Firefighting

BEWARE THE ROOF

Issue 5 and Volume 149.

BEWARE THE ROOF BY RAY DOWNEY Since the beginning of the fire service, collapses have been a particular concern for responders. Building structures, regardless of the materials used in their construction and design, are susceptible to collapse for a variety of reasons. Hurricanes and tornadoes have a devastating effect on structures. The impact from fires and explosions certainly can add to any building`s instability. Building failure is usually the most destructive effect of earthquakes. Failures of building components such as walls, floors, columns, and roofs resulting from overloading or uneven distribution of loads are other common reasons for collapses. COLLAPSE CAUSED BY THE BLIZZARD OF 1996 The Blizzard of 1996, which struck many parts of the United States, resulted in numerous roof collapses that caused many injuries and a number of deaths. On Long Island, New York, for example, the roof of a 50,000-square-foot, one-story commercial building used as a…

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