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Specific Occupancy Details and Hazards
Objectives (1 of 2)
• Determine the unique design and construction details found in buildings based on occupancy type • Establish how occupancy-specific building code requirements dictate particular safety features
Objectives (2 of 2)
• Identify the unique details and hazards associated with specific occupancies • Understand how occupancy specifics affect firefighting operations
11 Introduction • Occupancy • Is the type of use • Plays a role in how a building is constructed • This chapter gives occupancy types and building hazards • Details related to codes are city specific • The codes in your locale may differ .
11 Apartment Buildings • Garden Apartments • Combustible multiple dwellings include garden apartments. and townhouses • ―Condominium‖ is not a usefully descriptive term for fire fighters . modern row houses.
partially brick veneer on wood • Wood .11 Characteristics of Garden Apartments • Solid masonry • Brick veneer over platform wood frame • Partially solid masonry.
11 Height Limit • Three stories • Difficult to reach victims at rear windows of top-floor apartments .
11 Individual Living Units • Usually confined to one floor • Some are multi-floor units • Some structures may have both one floor and multi-floor units .
11 Balconies • Customary in many apartments • Combustible or noncombustible construction • Cantilevered balconies can collapse in fires .
11 Gable Roof Attics • These extend over the entire structure • Attic fire barriers are frequently not effective because they have been compromised .
11 Peaked Roofs • Are dangerous to fire fighters • They must have a pitch to drain rainwater • Pitch creates a void between the tops of horizontal ceiling beams and the sloping roof • Fire can spread laterally through this space .
11 Interior Construction • Is almost totally of wood • Multiplies the fire extension potential through the voids inherent in combustible construction .
11 Plumbing Fixtures • Vertically aligned • Piping is run through vertical voids • Structural members weakened by cutting .
enclosures. and attics overhead are combustible • Stairways are safe for no one .11 Escaping a Burning Structure • Escaping from a single-floor ranch home is easier than from the top floor of a combustible multiple dwelling • Stairways.
evacuate immediately. even if the fire seems inconsequential .11 Educating the Management and Tenants • Be fully insured • Keep property in a bank vault • Call the fire department immediately if a fire or gas leak is suspected • In a fire.
11 Parking • Space is generally limited • Need minimum of 20 feet of clear width. proper turning radii. and signage • Illegal parking must be eliminated . red striping of curbs.
11 Building Location • Map drill • Drill identifies gullies and fences • Building owners should be encouraged to provide lettering and numbering on buildings .
11 Gas Service • Provides special hazards • Layout usually done with little thought for fire fighters • Meters are grouped together and represent a substantial weight • Case example: Gas hangers giving way • Case example: Single large gas tank had its regulator fail .
11 Water Supply • Hydrants often on private mains • Should be checked periodically • Older complexes often have undersized mains • Have the owner conduct a flow test .
11 Protected Combustible Construction • Fire-rated gypsum board sheathing or shell of the structure prevents the spread of fires • Does not yield heat when burned in pure oxygen • Gypsum has excellent fire protection characteristics .
11 Effect of Fire on Gypsum Board • Calcination occurs when gypsum board is heated by fire • This process appears to be irreversible • Removing all burned gypsum board makes the most sense .
11 Fire Rating of Gypsum Board (1 of 2) • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 251/American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) E119 fire-resistance test • Rating of gypsum board cannot be separated from the test structure of which it was a part .
11 Fire Rating of Gypsum Board (2 of 2) • Underwriters Laboratory (UL) warns that its rating is not assigned to individual components .
ample air exists to fuel fires • Nail heads not properly cemented over • Joints not properly taped .11 Gypsum Board Installation — Deficiencies • Gypsum board commonly is nailed up over voids with a large or even infinite air supply behind it.
11 Protective Sheathing • Protects the combustible structure from a fire in the contents • A single hole can cause disaster • Any penetration allows the fire to spread to the structure. thus converting a contents fire to a structural fire .
11 Penetrations (1 of 2) • Failure to close the gypsum sheath around utilities • Failure to install the gypsum sheath behind the bathtub • Thin wood door casings are the only sheaths .
11 Penetrations (2 of 2) • Fire can ride the ventilation air flow in attics • Floors are easily penetrated downward by a fire with today’s fuels • Dangerous. hidden voids are prevalent in the rehabilitation of older buildings .
11 Protected Combustible Is Not Fire Resistive • NFPA 25/ASTM E119 • The ―fire resistive‖ characterization should be rejected • Even ―protected combustible‖ is overly generous .
11 Firewalls/Barriers and Draft Stops • Firewalls are often used to separate units in multi-family residential structures • Primary defect involves not bringing a masonry firewall through the roof with a masonry parapet • Masonry typically not fitted tight enough to roof .
11 Overhangs or Mansards • Permitting them to project beyond the firewall is another defect in firewalls • This provides a gap for fire to pass around the end of the wall • Fire can pass around a firewall that ends at the interior of a combustible exterior wall .
11 Utilities • Often are passed through the firewall • Openings around pipes pass fire • Better to run utility mains parallel to the building with branches into each unit • Utility openings cut into firewalls are often unprotected .
11 Openings at the Basement Level • Provide access to storage and laundry areas • Usually designed and built with proper self-closing doors • Often. doors are blocked open .
11 Firewall as a Party Wall • Creates problems • Party walls often have beams or girders from both sides in the same opening • Common openings provide a path for fire extension .
11 Older Row-Frame Buildings • Often had brick laid in the party wall stud voids as a firewall • Barrier is incomplete • The brick nogging (brick and mortar filling between studs) does not block the floor or attic voids .
11 Firewalls/Barriers and Draft Stops • Are intended to limit the combustible void area in the attic to which the fire has access • Some barriers are now being made of twoinch gypsum plank • Cuts produce openings for fire access .
11 Effectiveness of the Fire Barrier • May range from temporarily reliable to totally useless • Never as good as a parapeted masonry firewall .
11 Defects in Fire Barriers and Draft Stops • Delaminated plywood • Barriers that do not extend out to the eaves but stop at the wall line • Omitted nail coverings and joint taping. and utilities or structural elements passing through .
11 Fire Barriers above the Mid-point of a Room • Both sides of the barrier are exposed to fire coming out the windows • Fire barrier is placed even if it doesn’t continue a fire separation below .
A Word about Sprinklers
• Automatic sprinklers • Extinguish content fires • Rarely will control any fire that originates in, or extends to, the voids • NFPA 13R
NFPA 13R Systems and Garden Apartments Complexes
• Often share the same water main with the hydrants that are in the complex • Hooking to a hydrant can take water from the sprinkler system
Serving the Citizens
• Homeowners • Have personal property or homeowners’ insurance • Renters’ insurance • Too inexpensive to be actively sold • Renters suffer crushing financial blows
11 Older Row Frame Buildings • • • • Frame buildings often erected in rows Structures are contiguous Often have a common attic or cockloft May have party walls .
11 Brick or Stone Nogging • • • • Is a crude attempt at creating a fire barrier Does not cut the floor voids or the cockloft Served as a heat sink for warmth Acts as additional hazard in a collapse .
entire structure is all one building .11 Townhouses • New name for row house • Rarely does an adequate masonry firewall exist between the separate buildings • Without such a firewall.
11 The Three Decker • Typically found in New England • Three-story flat-roofed structures with three apartment units • They have porches on each level .
11 Porches of Three Deckers • Play a critical role in fire spread • The porches offer a large surface area on which the fire can burn .
11 Atria • A large open space within a structure connecting two or more floors • A large void that passes through multiple floors allowing smoke and heat to move vertically through the building .
11 Codes Requirements for Atria • Full sprinkler protection throughout the building • A smoke control system • Standby power for the building • Floor limited to ―low‖ fire hazards • Up to three floors can be ―open‖ .
11 Three Levels Open to the Atrium • Must be included in the calculations of the smoke control system design • Volume is included in the exhaust system • System must exhaust smoke from these areas • Designs often neglect to provide a means for exhausting these areas .
11 Smoke Control System • Activation is usually triggered by water flow and smoke detectors • Projected beam detectors can cover large areas with a single beam of light .
11 Sprinkler Protection • Usually straightforward in buildings with an atrium • Atrium and floors open to the atrium are zoned separately from the sprinklers in the rest of the building .
11 National Experience • Limited experience with actual fires in atria • Case example: In 1991. a fire occurred in the Polo Club high-rise in Denver • Case example: Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim in 2005 .
11 Churches and Synagogues • Open area structures • Large occupant loads • Holidays bring special concerns .
11 Older Churches • Sometimes have multiple levels of seating • Galleries surround the main sanctuary • Narrow stairs impede egress .
11 Stained Glass Windows • Valuable for ventilation • Invaluable in terms of cost and heritage .
burning off old paint. and other construction activities have ignited numerous churches and synagogues • Case example: 1998 New York City Central Synagogue blaze .11 Renovations • Cutting and welding operations.
large stores attached to the mall.11 Covered Mall Buildings • A single building enclosing a number of tenants • Anchor stores. have all of their required exits independent of the mall .
II. or IV construction and having 60 feet of open space around them .11 Recent Building Codes • Have allowed covered mall buildings to be of unlimited area • Predicated on the use of Type I. II.
11 Vertical Spread of Heat and Smoke in a Fire • Malls have the added problem of horizontal spread of heat/smoke • None of the tenant spaces have a firerated separation from the mall • Malls have large occupant loads .
11 Physical Separation Between Tenants • Must be fire-rated • Need not go to the floor/roof deck above • A roll down grille-type gate will allow smoke to move into the mall proper .
11 Fire Protection in Malls • • • • Complete sprinkler protection A smoke control system A standpipe system An emergency voice communications system • Standby power .
11 System Requirements • Require analysis during your preplanning • Sprinkler system often separately zoned for mall proper and tenant spaces • Feed main supplying the tenant spaces will run along the front of the store .
11 Standpipe System • Is a Class I system • Hose outlets in the mall at the entrance to each corridor and exit passageway • Outlets also at each floor level in stairwells and at exterior public entrances .
11 Smoke Control System • Similar to that of an atrium • Attempts to minimize horizontal movement of the smoke • Attempts to exhaust the smoke through the roof over the mall .
11 City Requirements • Some require a standardized lettering and numbering system • Letters designate blocks/rows of stores and numbers indicating particular tenants .
and pressurized vessels • The weight of the machinery in a building on fire could cause a collapse . confined spaces.11 Factories • Production equipment can pose a safety risk to fire fighters • Hazards include large moving parts.
and adjacent storage/warehouse areas .11 The Building Itself • Circular stairwells • Ship’s ladders • Open loading docks. limited access (including lack of windows).
11 Hazardous Materials Production and Storage • Storage includes the more familiar flammable and combustible liquids as well as more exotic substances • Pyrophoric gas is gas that ignites in air without the introduction of an ignition source .
11 Fire Codes • Hazardous materials management plan (HMMP) • Hazardous materials inventory statement (HMIS) .
11 Limits on Quantity • Codes specify types of hazardous materials that may be stored/used in a building • Exempt quantities are permitted • Exempt quantities are permitted in control areas .
11 When Amount Exceeds the Exempt Quantity • Numerous construction requirements apply • Special systems or building features will be required .
11 Explosives • Building codes require that they be handled in buildings with substantial fireresistive construction • This restraint almost guarantees increased explosive destruction .
the board became dust-like particles .11 Buildings Housing Hazardous Processes • Used to be isolated and built of friable construction elements • A steel frame covered with an easy-toreplace material is another method • If an explosion occurred.
11 Special-Purpose Buildings • May be designed to channel the force of an internal explosion in a desired direction • Heavy walls can protect one transformer from an explosion in an adjacent transformer .
11 High-Rises • There are many definitions of high-rise buildings • International Conference on Fire Safety in High-Rise Buildings defined a highrise as a building beyond the reach of aerial ladder equipment • Author Brannigan disagrees .
such as airport terminals and large shopping malls. present many of the same problems .11 Fire Department Tactics • Preceding definition is acceptable and valid as applied to tactics • Other buildings which are not high rises.
11 High-Rise Buildings: Potential Problems • Not just one single problem • Fire-significant construction differences exist among high-rises .
11 High-Rise Building Design • Usually designed to resist the effects of fire on the structural frame of the building and the floors • Whether the design concepts used are adequate to cope with all these possible effects is quite another matter .
General Classifications of High-Rise Buildings
• Fire-resistive high-rise buildings have evolved over time • Buildings built during certain time frames tend to share some common characteristics
Early Fire-Resistive Buildings, 1870–1930
• There were no standards for the protection of steel • Cast iron columns and steel ties were often exposed • Terra cotta fireproofing was compromised. • Voids were created by wooden floors placed on piers
Other Hazards in Early FireResistive Buildings (1 of 2)
• Segmental (curved) brick or tile arch floors were tied with exposed steel ties; often laid in an improvised manner • Segmental brick and tile arches were supplanted by terra cotta tile arches
poor masonry closures.11 Other Hazards in Early FireResistive Buildings (2 of 2) • No protection was provided for the underside of the steel beams • Other common hazards: high fire loads. inadequate standpipe systems .
1920–1940 (1 of 2) • Generally excellent buildings with typically low fire loads • Were universally of steel-framed construction • Floor construction and steel fireproofing were often concrete or tile.11 Later High-Rise Building Construction. .
1920–1940 (2 of 2) • Small floor areas and each floor was a well-segregated fire area • Standpipe systems wet and pressurized .11 Later High-Rise Building Construction.
11 Modern High-Rise Buildings (1 of 2) • Many floors have substantial areas beyond the reach of hand hose streams. • Reinforced concrete became a serious competitor to steel as a construction material • Necessity for fireproofing is an apparent cost disadvantage to steel .
11 Modern High-Rise Buildings (2 of 2) • Electrical services and communications systems have increased. along with flammable insulation • Steel-truss floor and ceiling assemblies provide useful voids for fire and smoke • Gypsum rather than masonry is often used to enclose elevator and other shafts .
building occupancy . stairways (including accommodation and access stairs).11 General Problems and Hazards with High-Rises • Multiple problems can exist across buildings of different eras • Common issues to consider: exists. elevators. possible areas for forcible entry.
11 Exits • Should provide a clear path to the outside • Model building codes have permitted 50% of exit stairwells to end in the building’s lobby • This arrangement is confusing to occupants • Case example: 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York .
apartments. homes for the elderly. factories. and showrooms are all different • Some buildings have mixed occupancies • Case example: Different standards applied to apartments versus office in same building . hotels.11 Occupancy • Offices.
11 Accommodation or Access Stairs • Access stairways are usually done as alterations and are rarely enclosed Result is two or more floors becoming one fire area • Case example: One Meridian Plaza fire • Duplex and triplex apartments often have no exits from the upper levels .
some codes require no more than four intervening floors between re-entry floors .g. multiple locks) may make entry difficult • Common area for forcible entry: gypsum wallboard on studs • Reinforced masonry is difficult to breach • Stairways may be locked against re-entry..11 Forcible Entry • Building security (e.
11 Elevators (1 of 2) • Extrication of trapped persons requires detailed knowledge • Hardened and robust elevators and shafts recently developed • Some elevators inaccessible to fire fighters • Case example: One Meridian Plaza fire .
2001 .11 Elevators (2 of 2) • Shaft and elevator door restrictors prevent opening from inside • Case example: World Trade Center. September 11.
The burning rate of the fuel was estimated at 3 tons per minute .11 Smoke Movement in High-Rise Buildings • Thermal Energy • Is the principal smoke-moving mechanism • Can be massive • Case example: MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas.
11 Atmospheric Conditions • Lapse is when the atmospheric temperature decreases as height increases • Pause occurs if there is a layer of air warmer than the air below it • Inversion layer acts as a roof to rising smoke .
it may be impossible to move into the fire floor .11 Wind • If the windows are out and the fire is on the leeward side of the building. fire suppression may be ―a piece of cake‖ • If the fire on the windward side of the building.
11 Stack Effect (1 of 2) • The movement of air inside a tightly sealed building • Stack effect is not caused by a fire • Most significant in cold climates in the wintertime .
11 Stack Effect (2 of 2) • In winter: delivers smoke that has lost thermal energy to upper floors • In summer: makes cold smoke fall downward .
11 Air Conditioning • Individual room units • Single-floor systems • One or more building systems for the entire building • Modern systems have full-exhaust capability .
11 Smoke Removal Systems • Questions to ask • Will the fire department operate the system? • Will the building engineer operate it? .
11 Fire Control • Some say this can be accomplished by manipulating the air supply • There is no such thing as a clean-burning. materials generate toxic and explosive gases . hostile fire • In a fire.
11 Smoke Removal System Design • Design is an extremely complicated task • Can supplement the primary defense but it is certainly no substitute for adequate protection • Complex in larger buildings .
but modern buildings often have poor perimeter fire stopping and multiple penetrations for wiring .11 Compartmentation • Some assume that fire-resistive buildings automatically provide compartmentation • This may be case in older buildings.
11 Pressurized Stairways • One or more of the stairways equipped to be pressurized when fire occurs • Pressure differential will keep the stairways free of smoke • Occupants must be trained to use the proper stairway .
11 Installation of Special Equipment • Equipment designed to function in case of fire should be installed under the supervision of the fire department • Fire department should be familiar with its operation and supervise its testing and maintenance .
11 Fire Load and Flame Spread • Consider interior trim and contents • Fires can gain great headway in combustible trim • Case example: Multiple layers of wall coverings were a major factor in an Atlanta office building fire. 10 died .
11 Contents • The new flame spread problem • Case example: First Interstate Bank fire • Heavy fire loads may be found in special locations in high-rises • Heavy plastic loads • Wood paneling • Office supply areas. telephone rooms .
11 Maintenance Operations • Can provide unexpectedly serious fire loads • Case example: Union Bank Building fire in Los Angeles on July 18. 1988 .
11 Rubbish • Often is concentrated in one location • Condition of material results in high heat release rate • Case example: A rubbish fire in an elevator • Case example: Seven people died when a fire roared 35 stories up a blocked trash chute .
Puerto Rico .11 Alterations to Occupied Buildings • Hazard exists when a building is altered or rehabilitated while occupied • Hotels and motels tend to store furniture and materials haphazardly during renovations • Case example: The disastrous Dupont Plaza Hotel fire in San Juan.
11 Partial Occupancy of Buildings Under Construction • Fire protection systems are not complete • Doors may not yet be installed on stairways and elevators • LPG may be used in some areas .
It is up to the builder to provide the solution .11 Automatic Sprinklers • Only method to limit toxic gases released in a fire • The argument against sprinklers is usually an economic one • The builder is creating the problem for profit.
via re-entrant space? • Are floor joints adequate firestops? .11 Some Building Inventory Item Questions • What is the value of ―fireproofing‖? • Will ceiling tile failure permit partial collapse and open fire and smoke passage? • Will smoke and fire pass to voids above.
11 Horizontal Containment Questions • Are there utility openings or underfloor openings such as for computer cables? • Have you considered penetration of relatively lightweight gypsum partitions as a substitute for forcible door entry? • Are there deficiencies of stair enclosures? .
11 Hospitals and Nursing Homes • Non-ambulatory people • Are individuals who are not capable of self-preservation • The building. and you must protect them . the staff.
11 Older Facilities • Many lacked sprinkler protection • Many have relied on passive protection • Case example: An unsprinklered hospital in San Antonio in the late 1980s .
11 Key to Patient Safety • Move them horizontally. rather than vertically • Smoke barriers are one-hour fire-rated walls that subdivide each floor into two or more separate areas .
11 ―RACE‖ • R: Remove all people in immediate danger to safety • A: Activate the manual pull station and have someone call 911 • C: Close doors to confine the spread of smoke and fire • E: Extinguish the fire. if possible .
fires continue to occur .11 Hotels and Motels (1 of 2) • Sites of many serious fires in last 75 years • The 1990 Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act • Encouraged improvements in fire safety for these facilities nationwide • Despite improvements.
fire spread occurs through voids between the floors • In newer hotels.11 Hotels and Motels (2 of 2) • In older motels. interior corridors are conduits for smoke travel .
11 Jails and Prisons (1 of 2) • Inmates • Are restrained and are incapable of getting out of the building to save their lives • They rely on prison staff and the building for their safety .
big to small • Some use old technology. whereas others have none .11 Jails and Prisons (2 of 2) • Run the gamut from old to new. and some use new • Some have full sprinkler protection.
North Carolina. North Carolina • A recent fire in 2002 at the Mitchell County. jail killed eight inmates • This was a 1950s-era facility that required the manual opening of doors .11 Case Example: Jail Fire in Mitchell County.
11 Starting of Fires • Some jail fires start accidentally. but others are intentionally set by the inmates • Several fires over the years have involved the use of polyurethane foam in a padded cell .
11 Questions to Ask • Does the building have a sprinkler or smoke control system? • Does it have smoke barriers? • Are the inmates evacuated from the building? .
Indiana. in 2003 • Biblical Arts Center Museum in Dallas in 2005 .11 Museums and Libraries • Recent fires • 1986 Los Angeles Library fire • Holocaust museum in Terre Haute.
11 Fire Suppression System • Not always available • Some institutions rejected sprinklers as causing too much water damage .
11 Life Safety • The primary concern of fire fighters • Many museums and libraries have magnetic door locks • These are illegal .
11 Preincident Plan • Will assist greatly when a fire occurs • Ensure that the plan includes salvage operation details .
11 Library Stacks • Libraries are the original high stack storage buildings • Large main libraries have multi-level stack areas • Guarantees the spread of fire and destruction of the books .
New York • 2003 fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick. Rhode Island .11 Nightclub Fires • Case examples: • 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston • 1990 Happyland Social Club arson fire in the Bronx.
11 Within the Club • Patrons who are not fully aware of their surroundings • Clubs are often overcrowded • Locked egress doors complete the potential for a disaster .
Worn-Out Structures • Many clubs are located in such structures • Many of these existing clubs are not required to retrofit sprinklers .11 Old.
11 Office Buildings • Come in the five types of construction • Are large and small • Are high-rise or low-rise • Now built in the openoffice plan .
11 Fire Spread • Fire in a compartmentalized space is much different than a fire in an open office plan • Case example: One Meridian Plaza highrise fire in Philadelphia • Case example: Denver fire fighter killed in low-rise office building .
or with an exposed wood plank roof • Such a building should be fully sprinklered • Objection to sprinklers in a decorative wood structure is understandable .11 Open Area Structures • Construction: often of wood.
11 Non-Sprinklered Building • Try to keep out the kindling • Minimize the minor light combustible structures or elements that can ignite the whole building • Small structures should have sprinkler protection .
11 Parking Garages • May be partially or totally above grade and open to the atmosphere • All garage areas under buildings should be sprinklered • Dry standpipes mean it will be slow to get water to the nozzles of your hose lines .
11 Restaurants • Common fire location is in the kitchen • Model building codes do not require a firerated separation between the kitchen and the dining area .
11 Cooking Hood Extinguishing Systems • Author Corbett’s experience with them has not been all positive • Several of the systems have failed .
11 Preincident Planning • Note location of the utilities • Make note of the use of propane • Case example: The use of propane in a New Jersey shore restaurant where patrons were forced to break windows to escape the fire .
11 Schools: Building Code Regulations (1 of 2) • Shaped by the 1958 Our Lady of Angels fire in Chicago • Led to better and more frequent fire drills • Led to lower and more accessible windows for escape .
11 Schools: Building Code Regulations (2 of 2) • Also led to: • Abatement of open stairwells • Alarm systems • Fire-rated corridor and doors .
11 Unique Features of Schools • Corridor widths are much larger than normal • Egress systems may be unusual .
11 Potential Issues • Corridor lengths are particularly long • Note special hazards such as woodworking and machine shops .
11 Single Family Homes • The California Bungalow • Popular all across the country • Often there is no ridge beam in these homes • The attic often contains a high fire load of stored materials .
11 The Cape Cod • 1 ½-story home with a steep pitched roof • Is a platform-framed structure • Stairway to the second floor is near the front door .
large attics. there is a failure to place a detector in the attic . and extended overhangs • Spaced close together • Often.11 The Ranch House • Open interiors.
living room. the recreation room and laundry room • Platform-framed .11 The Split Level • Top level usually contains the bedrooms • The middle level. the dining room. and kitchen • The lower level.
11 The Victorian • Significant amounts of ornamentation • Steep pitched roofs • Balloon frame construction .
11 Taxpayers and Strip Malls • Taxpayers • Often of ordinary (Type III) construction • Commonly one story in height with full or partial basements and common cocklofts or attic spaces • Usually limited to 6 to 10 small stores .
11 Fire Spread in Taxpayers • Is typically through the cockloft above all of the stores • Movement of the structure below can cause the parapet to fall • Hazards include the steel plates on the roof • Rotted wood floors also dangerous .
Strip Mall Characteristics
• Construction varies (may be Type II, III or V) • Nearly all are one story • May or may not have basements; often have common cockloft or attic spaces • 15 to 20 small stores and a large anchor store or two • Greater store depth than in taxpayers
Strip Mall Surroundings
• Parking lot can be helpful, but also can be detrimental • Private hydrants must usually be used • Delivery truck driveway may be poorly maintained
• • • • Variety of tenants Variety of hazards Fire-rated separation Fire walls
11 Structural Fire Resistance • Increase the allowable area by increasing the fire resistance of the structural members • ―Fireproof‖ the steel by applying a fireresistive coating • Large nightclubs require a higher level of structural fire resistance .
• Some building codes require automatic sprinklers for retail sales rooms larger than 12,000 square feet • Others require sprinklers for mercantile fire areas larger than 12,000 square feet
Facts to Know about Sprinkler Systems (1 of 2)
• The areas of the strip mall that are sprinklered • Whether the system provides complete protection • The type of system—wet or dry
Facts to Know about Sprinkler Systems (2 of 2)
• The location(s) of the main riser control valve(s) • The location of the fire department connection and the areas of the building it supplies
11 Utilities • Most modern strip malls have multiple utility meters/cutoffs • The meters/cutoffs should be identified by ―suite‖ number • Note the location of the utility meter bank in your preincident plan .
11 Forcing Entry • How you will gain access through the front and rear doors? • Roll-down metal shutters • Rear doors may have metal bars • During your preincident visits. make sure doors are identified by number .
11 Firefighting Considerations • Fire can spread readily from tenant space to tenant space • A roof of solid wood joists • A strip mall with steel bar-joists and a built-up roof • Fires in wood truss voids • You must get ahead of the fire .
hanging curtains. drops. and support rooms • Platform is a raised area in a building where there are only lighting and sound effects .11 Theaters • Stages and Platforms • Stage has a proscenium arch and wall. and scenery. lighting.
11 Requirements for Stages (1 of 2) • More extensive fire protection requirements than platforms • A fire-resistant proscenium curtain • Flame-resistant scenery • Heat vents over the stage .
11 Requirements for Stages (2 of 2) • Two-hour-rated separations between the stage and appurtenant rooms • Sprinkler protection • Class III standpipe • Case example: 1903 fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago .
11 Warehouses (1 of 2) • • • • Huge concentrations of fuel Tremendous dollar values Few employees per unit of area Failure to segregate extra-hazardous materials such as flammable liquids • Failure to raise the bottom layer of stock above the floor .
either in initial design or in maintenance • High rack storage .11 Warehouses (2 of 2) • Vulnerability to arson • Failure of management to give attention • Inadequate fire protection.
11 Pallets • Lift truck allows stock to stacked on pallets • Pallet storage system provides as much as 36 times the surface area as boxes stacked solid • Idle pallet storage is dangerous .
11 Shelving • Creates miniature floors • Case example: An estimated $14 million loss occurred in a rack storage warehouse in Kernersville. North Carolina. in March 1981 .
11 NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems • Fire Department Connection (FDC) used to be optional • NFPA 13 now requires the connection except for systems of 20 sprinklers or less .
11 Modern Rack Storage Warehouses • Now found across the country • Noncombustible construction • The size can be unlimited .
11 Merchandise • Handled by mechanical equipment • Operation is fully or partially automated .
11 Rack Storage Warehouse Fire Resistance • Like a multi-storied building without the fire resistance provided by even the poorest floor • Early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinklers can suppress a fire without inrack sprinklers .
11 Dry Storage of Boats • Special type of rack storage warehouse • Stacks boats several levels high in open or partially enclosed rack structures • Boats are of combustible fiberglass. and many contain fuel .
11 Warehouse Concerns • Modern contents of warehouses are increasingly higher-hazard materials • Automatic sprinkler systems that are adequate for the job as installed can be defeated by changes in the operation and storage patterns of the warehouse .
it is inherently noncombustible • Building is not inherently fire resistive • Concrete T-beam roofs • Conventional metal deck built-up roof .11 The Building • If a building is concrete.
11 Static Defenses: Fire Walls and Fire Doors (1 of 2) • Fire walls in steel structures • Probably are not free standing • Offer passive fire protection as long as no openings exist .
but may be decorative or pierced • Combined elements may not function together effectively .11 Static Defenses: Fire Walls and Fire Doors (2 of 2) • Solid masonry wall parapeted through the roof is the most dependable fire barrier.
11 Dynamic Defenses: Automatic Sprinkler Protection • Unparalleled record of suppression or control of incipient fires • Record cannot be taken as an indication of what can happen in a high or dense storage warehouse .
11 Failure in a Sprinkler System • Early distortion and collapse of the steel roof from which the sprinkler system is suspended • Exacerbated by the exposure presented by a fire in stored pallets .
11 Fire Hazards Growing • Fixed oscillating nozzles may be used • Such systems used for large lumber piles and refineries .
11 Foam System Protection • Some sprinkler systems deliver low expansion foam • Used for flammable liquid fires • Case use: The Chicago Tribune’s rolledpaper warehouse .
11 Attitudes: Management • Unlikely that management is fully familiar with the details of serious fires • Case example: Smithsonian Institution • Case example: Warehouses holding what they were not designed to hold .
11 Fire Department Actions • • • • Initial planning and plan review Inspection of construction Routine and special inspections Regular liaison with the warehouse manager • Adequate planning for fire suppression .
11 Preplanning • Liaison officer disseminates information to all who should have it • Warehouse manager should designate a specific senior subordinate to maintain relationship with the fire department liaison officer .
outward and inward .11 On the Fire Ground • Watch for these collapses or failures • Combustible metal deck roof fires • Pretensioned concrete T-beams • Truss roof • Connections of heavy timber roof • Tilt-slab walls.
11 Racks • May be erected across the openings at the far end of aisles • May make dead-end aisles .
11 Fire Fighter Access Doors • Should be every 100 feet in a high-piled stock warehouse • The doors should be opened/forced early in the fire to provide emergency egress for fire fighters .
11 Solid Rack Shelves • Garment making generates huge amounts of combustible scraps • Case example: Triangle Shirtwaist fire (New York. 1912) • Misunderstanding about unsprinklered shelving • Sprinkler spray blocked by shelves .
11 Ventilation • Better to close up the building and let the sprinklers do the job. or to vent it and attempt a combined attack? • Case example: Smoke removal fans for a fire in a walk-in dumpster .
11 Handline Operations • ―Follow the hose back to safety if lost‖ • Hose line fed from an interior hose outlet is not a lifeline • If interior outlets are used. lifelines should be strung to the exterior from the outlet .
11 Personal Safety • All planning should place the safety of fire fighters first • No one else is going to take care of it .
11 Summary (1 of 3) • Occupancy influences building construction • Combustible multiple dwellings include garden apartments. modern row and townhouses and similar structures • Hospitals and nursing homes have numerous non-ambulatory people .
11 Summary (2 of 3) • Jail and prison inmates rely on staff and fire fighters for evacuation • Houses of worship span the five basic types of construction and can present a myriad of challenges for fire fighters • Office buildings can be built using any of the five types of construction .
11 Summary (3 of 3) • Nightclubs are typically overcrowded and occupant judgment may be impaired • Warehouse rack storage has brought major fire problems to Anyplace. USA .
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