Firefighting

Identifying Lightweight Construction

Issue 4 and Volume 164.

By ROBERT MORAN The State of New Jersey has been a leader in the exterior identification of truss-built structures for many years. This proactive approach to providing fire suppression units with first-due knowledge of the buildings they are operating in resulted from two tragic truss collapses that occurred in the state during the past 43 years. The first occurred in 1968 at a bowling alley fire in Cliffside Park that killed five Ridgefield firefighters when a truss roof collapse pushed out an exterior wall, trapping the five members under the debris. The second collapse occurred in 1988 at a car dealership fire in Hackensack, which killed five Hackensack firefighters. At the Hackensack incident, the catastrophic truss roof collapse and resulting debris pile also buried and trapped the five members. New Jersey’s current system is excellent for identifying truss constructed buildings and enhances firefighter safety across the state. This truss symbol…

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