Fire Prevention & Protection

Preplanning Building Hazards

Issue 4 and Volume 152.

Preplanning Building Hazards BY FRANCIS L. BRANNIGAN,SFPE Editor`s note: For further reference, consult Building Construction for the Fire Service (BCFS3), Third Edition. Page numbers, where applicable, are included after the caption. Click here to enlarge image Click here to enlarge image Click here to enlarge image (Left) Pre-World War II high-rises characteristically had wet masonry block and brick panel or curtain walls built in a concrete floor. This was excellent inherent firestopping.1 There were a few well-firestopped penetrations. Fire and smoke migration were limited, but modern practice uses precast concrete or imitation concrete panels for speedier and cheaper construction (middle). In this case, the “firestopping” meets my definition of legal firestopping2 and consists of (right) the light blue “inhibited” polystyrene panels (chemicals were added to reduce or stop flame spread). The building department permitted the use of the panels because of the flame-resistant characteristic, ignoring the fact that they will…

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