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Leveraging Building Intelligence for an Initial Response and Beyond

BY JACK J. MURPHY Since the late 1980s, the national fire service has been forewarned about lightweight construction, yet only two states1 have adopted legislation to identify lightweight truss construction with a building placarding system. Today, even these warning signs are outdated. There are newer lightweight structural members, such as cold-formed steel and wooden laminated I-beams, and other construction features that also pose potential risk to firefighters. Other dangerous innovations include green buildings with vegetative and solar panel roofs; the exterior finish insulation system building shell, which can cause an outside fire to create internal fire conditions that can quick...

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