Fire Test in High Rise Conducted by New York

Fire Test in High Rise Conducted by New York

DEPARTMENTS

From the Publisher’s Desk

It isn’t often that a fire chief from a big city fire department can find time (and then take the time) to write a magazine article. But occasionally they do, and happily these rare articles find their way into the pages of Fire Engineering.

As an example, we point to the article by Chief John T. O’Hagan of the New York Fire Department that appears on page 35 of this issue. The article has a unique theme: “at what point does a fire fighter become too tired to perform efficient fire duty?”

Admittedly, New York is a unique department, having as it does many companies that roll anywhere from 3000 to 6000 times a year. Smaller departments can’t exactly relate to this work load. But smaller departments can, and frequently do, run into two or three severe fires on a tour. When this happens, the same factors apply as in New York. And the same, or perhaps similar, type of relief should be sought.

Still on the “rarity” kick we want to call your attention to the description of a “house burning” that took place in New York last April. The “house” on this occasion happened to be a 22-story office building in lower Manhattan that was awaiting demolition.

Following two severe high rise fires in New York, a Mayor’s Committee on High Rise Buildings was formed. The problem of smoke control in stairways ranked high on the committee’s list, but there was little information to go on. A proposal was made to conduct tests in a high rise building, using fullscale fires to determine the feasibility of pressurizing stair shafts, and exhausting smoke through a vertical shaft.

The Port of New York Authority permitted use of the 22-story building, and the City of New York and the New York Board of Fire Underwriters provided the money. Naturally, Chief O’Hagan and the New York Fire Department provided the manpower.

You can read Chief O’Hagan’s preliminary report of the tests in the September issue of Fire Engineering.

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