Fire Fighters
Expands and looses strength
Aluminum is occasionally used as a structural material in buildings
Expands more than steel
Windows door skylights sometimes walls
noncombustible but not fire resistive
Ordinary window glass
tempered glass
Laminated Glass
Glass blocks
Wired glass
Gypsum board
Naturally occuring mineral
Good insulator and noncombustible
Gypsum board is often used to cover interior walls and ceilings
Paper covering will burn slowly
Does not conduct or release much heat
Most commonly used building materials
Types include
Solid lumber
Laminated wood
Wood panels
Wood trusses
Wood beams
High combustibility
Acts as fuel in fire
Fire depends
size and form
Pyrolysis is a chemical change that occurs when wood is heated to a temperatures high enough to release volatile compounds
Fire retardant treated wood
More difficult to ignite
Often combined with other materials to produce building products
Combustibility varies greatly
Often produce heavy smoke and toxic gases
Thermoplastic materials
Melt and drip when exposed to high temperatures
Thermoset materials
Fused by heat and will not melt as plastic burns
Fire inspectors must recognize 5 types of construction
Types 1 and 2 and primarily noncombustible
Types 3,4, and 5 burn
Building codes specify type of construction to be used
Type 1 construction
The most fire resistive category
Buildings designed for large numbers of people
With high life safety hazard
Tall buildings
large area buildings
buildings containing special hazards
Can with stand a fire longer than any other class of construction
All structural members made of noncombustible or limited combustible materials
Buildings beyond specific height and area limits generally require use of fire resistive walls/floors
Typically uses reinforced concrete and protected steel frame construction
Type 2
Noncombustible construction
Less stringent fire requirments
Steel is most commonly used
Contents determine fire combustibility
Type 3
Used in wide variaty
Limited fire resistance requirments
Fuel loads
Combustibility building materials
Fire resistance rating depends on when the building was built
Type 4
Exterior walls of masonry construction
Wooden interior, walls, columns, beams floor, assemblies, roof structure
When constructed to meet code, has no concealed spaces
Withstands fire better than ordinary construction
Mill construction
Conversions may introduce voids and flammable contents
Type 5
All major components made of wood or other materials
most common type of construction
Often no fire resistive components
Can rapidly become involved in fire
Usually has voids and channels that allow fire spread
Newer construction is lighter weight
Buildings can collapse completely
Covering does not reflect type of construction
Two systems used to assemble
Ballon frame constructed
Platform frame constructed
Transfer weight of building (Dead load) and contents of building ( live load) to ground
Essential to building stability
When inspecting looking for cracks
Load bearing walls
Supports buildings weight and contents
Transmits load to foundation
Damaging or removing can result in building collapse
Nonbearing walls
Support only their own weight
Removal should not affect structural support of building
Less stable than load bearing walls
Party walls
Shared by a building on each side of a property line
Fire walls
Designed to limit fire spread from one side of the wall to the other
Fire partitions
May enclose fire rated interior corridors
Parapet walls
Extend above roof line
In deteriorated state prone to collapse
Can rest on load bearing or non load bearing walls
Masonry walls may withstand rigorous assault by fire
Wood framing is used to construct the walls in many small commercial buildings
Can be covered with a variety of materials
Doors and windows
In an emergency almost interchangeable
Door components
Locking device
Types of swinging doors
Slab doors-Solid core or hallow core
Ledge doors
Panel doors
Inward opening doors
Outward opening doors
Sliding doors
Revolving doors
Overhead doors
Fire doors and windows
Designed to prevent passage of flames heat and smoke
Rated for particular duration of fire resistance standard test
Interior Finish-exposed interior surfaces of a building
Affects reaction of building or occupancy to a fire
Fire fighters must evaluate the combination of interior finish materials

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Fire Fighters And Use Of Fire. (May 31, 2021). Retrieved from