Lights for Structural Firefighting

Introduction

Lights are essential tools for firefighters during structure fire suppression and rescue. They are necessary for situational awareness, illuminating the exterior pathways and structure entries, reading smoke, and searching for potential victims.

Common lights that are used on the fireground are portable scene lights, helmet lights, right angle (or 90-degree) lights, and more recently, drone lights.

In this article, we’ll look at different types of lights and how they can be used for structural firefighting.

Nearly a third (31%) of firefighter injuries are caused by slips, trips, falls or contact with object.

NFPA, United States Firefighter Injuries in 2020

Needs and Pain Points

Long Shifts - Your work is demanding and sometimes the calls don't ever end. As you get towards the end of your shift, you are fatigued and may have compromised judgment.

Equipment gets beat up - Equipment gets abused, day in and day out. Damaged or worn equipment requires more maintenance, more repair costs, and most importantly, is less dependable at critical times.

Equipment needs to be lightweight and compact - Turnout gear, air tanks, and other equipment are heavy and bulky. Equipment and tools are only functional if they don't weigh you down or get in the way of working.

Extreme temperatures - Obviously, the heat of the fire you're suppressing is the main concern. If you are working in cold climates, you could go from freezing temperatures to burning heat on the inside of a structure. These extreme fluctuations of temperature can wreak havoc on equipment.

Structure fires are dynamic - The scene can change size or direction quickly. A building collapse, backdraft, or a change in wind direction forces operations to adjust quickly.

Need to light the area that the truck scene lights can't reach - Truck scene lights can only light up the street side of the operation. Often the fire extends towards the charlie side of the structure where the truck lights can't illuminate.

Obstacles hide in the dark - As noted in the point above, the unlit area around a structure can be dangerous with trip hazards and obstacles that lead to injury on the fireground.

Fire activity occurred on the dark charlie side of the structure.

FoxFury Solutions for Structural Firefighting

How Do These Solutions Help Firefighters?

  • Light the fireground immediately with portable lights that deploy in seconds.
  • Create a safer scene and reduce injuries with lights that can be positioned anywhere on the scene.
  • Use your lights in extreme conditions. All FoxFury lights are completely waterproof (IPX7) and NFPA 1971 fire resistant.
  • Self-sufficiency - You don’t need to depend on the truck scene lights to get lights where you need them.
  • Provide better intel for incident command to make faster and better decisions.

Now, let's look at how each of these different solutions is used on the fireground.

Nomad® 360 Scene Light

The Nomad 360 scene light provides 360°, area or spot beams giving you more options to fit your needs. It features a long runtime of 3-24 hours to last all the way through the night.

The 8 1/2’ maximum height extends over walls and vehicles for even illumination. The extended height also keeps the light out of your eye line for less brightness fatigue.

Nomad 360 Scene Light

Benefits

  • Quickly position lights where you need them when conditions change
  • Use the same light for search (spot), area, or 360° scene lighting configuration
  • Easily carry and deploy scene lights to the charlie side of the scene to increase safety
  • Illuminate over walls, fences and vehicles with the maximum 8.5' height

Command+ LoPro White/Green Helmet Light

See wider and better with the FoxFury Command+ LoPro White & Green LED Helmet Light. This rugged fire resistant firefighter helmet light provides hands-free illumination in all-weather conditions and delivers up to 100 lumens.  

This ultra-slim design enables the light to clear the external face shield on most U.S. style modern and traditional fire helmets. White & green LEDs are best suited for cutting through smoke in structural firefighting. This headlamp also features a highly visible red flashing LED in the battery pack that can be seen from over 1 mile (1.6km) away.

Benefits

  • Have hands-free light always illuminating wherever you are looking
  • Experience less eye fatigue with a broad, even beam
  • Be more visible to your team and safer on the scene with the Rear Safety LED
Kevin O'Connell from Hydrovent explains the benefits of the Rear Safety LED
FIREFIGHTER CAPTAIN WEARING FOXFURY SIDESLIDE C-CLAM SIDE MOUNTED HELMET LIGHT ON HELMET BRIM

SideSlide C-Clamp Helmet Light

Whether you need a flashlight or a helmet light, the FoxFury SideSlide C-Clamp allows for both. This rugged light comes with a custom adaptor that mounts to the side of a hard hat or firefighter helmet.

Press and hold the release lever to slide the flashlight out. Insert the light into the holder and once locked into place, the light now becomes a hands-free helmet light. The SideSlide C-Clamp delivers a powerful 275 lumens focused beam and is best for use in structural firefighting along with rescue and industrial applications.

FoxFury SideSlide C-Clamp Side Mounted Helmet Light

Benefits

  • Compact smoke-cutting light always illuminating where you are looking
  • Quickly transition from helmet light to handheld flashlight
  • Be more visible to your team and safer on the scene with the Rear Safety LED

"These lights are very bright and are very handy since they can easily be operated with a gloved hand and also be removed one handed. In fact, I bought a second light and am considering purchasing another for my backup set of gear."

MARk, firefighter
Firefighter with FoxFury BTS 90 degree right angle light

Breakthrough® BTS

The ultra-durable, low profile BTS right angle light provides a 500 lumen beam for cutting through smoke and illuminating the immediate surrounding area. The low profile design lets users move more freely.

This compact and versatile lighting tool runs on (4) AA batteries and has a stainless steel clip in the back for hands-free use. It is impact resistant, submersible, and meets NFPA fire resistant requirements. 

FoxFury, BT2, Hybrid Right Angle Light Black

Benefits

  • Enjoy a smoke cutting beam and a wider halo to see the periphery
  • It's comfortable to hold and easy to operate, even when wearing heavy fire gloves. 
  • The compact light head won't obstruct movement
  • Be confident that the BTS will survive the extreme conditions you have to work in with NFPA 1971 fire resistance rating and IPX7 waterproof rating.
  • AA battery or rechargeable option to fit your needs

To learn more, read our How to Choose a Right Angle Light article

Firefighters cutting a roof vent are illuminated by a D100 spotlight mounted on a drone

EXOLANDER© Drone Systems

Expand the capability of your drone and make it a complete aerial search tool.The EXOLANDER© Drone System is a custom, adaptable frame system that provides a more stable landing platform for your drone. It allows you to mount anti-collision lights, spotlights, and payload delivery systems to your drone.

Benefits

  • Fly, launch and land more confidently with the larger, more stable footprint with landing skids.
  • Use the tools you need for search, overwatch, and aerial assessment.
  • Keep your drone cleaner and drier when landing in wet or dusty environments.
  • Drone mounted spotlight can light roofs and remote spots that other lights may not reach. The drone pilot can follow firefighters as they move, always keeping them illuminated.
  • The chief can make faster decisions when they see both the illuminated visual and thermal displays of the scene.

"Fit well and got the EVO off the ground another 3 inches. The gimbal on the stock EVO2 is millimeters off the ground and flying Search and Rescue here in the Sedona Red Rocks doesn't leave much level ground for takeoff and landing. Gimbal and/or camera damage is inevitable. The Foxfury saddle and landing gear fame was the ticket for safe reliable mission operations... and with all the hard points, it opens up all sorts of payload possibilities."

Jerry Hajek, VERDE SEARCH & RESCUE

Watch this webinar, featuring training from international firefighter trainer Andy Starnes of Insight Fire Training.

He covers:

  • What Lights Are Best of Each Role in the Fire Company
  • Techniques for Using Lighting
  • Implementable Safety Solutions
  • Advanced Lighting Resources & Products

Conclusion 

Using quality lighting for structure firefighting operations has significant benefits.

  • When you arrive on the scene, you can quickly deploy scene lights around the fireground. This reduces the chances that lights get left in the truck because they are too slow or difficult to set up. A well-lit scene will create a safer fireground reducing the chances of injury and making it easier for firefighters to work.
  • Portable lighting can be moved and deployed around the scene quickly and rapidly to accommodate rapidly changing conditions.
  • Scene lights can illuminate the whole fire scene, even the areas that the truck-mounted scene lights can't reach. This helps improve safety around the whole scene.
  • Drone mounted spotlight can light up roofs and remote spots that other lights may not reach. The pilot can follow firefighters as they move, always keeping them illuminated and providing real-time coverage of the scene

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FoxFury builds portable LED headlamps, flashlights, shield lights, scene lights and area lights.

Our application-specific LED lights are used in firefighting, police, military, industrial safety, hazardous area, filming, and photography. 

FoxFury products are designed in California and manufactured with the highest quality USA and foreign parts.

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Information

FoxFury uses the newest LED technology from OSRAM and others. White light and multi-color / wavelength-specific forensic light sources (from UV to IR) are available.

Our compact LED lighting tools are tough, waterproof and impact resistant. We also offer fire resistant and intrinsically safe / explosion proof lights.
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