Building Construction, Firefighting, Truck Company

Modern Wood-Frame Construction: Firefighting Problems and Tactics

Issue 1 and Volume 167.

BY SCOTT JOERGER Modern construction techniques and lightweight wood construction are not new. Wood roof trusses have been around since the 1960s. Modern construction refers to a newly built structure or a structure that has undergone significant renovations. Lightweight wood construction refers to engineered wood products used in modern wood-frame structures; they have less area mass and are lighter than components used to build older houses. Firefighters have been faced with additional challenges in modern wood-frame structure fires as the buildings have become more and more lightweight. Today, wood trusses and wooden I-beams are used as framing or structural members; thin boards are used for sheathing or decking made of 4- by 8-foot oriented strand board (OSB) and plywood; and dimensional wood pieces are used for studs, joists, and beams that are different in size and time to failure under fire conditions than the wood components used prior to World…

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