Firefighting

THE IMPACT OF BUILDING CODE CHANGES ON FIRE SERVICE SAFETY

Issue 4 and Volume 158.

BY RICHARD R. LICHT Although dramatic changes have been made in U.S. building codes over the past several years, most of these have been made without significant input from the group that faces the dangerous challenges of fire suppression-the fire service. Changes to the building codes are driven largely by architects, engineers, building owners, construction material manufacturers, and others focused on controlling or reducing construction costs. There is surprisingly little testimony from the firefighters, fire marshals, fire chiefs, and fire inspectors and investigators. Among their own peer groups, the various fire services participate in the development of fire codes, but there has been historically little crossover communication between construction interests and fire services when building codes are revised. Click here to enlarge image Unfortunately, fire services professionals are often not educated in building technology. Even veteran firefighters can be at a loss to express themselves in “building code language” at…

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