Issue 4 and Volume 158.

BY JEFF SHUPE “Disposable buildings” are everywhere, in cities and towns across the country, from rural hamlets to crowded urban centers. This term, coined in the fire service, refers to newer buildings, especially those built using Type II Noncombustible construction, and that employ lightweight structural materials. These buildings meet code requirements and may be required to have internal fire protection systems. However, the materials used in their construction are lacking in size and mass. This lack of structural mass or density will have a direct correlation to the building’s time to failure under heavy fire conditions. (1) The fire was located inside the building’s B/C corner. The upper left corner of the wall shows a long vertical crack resulting from the movement of structural members distorted by exposure to heat. The presence of such unsafe conditions must be communicated to all hands operating at the scene. (Photos by author.) Click…

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