Review of the Use of Fire Dynamics Theory in Fire Service Activities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The work of the fire service has changed during the last decades from being essentially operational to include a larger variety of activities to increase fire safety in society. Also, the theoretical understanding of fire development, fire dynamics in buildings and fire safety engineering have improved. There are several good examples of areas were fire dynamics theories have supported and improved the fire service activities associated with building fire safety during the last decades. Despite such examples the quality of knowledge transfer between theory and research, and the more practical arena, such as fire service activities is sometimes questionable. This paper includes a systematic literature review and an interview study that is used to discuss how fire dynamics is used to support fire service activities today and where the use of fire dynamics theory could or should be increased in the future. It is found in the paper that fire dynamics theories are currently used more in the preventative and investigative areas than in the operational area of fire service activities. The primary reasons for this is that the timeframe is much shorter in the latter and that there are established procedures and tactics that work well for the common operational situations. However, there is a potential to use fire dynamics theories more in the operational area when it comes to events that occurs less frequent and with a longer duration than for example the normal compartment fire. In general, there is room for improvement of the use of fire dynamics in the fire service and a way forward could be a stronger link between theory and practice in education and training.


External organisations
  • Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Civil Engineering


  • Fire dynamics, Fire investigations, Fire prevention, Fire safety engineering, Fire service
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-103
JournalFire Technology
Issue number1
Early online date2018 Sep 19
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan
Publication categoryResearch