Fire Behavior: Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Autoexposure

Article and photos by Gregory Havel The term "autoexposure" is one that is less often heard today than in the past. Chief Vincent Dunn defines it as "the spread of flames from one floor to the floor above on the outside of the building."1 When a fire on a lower floor of a building is ventilated horizontally, either by the fire or by firefighters, the products of combustion will rise up the exterior of the building and expose the windows and rooms of the floors above to smoke, heat, and eventually ignition. This has been known to be a potential problem for centuries. Autoexposure has recently been in the news from the Middle East, where new modern high-rise buildings wi...

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