Past installments of this series introduced the strategic classification of building construction. Ordered strategically, based on perceived fire resistance, the five basic types of building construction were listed as follows: Type I — Fire Resistive Type II — Non-Combustible Type IV...
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This is perhaps the most difficult time in fire service history to identify the type of building construction. Each of the five types of building construction, and their hybrids, will behave differently when exposed to the heat generated by a contents fire. Each type of construction features methods and materials that behave differently when exposed to the heat generated by a contents fire. Three of the five types of gravity-resistance systems are allowed by code to contribute fuel to a fire.
If you are mantled with the role and responsibility to make informed strategic fireground decisions, you must have a solid foundation of building construction knowledge and understanding. That means knowledge and understanding of building construction engineering principles. Next time, we'll review common building materials and important engineering principles used to resist gravity.
MARK EMERY, EFO, is a shift battalion chief with the Woodinville, WA, Fire & Life Safety District. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer program and an NFA instructor specialist. Emery received a bachelor of arts degree from California State University at Long Beach and is a partner with Fire Command Seattle LLC in King County, WA. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or access his website www.competentcommand.com.