Live fire training in an acquired structure is very valuable as it provides firefighters with some of the real life experience they need to be effective firefighters. Many communities do not have access to a training facility with a dedicated live fire building or smoke house, so using an acquired structure can provide a local opportunity to train under realistic conditions. If the building is not suitable for live fire training, other drills, such as search and rescue operations, ladder drills, ventilation drills, etc., are possible. If the building is suitable for live fire training, non-fire drills are still possible before the first live fire drill occurs. Depending upon the size of the structure, number of rooms, and fire control techniques, many air mask drills in smoke conditions, individual fires, search and rescue scenarios, and fire attack scenarios can occur before the building becomes too unsafe to use for further interior attack practice. At that point, the department lets the entire building catch fire, and exterior hand line operation and master stream training takes place. Follow NFPA 1403 guidelines for live fire training evolutions. These are the nationally recognized consensus standards defining the minimum acceptable practice for live fire training. With proper preparation and planning, an acquired structure can provide firefighters with many different opportunities to train, practice and improve essential fire ground skills.
Unfortunately, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) does not recognize the use of an acquired structure for drill credit under Section 580A of the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. ISO does recognize training conducted at an acquired structure as company training under Section 580B of the schedule.