Why do I see firefighters cutting holes in the roof of a building on fire?
This is called "venting the roof." There are two basic reasons for this practice. Dangerous gases and dark smoke accumulate in a burning building. Unlike the movie versions of fires, it is impossible for firefighters to see in such an environment. When a hole is made in the roof because the building is "vented," the smoke and gases escape because heat and smoke rise. It makes it much easier for the firefighters in the building to see. It also reduces the possibilities of backdraft and flashover. Another reason for venting the roof is to see how far the fire has progressed. One of the fastest avenues through which fires spread is the attic. Heat and smoke rise into the attic where the fire can move quickly. Firefighters may go ahead of the fire on a roof, cut holes to access the attic and stop the fire from spreading through the attic.

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1. What should I do when a fire truck or ambulance approaches me while I am driving?
2. Does the fire department accept old fire extinguishers or household chemicals that I don't want?
3. How do I get a copy of a fire or EMS report?
4. How do I get information about the Juvenile Firesetter Program?
5. How do I get a fire permit?
6. Where can I go to get my blood pressure checked?
7. Who do I call about a fire extinguisher that doesn't work?
8. Why does a fire truck show up when I called for an ambulance?
9. Why do so many fire apparatus respond to simple incidents?
10. How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?
11. Why do I see firefighters cutting holes in the roof of a building on fire?