ifa_MAG_498_Tiefgarage57.jpg

Underground car park leaflet: tactics and techniques for fire-fighting operations at a glance

The underground car park leaflet is more than just a handout for our intensive course. It takes the concept of our teaching posters and translates it into a compact format for on-site training. The texts are reduced to a few words and provide the crucial keywords for the illustrations in German, English, French and Italian. Photographs from actual operations, our training operations and installations in underground car parks relevant to operations provide the necessary illustrative material in conjunction with the specially developed graphics.

The theory of the course condensed into two pages


90 cm long and 14.7 cm high - this is how the underground car park leaflet presents itself when it is completely unfolded. For training, the format of the leaflet offers a key advantage: The critical statements on the most significant hazards in underground car park operations and the corresponding tactics and techniques are placed side by side on one page, and the fire service-relevant characteristics of underground car parks on the other.

Sequences of pictures each illustrate a problem and the solution

The grey background clearly shows which illustrations belong to a topic. One example is the threat posed to people in adjacent buildings by the heavy smoke generated by an underground car park fire. A graphic and an operational picture illustrate the problem. Below this, the tactical approach is shown: In addition to ventilating the underground car park, it may be necessary to direct emerging smoke away from the building with fans. The photo with arrows and eye symbolises the importance of reconnoitring the surrounding. Where does the smoke from the underground car park go? Where do fans need to be placed? This tactical approach has derived from the evaluation of incident reports: More people were injured in adjacent buildings than in the underground car parks affected by a fire.

Checklist for the inspection of underground car parks


The second page of the leaflet shows the characteristics of underground car parks that are relevant for fire services - such as the location of entrances and exits for vehicles and pedestrians, usages with particular hazard potential such as adjacent shops, lifts into a residential or hotel area, separated, locked storage areas and charging stations for electric vehicles. Also shown are installations that support the fire service in action, such as the fire alarm control panel, smoke extraction control, smoke extraction openings, fire doors, sprinkler and drainage systems. The overview draws attention to particular hazards and relevant infrastructure during training. It can also be used as a checklist for inspections in order to systematically record the special features of the respective underground car park.

Compact and focused on the essential


Our leaflets on operations in tunnels and underground car parks are primarily a reminder for our course participants and a teaching aid for subsequent on-site training. They can be downloaded free of charge as pdf files in the «Knowledge» section (you only need to register once for this) or ordered as printed leaflets in sets of 25 copies each for use in training.


The practical application of tactics and techniques in operations is trained in our underground car park intensive course. For 2023, in addition to courses for individual fire services - for example, immediately following a tunnel training - we are planning further mixed courses for participants from several fire services. We will announce the new dates on our website and via our ifaNEWS.

Additional background knowledge on operations in underground car parks


The publication of our underground car park leaflet was preceded by intensive development work. Among other things, we evaluated many incident reports to prioritise possible hazards and define measures. Additional information is provided in our magazine article «Underground car park intensive course: Understanding tactical principles and applying them in operational training drills».