Fire Suppression

Flash Over

The Time-Temperature Curve standard is based on data from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the Insurance Services Organization (ISO), which have established that a typical point source of ignition in a residential house will “flash over” at some time between 5 and 10 minutes after ignition, turning a typical room and contents fire into a structural fire of some magnitude. The utility of the time-temperature curve for fire station placement is limited to a number of factors, including but not limited to the following:

It does not account for the time required for the existence of a fire to be “discovered” and reported to the Fire Department via the 911 system.

The time from ignition to flashover varies widely (5 to 30 minutes depending on building characteristics); thus it cannot provide a valid basis for the allocation of resources.

Flashover graph and fire response times

The curve is constantly shifting, given the numerous changes in building construction, built in suppression systems, the increased use of fire resistive materials for furniture, and other items typically found in the interior of occupied buildings.

Insurance Services Offices Rating

In 2015, the Kalispell Fire Department was classified by the Insurance Services Offices (ISO), as a Class 3, joining the top 5% of fire departments in the nation. This not only means that the department provides excellent service, but it also means that insurance rates are lower for property and business owners. The Kalispell Fire Department provides this service with the current staffing of three platoons and a total of 29 floor personnel.