structure at a set distance from the entrance of the structure where the stream of air generated from the fan “pulls” air around the fan with it to increase volumetric airflow into the structure and help “seal” the entrance. This will result in maximum ventilation at the exit point.
The Benefits of Positive Pressure Ventilation
There’s often more in the air inside a burning structure than just smoke. Carbon monoxide, asbestos and other dangerous emissions caused by burning construction materials can make a fire scene an extremely risky place for anyone, even when equipped with firefighting gear.
The use of positive pressure ventilation for fire crews means they can breathe easier as they conduct searches and perform other essential tasks. Clearing smoky rooms can also improve visibility and reduce the risk of smoke damage to other areas of the building.
How BlowHard Helps Improve Firefighter Safety
Thanks to the innovative designs and technology we utilize, BlowHard’s PPV fans create safer environments for firefighters, so they can focus on saving the lives and property of others. Our extensive expertise enables us to develop gasoline-powered fans that are lightweight, portable and versatile. We have also developed units that run on batteries or AC and still provide the same powerful performance. Their compact design makes them easy to deploy in virtually any situation, making it easy for responders to achieve proper placement and airflow angles.
If you want to learn more about our product line, click here or get in touch with us today.