Modern Day Firefighting




Today’s fires are a whole different animal compared to fires in the past when firefighters would grow their beards long so they could cover the mouth and noses with them to filter the smoke particles which consequently earned them the moniker “Smoke-Eaters”. Fires burn much hotter and much faster than ever before making the response time extremely important. Due to the hotter and faster fires escape times for people caught in fires has drastically reduced from 17 minutes to 4 minutes. For over 100 years Owen Sound Fire Department has been full time meaning quicker response times and a safer community. Watch the video below to see just how big a difference modern furnishings make on firefighting and how important it is to have a department arrive fast enough to get the job done.


Quick Facts about modern fires

  • Open Concept floorplans
    • Large amounts of open space mean more air to fuel a fire.
    • When walls no longer separate rooms, fires are not contained and spread more quickly.
  • Furniture and fabrics
    • Most furniture and furnishings are made with synthetic materials like plastics, and many plastics are made from crude oil.
    • When heated by fire these materials revert back to their oil base causing the fire to spread faster than ever.
    • The smoke from these fires is also increasingly toxic compared to traditional furnishings.
    • As seen in the video above fires burn much hotter and faster than ever before.
  • Lightweight construction
    • Engineered floor and roof systems are skyrocketing in modern buildings.
    • Lightweight construction burns quicker, fails faster and collapses without warning.
    • Average escape times are 2 minutes in lightweight construction.