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, heat and dark smoke accumulate in a burning building and 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 back draft and flash over.

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 are the current staffing levels of the Healdsburg Fire Department?
2. Do you refill or recharge fire extinguishers?
3. 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?
4. What type of shifts do Healdsburg firefighters generally work?
5. Where can I get information about becoming a Reserve Firefighter with the Healdsburg Fire Department?
6. Why are the fire engines left running on calls?
7. Why do fire engines respond to car accidents, even when they didn't look serious?
8. Why do fire engines respond with ambulances?
9. Why do Firefighters chop holes in walls?
10. Why do I see firefighters cutting holes in the roof of a building on fire?
11. Why do so many apparatus respond to simple incidents?
12. Why do you block traffic lanes at auto accidents, more lanes than are necessary?
13. Will I be billed for fire or emergency medical services?
14. Will the department come out and inspect or replace the batteries in the smoke detector in the home of my elderly mother?