The 10 Commandments for Fires in Places of Worship

    Tuesday, April 21, 2020: 1:30 PM - 5:30 PM


    Frank Leeb
    Deputy Assistant Chief
    Fire Department of New York
    United States


    There are approximately 1,570 fires in places of worship annually in the United States. Many times, these fires are extensive and result in structural collapse of part or all of the structure. Civilians and firefighters have been injured and killed during these fires. Yet, the fire service has few standard operating procedures for managing fires in places of worship. This workshop analyzes the many types of places of worship that firefighters might encounter, which can range from the centuries-old Gothic-style church to the new modern day places of worship constructed using lightweight materials. Covered are the 10 commandments, or important considerations, for fires in a place of worship that every firefighter and fire officer must know before responding to such fires as well as construction features, tactics, apparatus positioning, and command considerations. Several case studies are reviewed.


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