The 10 Commandments for Fires in Places of Worship

(FDNY photo, Twitter)

Training and Education at FDIC 2021

Presented by Frank Leeb

Friday, April 23, 2021: 8:30 AM – 10:15 AM
Room: 127-128 Session Number:25521

There are approximately 1,570 fires in places of worship annually in the United States. Many times, these fires are extensive and result in structural collapse of part or all of the structure. Civilians and firefighters have been injured and killed during these fires. Yet, the fire service has few standard operating procedures for managing fires in places of worship. This class analyzes the many types of places of worship that firefighters might encounter, which can range from the centuries-old Gothic-style church to the new modern day places of worship constructed using lightweight materials. Covered are the 10 commandments, or important considerations, for fires in a place of worship that every firefighter and fire officer must know before responding to such fires as well as construction features, tactics, apparatus positioning, and command considerations. Several case studies are reviewed.


Frank Leeb is a deputy chief in the Fire Department of New York. His previous work assignments included Battalion 46; Engines 76, 323, 324; and Squad 270. He has a master’s degree in homeland securities studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and a degree in fire service administration. He is a member of the East Farmingdale (NY) Volunteer Fire Department. He serves as an advisory panel member for the UL FSRI “Study of Coordinated Attack in Acquired Structures” and is a principal on the NFPA Technical Committee Fire and Emergency Service Organization and Deployment-Career (NFPA 1710).

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