Fire dynamics

As per the 2013 National Fire Protection Association's report - Patterns of Firefighter Fireground Injuries, between 2007-2011, residential fires accounted for about eight out of ten firefighter fireground injuries. The fire dynamics encountered during modern residential fires differ greatly from traditional models. The size and configuration of the typical single-family home, new construction techniques, high heat release-rate furnishings, and energy-efficient building technologies are increasing the risk to firefighters. The cumulative effects of these changes are faster fire propagation, excessive volumes of smoke, shorter escape times, decreased time to flashover, faster structural collapse, and reduction in time available for effective fire ground operations.

Many factors contribute to the number of deaths and injuries, but a likelihood is that many firefighters may not have been aware of the advancements that could have changed these tragic outcomes. Given the success that ALIVE (Advanced Learning through Integrated Visual Environments) has shown as a tool for training and disseminating information to firefighters, NYU-Poly researchers and the fire departments from New York, Chicago, and Bloomington, with support from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), collaborated with subject matter experts from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to develop an ALIVE module to provide a basic understanding of the science of modern fires.

Please note that, on average, this module will take approximately two hours to complete. Given the length of the module and the amount of information provided, we highly recommend that users divide this training into a minimum of two or more sessions by using the resume feature. Due to the incorporation of high quality media, we also request that you download and install the application on your local machine by clicking on the appropriate link below, which will allow you to run the application without any difficulty. If you do encounter any technical problems, please email us at:

Desktop application for Windows operating system

Desktop application for Macintosh / Linux operating system

If you do not have administrative privileges to install the application, you may download the portable application and follow the steps mentioned in the instruction sheet to run the application. This will also allow you create CDs, flash drives, or any other portable media to give this module to other firefighters or members of your department.

Portable ALIVE application

Instruction sheet

For browser-based application, please note that use of LAN (wired internet) is always preferred. If you have low internet speed or slow machine, you may face difficulty in buffering and watching the videos. Use of Google Chrome is recommended.

Windows / Macintosh / Linux operating system

We would like to acknowledge Prince George's County Fire Department (MD), Houston Fire Department (TX), Los Angeles County Fire Department (CA), and Manlius Fire Deptartment (NY) for their voluntary participation in this project.