Tue, 27 Apr 2010|
Paul Dansbach looks at some of the dangers firefighters face when fighting a fire at a wood-frame building under construction.
[BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Hi, I'm Paul Dansbach, and welcome to Fire Engineering's Training Minutes. Today we're going to look at some of the hazards that firefighters might face while operating at a wood frame building under construction or renovation. One of the most challenging fires a firefighter can be presented with is a building under construction. In a wood framed building that's under construction, we have to consider the lack of interior finish is going to lead to rapid fire development. There are a few other features of a building under construction that should be noted that present some significant hazards to the firefighters. If we look up above we see what will in the end be a finished open well. That finished open well will when completed be surrounded by a railing. The railing when completed will provide safety for the occupants from falling into the open well. Right now, as we see the structure under construction. We see a temporary rail consisting of two by fours. That two by four will prevent any of the tradesmen from falling into the open well. Unfortunately, a firefighter crawling across that floor is likely if they don't see the construction feature of this building. They might fall through that opening. So that open well during construction creates a hazard to the firefighters. Another unique construction features to this house is the construction of an elevator shaft. Here we can see the contractor has installed. A couple of pieces of two by to create a guard for the trades people and for the firefighters. We see this guard installed at the lower level as an indicator for a firefighter crawling that there might be an open wall at that location. This open, this vertical opening, opening in the floors also. Will allow for rapid, vertical fire extinction, in this building that has no interior finish. Another area of concern for firefighter operating on a building under construction, is any open stairway. This is the existing stairway to the structure where part of the railing or a wall has been removed. This creates a fall hazard for the firefighters. Even the temporary guard across the stairway. Is incomplete and not very stable. Firefighters operating or stretching a hose line could very easily dislodge this temporary rail, again creating an opening for the firefighters to fall. Another point that has to be made about any building under construction is that conditions can change on almost a daily basis. This is the existing stairway. At some point in time during this renovation, this stairway will be removed and replaced with a new stairway. So there will be a period of time where there will be no stairway in this stair opening. Again, keep in mind that conditions at the construction site can change almost on a daily basis. Fighting a fire at a wood framed building under construction presents a unique challenge to firefighters. Take the time to visit construction sites in your jurisdiction. Thanks for watching this video, and have a safe day. [BLANK_AUDIO]