Building Construction and Hazards for Firefighters. Free Essay

Published: 2023-03-23
Building Construction and Hazards for Firefighters. Free Essay
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Knowledge Engineering Disaster
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1685 words
15 min read

Modern-day firefighting demands an understanding of building construction a, Occupancy Risk Profiling (ORP), and structural makeup by firefighters. The identification, assessment, likelihood, and intrinsic traits of building performance under fire conditions must not only get understood but also get advanced into the adoptive fire-management model and flexible Incident Action Plan (IAP). Firefighters must study building and construction; knowledge can get acquired on how to date a structure, forecast failure propensities, and patterns, control fire severity from smoke issues, and address the creation of vents on such an erection. Firefighters can make different critical assessments on controlling fires by analyzing types of buildings. Such evaluations involve determinative categorizations towards forestalling variables in structural reliability and resilience against fires. It also includes enhanced fire loads and different fire concentration levels during the preliminary and continued fire clampdown. House's primary function is providing shelter, although different building types built according to the set building and construction policies and legislations should factor in fire hazards and provide for efficient firefighting operations.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Building Types

Type 1: Fire-Resistive

Type 1 structures are generally high-raised and the firmest of the different kinds of constructions when attacked by fire. Skyscrapers are structures towering over 75 feet, with some interventions making alterations for buildings that are 35-55 feet high (Frassetto, 2012). The type 1 erection gets built from concrete and covered steel, which gets covered with fire-resilient matter that is majorly characterized by concrete blends. It gets designed to withstand fire for a lengthy amount of time containing the fire at its point of origin, be it a room or floor. Ventilating such buildings is usually a challenge; for instance, horizontal aeration. Windows are dense and made of toughened glass terming it an ineffective approach for ventilating the structure (Corbett & Brannigan, 2015). As such ladder groups must be fast in fortifying the stairwells for both firefighters and building occupants, with such building required to have self-pressurizing stairways and have HVAC systems aiding in air movement

Type 2: Non - Combustible

Type 2 structures are common in newer constructions and modifications of commercial erections. Type 2 dividers and tops get erected from non-combustible components. For instance, the walls might be strengthened brickwork or slant block, with the roofing getting constructed with metal structural supports and flooring. Rooftops often enclosed with lightweight material, foam, cloistered skins, or a blend of these supplies. Since most of type 2 houses are new, they likely meet the set code and entail fire clampdown systems (Buchanan and Abu, 2017). Firefighters are advised to suspect type 2 constructions, especially in fresher commercial buildings, with good habits to practice, including sounding walls to establish whether they get made of flammable provisions.

Type 3: Ordinary

The type 3 building is either of the modern time or older structure entailing nonflammable walls and a timber roof. Notably, older buildings might involve unreinforced masonry and have a predictably mounted ridge. Fresher houses will have lightweight ridge systems that are reinforced by brickwork or slope slab. The most employed ridge setting under type 3 building comprises parallel string truss and panelized ridge structures. For ease of identification of the building type, firefighters should look out for hints, such as collar links, king's rackets, and rounded rafters. During fire operations, fighters should be suspicious of unoriginally mounted material that might get battered, built-up ridges, and roofs installed on other rooftop systems (Buchanan & Abu, 2017). Where the roof has gets established as tenable, the ladder operators should be able to successfully use chainsaws to air the structure making the right cuts as per the roof system. New constructions use bind arrangements in both penalized and corresponding cord bind ridges type that fail hastily and unpredictably with straight fire exposure.

Type 4: Heavy Timber

The type four structure is standard among older houses, which are mostly characterized by huge lumber in their structural support. Type four buildings get characterized by their ability to resist fires for quite lengthy periods. Firefighters must not develop a sense of confidence in these structures since their maintenance is demanding, and they tend to be degraded by termites and age-rated issues that can contribute to their collapse following fires. The structures get easily recognized by their big woods used on walls and their long-distance ridge lengths. The buildings also likely date back to before 1960 when screws and steel plates get employed as connectors. Vertical aeration might easily get attained on such structures via sawing (White & Woeste, 2013).

Type 5: Wood-Framed

Type 5 constructions are a common occurrence in many of contemporary households. Walls and rooftops get created of flammable resources, with the most common material being wood. Mostly, where the wood dividers get framed from so are the roofing materials (Smith, 2000). Ridges are earthenware tile or tarmac grits placed over lightweight tethers and OSB. Lightweight erections will collapse in minutes of straight fire exposure. Firefighters must sound the walls before scaling the ridge, and substitutes to ridge aeration should always get considered, especially where there is substantial loft involvement. Positive-Pressure employment is also a tool that has proved to be biennial for type 5 constructions (Corbett & Brannigan, 2015).

Upshots of Building Construction and Firefighting Operations

Fire Resistive - Type 1

Type 1 building offers several strengths concerning firefighting operations. For instance, type 1 will provide the uppermost level of shield against fire spread and development as well as structural failure. The apparatuses making the walls, floorings, and ceilings withstand fire for three to four hours, with the structure likely to persist and be steady during fires, thus facilitating a sense of security from collapse. The buildings also engage in fire safety schemes and fire-rated assemblies. However, the buildings do have several weaknesses that might hinder firefighting operations. For instance, sprayed-on fire fortification on steel may be detached, which might expose the steel. Besides, concrete might spall over the lengthen attack by fire. Widows in such buildings are also difficult to open, making it difficult to ventilate (Kobes, M., Helsloot, I., De Vries, B., & Post, J. G, 2010).

Non-Combustible - Type 2

Firefighters controlling fires under type two structures lose efficiency since the uncovered metal structures make the building vulnerable to collapse. Besides, materials used with the roof, such as insulation foam, asphalt waterproofing, and rubber, might be highly flammable, which can cause distinct fires above and below the ridge. Ceiling voids can also permit a weighty size of heated gasses to amass overhead. The heat weakens unprotected steel, which can lead to failure and collapse (Coffey, 2011).

Ordinary - Type 3

Type 3 constructions hold back firefighting operations by complicating the operations via its common party walls, where joists might sit in wall sockets, which offers potentials for parallel braze extension. Besides, common cocklofts or garrets may exist, permitting for fire spread. Notably, older buildings will entail frame members of considerable dimensions that will hold up well during fires; however, they can and will fail to cause collapse (Salameh, 2018).

Heavy Timber - Type 4

The dense timber structure presents a strength of having significant frame members that uphold the building from an aggressive attack. At the same time, the floor gets equipped with a drainage system that channels water used in firefighting, an aspect that lessens water heaviness and thus reduces structural failure potential. Nonetheless, the floor might be oil-soaked, making it highly farmable. The structural members are lumbering of significant sizes and contribute to large fuel loads to a fire. Despite, their construction with large volumes of wood were not predisposed to collapse, under lengthy fire attacks the building will likely fail and collapse (White & Woeste, 2013).

Wood Frame - Type 5

The critical strength with such buildings during firefighting operations is that their platform erection offers some obstacles to vertical extensions of fire (Coffey, 2011). Nonetheless, their flaw gets considered to be the element the wood will burn; the building will possibly have empty spaces that contribute to the formation of widespread frames (Naum, 2012). Their collapse potentials are high as the frame structure does pose a breakdown danger as they lose their weight-holding capacity owing to the effects of the fire.

Collapse Potential

The collapse potential for type 1 construction occurs only under sustained attack by fire, during which it collapses (Salameh, 2018). For instance, the 9/11 World Trade Center presents a life-threatening sample. The inflammable buildings offer a higher collapse possibility since the essential frame members are exposed, thus exposing them to fire and heat causing them to fail swiftly, which leads to the early collapse of such structures. The type 2 buildings will also suffer a steel extension, which can cause the breakdown of external walls and fortifications. Steel will begin to stretch at 800 degrees, and it will likely fail in heats above 1000 degrees.

The regular building or type 3 construction has structural members that are big enough that will hold up well under fire attack; however, they get destined to fail at some point. Lightweight lumber structural frames give in faster under fire exposure. At the same time, fire-cut beams permit the inside of the construction to break down with brickwork walls staying intact, an aspect that affects the operation of firefighters within the building.

Type 4 despite getting constructed with substantial sizes of wood, and not be prone to collapse, they will likely fail under lengthened exposure to fire. The joint connections under type 4 constructions are susceptible as per their connection points. Finally, the wood frame or type five construction has frame structures that pose collapse concerns since they will tend to lose their load-carrying capacity as burn. Log cottages are significant, and they mostly will only suffer roof collapse (Salameh, 2018).

In conclusion, despite the different construction types, all structures burning extent gets determined by their construction materials. Each construction type is unique, an aspect that makes it critical for firefighters to have proper working information pertaining to building construction, which should entail the components and links employed, how fire and smoke will likely spread both inside and outside the structure. Even critically, firefighters must learn how fires affect materials and connections, understanding what might and happens when they fail. Such knowledge will enhance firefighting and the safety of firefighters.


Buchanan, A. H., & Abu, A. K. (2017). Structural design for fire safety. John Wiley & Sons.

Coffey, M. (2011). Building Construction: How It Affects Your Firefighting. Carolina Fire Journal.

Cite this page

Building Construction and Hazards for Firefighters. Free Essay. (2023, Mar 23). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism