The New Rules of Engagement for Structural Firefighting

12The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is committed to reducing firefighter fatalities and injuries. As part of that effort, the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival (SHS) Section has developed DRAFT “Rules of Engagement for Structural Firefighting” to provide guidance to individual firefighters and incident commanders regarding risk and safety issues when operating on the fireground.

The intent is to provide a set of model procedures to be made available by the IAFC to fire departments as a guide for their own standard operating procedures development.

The direction provided to the project team by the Section leadership was to develop rules of engagement with the following conceptual points:

• Rules should be a short, specific set of bullets
• Rules should be easily taught and remembered
• Rules should define critical risk issues
• Rules should define “go” ‐ “no‐go situations
• A champion lesson plan should be provided

Early in development the rules of engagement, it was recognized that two separate rules were needed –one set for the firefighter, and another set for the incident commander. Thus, the two sets of rules of engagement described in this document. Each set has several commonly stated bullets, but the explanations are described somewhat differently based on the level of responsibility (i.e., firefighter vs. incident commanders). The reader may direct comments to Chief Gary Morris, the project lead, at

The originating IAFC Rules of Structural Engagement, HERE
IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section Home Page,

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