Fire Prevention & Protection

The Art of Building Intelligence: Preparing High-Rise Operational Battle Plans

Issue 1 and Volume 173.

If you were to read the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Firefighter Fatality Investigation reports of firefighter line-of-duty deaths (Figure 1), you would note that these reports often cite the need for preincident planning for all buildings. That realization becomes significantly apparent for tall sophisticated high-rise buildings. The preincident plans will include all of the pertinent details of a high-rise building—its characteristics; construction type; dimensions; and floor plans with stair shafts, elevator banks, and fire protection systems. All of these data are considered “building intelligence” (BI). In a high-rise building environment, the need for preincident planning and BI is more profound because of the structures’ complexity in design, building systems, and divergent floor layouts.     The NIOSH reports also recommend that a dispatch center broadcast available building information while the crews are responding. These announcements will trigger firefighter awareness and familiarization with the building and provide…

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