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Temporary heating devices must be properly located and utilize in accordance with the terms of the listing.

The fire prevention program superintendent is responsible for supervising the permit system for hot work operations.

Qualified personnel should have some form of identification that indicates that they are competent and prepared to carry out fire safety functions.

Temporary heating devices should be listed and labeled in accordance with the international mechanical code or the international fuel gas code the installation, maintenance and use of temporary heating devices shall be in accordance with the terms of the listing.

Approved vehicle access for firefighting shall be provided to all construction sites. Vehicle access shall be provided to within 100 feet of temporary or permanent fire department connections.

Vehicle access shall be provided by either temporary or permanent roads capable of supporting a vehicle loaded under all weather conditions. Vehicle access shall be maintained until permanent fire apparatus roads are available.

Aerial equipment is absolutely essential to be able to reach into fire areas of buildings of this type. If your station has aerial capacity the pre-plan should include how it would be properly placed and utilized.

Not all aerial equipment will come from the authority having jurisdiction. In some cases it might be provided by mutual aid. Regardless of the source of the aerial equipment proper deployment to provide exposure protection should be preplanned.

The sections of this manual are being discussed shall apply to structures in the course of construction. The primary emphasis in this program is on buildings under construction. It is not the intention of this material to address demolition alteration or remodeling.

This material describes minimum safeguards for construction to provide reasonable safety to the life and property of the building owner from fire during such operations and to also provide fire and life safety stability for emergency operations personnel.

If a fire occurs in a building under construction the fire flow that may be generated will be much larger than what would have been calculated for the building. The department should prepare to maximize water supply and utilize a larger streams during suppression operations.

Asphalt and tar kettles should be operated in accordance with model code and any roofing operations utilizing heat producing systems are other ignition sources shall be operated by a contractor licensed and bonded the type of roofing process to be performed.

The owner of these types of buildings shall designate a person to be the fire prevention program superintendent who is responsible for the fire prevention program. It is their job to ensure that all aspects are carried out to the completion of the project. This person shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of model code and any other provisions such as NFPA standards necessary to secure the intent of this goal.

An approved water supply for fire protection, either temporary or permanent, shall be made available as soon as combustible materials arrive on the site.

Fire hydrants are easily obscured on the scene of construction sites. In this case, a trash container is placed in front of the hydrant rendering it almost useless. Such obstacles should be removed immediately.

The following fire occurred in Virginia on the 4000 block of Fairfax Drive-2111 Jefferson Davis Hwy. This fire occurred on a Sunday afternoon about 4 PM. The slides were taken by Hank Dayton who was the on-duty fire marshal when the fire occurred. Basically the entire floor was involved when units arrived. A decision was made to fight the fire from the outside. There are photos on the Falls Church Volunteer fire Department website showing the ladder pipes being used. There were five or six set-up during the operation http://www.fallschurchvfd.org/ Plus deck guns were used to place fire streams on the building.

The main objective during extinguishment was the safety of personnel. That is why the ladder pipes were used. Given that concrete have been poured on Saturday there was a fear of structural collapse. The forms were made of plywood and the supports were two by fours. The wood materials were very dry and had been sprayed with a liquid to keep the plywood from sticking to the concrete. These materials accelerated the fire spread. It was said that we were “fighting a lumberyard fire, but it was seven stories in the air.” Contact was made with the construction company and they were on the scene to give advice to command of the potential for structural collapse. It was their opinion that collapse could occur because of the concrete not being sufficiently cured. It was estimated that it took several days for the concrete to cure properly. Fortunately, there were not any structural failures. It was theorized that the heat of the fire rapidly cured the concrete, but the entire pour of concrete was removed because it was not stable enough for the building. On the fire floor there were propane tanks. Those ruptured during the fire and rocketed across the floor. Some where there are photos of the flame from the exploding tanks shooting laterally towards Fairfax Drive. One photo shows an exploding tank and the resulting flame. Information provided by Thomas M Hawkins, retired Fire Chief.

OUR MISSION »


The mission of this website is to provide background information to both public and private sector organizations regarding how to reduce the frequency and severity of fires during construction. This site identifies many best management practices that were collected during a literature search.

WHO WE ARE

This website was developed as a cooperative effort of the American Wood Council, an industry based Stakeholders Group and Fireforceone. The original research was based on search for management practices that could be utilized to “Reduce Fires in Buildings Under Construction”. The primary target audiences are those involved in the construction of large-area, multi-family housing.


 
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