Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting

What Building and Fire Codes Tell Us

Issue 3 and Volume 170.

By Gregory Havel Thousands of years of history suggest that people do not often build their buildings, villages, towns, and cities with regard for the safety or property of their neighbors. Instead, most building seems to be driven by the short-term goals of convenience, speedy completion, and low cost. Speedy construction and low cost produce acceptable results at the time of first occupancy, but this can set the stage for disasters such as uncontrollable fires, structural collapse, conflagration, and destruction of neighborhoods and cities by earthquakes or windstorms. Government officials and the people react to these disasters by enacting laws and ordinances to prevent or reduce the severity of future occurrences. Despite the lessons in history, builders and their clients often comply only with the letter of the law, circumventing its intent and the lessons to be learned from history in the interest of economical construction, thus setting the stage…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now