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Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Structural Collapse

By Gregory Havel All structures of any type of construction are similar in that they can be damaged or destroyed by natural forces like earthquakes, floods, and high winds and by accidental or deliberate acts like fire, explosion, and impact. Damage to a structure can be localized or severe enough to cause its complete destruction or collapse. The extent of the damage is affected by the strength and fire resistance of the structural members, their location in the structure, and the severity of the force or act. Strength, fire resistance, and damage issues of structural members include the following: In Type V (wood-frame) buildings, all structural members are combustible. Those of manuf...

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