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10 Standard Fire Orders and 18 Watch Out Situations

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 15:25
10 Standard Fire Orders and 18 Watch Out Situations

The 10 Standard Fire Orders were developed in 1957 by a task force studying ways to prevent firefighter injuries and fatalities. Shortly after the Standard Fire Orders were incorporated into firefighter training, the 18 Situations That Shout Watch Out were developed. These 18 situations are more specific and cautionary than the Standard Fire Orders and described situations that expand the 10 points of the Fire Orders. If firefighters follow the 10 Standard Fire Orders and are alerted to the 18 Watch Out Situations, much of the risk of firefighting can be reduced.

The 10 Standard Fire Orders

The NWCG Parent Group just approved the revision of the Ten Standard Fire Orders in accordance with their original arrangement. The original arrangement of the Orders are logically organized to be implemented systematically and applied to all fire situations.

Fire Behavior
1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.
2. Know what your fire is doing at all times.
3. Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire.img 1971-215

Fireline Safety
4. Identify escape routes and safety zones and make them known.
5. Post lookouts when there is possible danger.
6. Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.

Organizational Control
7. Maintain prompt communications with your forces, your supervisor and adjoining forces.
8. Give clear instructions and insure they are understood.
9. Maintain control of your forces at all times.

If 1-9 are considered, then...
10. Fight fire agressively, having provided for safety first.

The 10 Standard Fire Orders are firm. We don't break them; we don't bend them. All firefighters have the right to a safe assignment.

The 18 Watch Out Situations

1. Fire not scouted and sized up.
2. In country not seen in daylight.
3. Safety zones and escape routes not identified.
4. Unfamiliar with weather and local factors influencing fire behavior
5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics, and hazards.
6. Instructions and assignments not clear.
7. No communication link between crewmembers and supervisors.
8. Constructing line without safe anchor point.
9. Building line downhill with fire below.
10. Attempting frontal assault on fire.
11. Unburned fuel between you and the fire.
12. Cannot see main fire, not in contact with anyone who can.
13. On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below.
14. Weather gets hotter and drier.
15. Wind increases and/or changes direction.
16. Getting frequent spot fires across line.
17. Terrain or fuels make escape to safety zones difficult.
18. Feel like taking a nap near fireline.

From the National Interagency Fire Center