Building Construction

The Problematic Parapet

Issue 08 and Volume 173.

ON FIRE ❘ by MICHAEL N. CIAMPO The definition of the word parapet is “a low protective wall or railing to protect the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge.” The definition of a word isn’t always its true meaning—specifically, the word “low” in this definition can be inaccurate. While approaching a roof, we’ve all encountered the high parapet from the tower ladder, after climbing the aerial ladder, or as we’re ready to dismount a portable ladder. The parapet has many issues and can be problematic for firefighters and firefighting operations. RELATED FIREFIGHTER TRAINING Parapet Collapse: An Old Danger for Today’s Firefighters Firefighter Training Drill: Parapet Walls Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Cornices and Parapets PARAPET COLLAPSE:A SERIOUS DANGER FOR FIREFIGHTERS Signs and Canopies When sizing up a commercial structure such as a taxpayer or strip mall, be aware of signs and canopies tied into the parapet; they can extend well…

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