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Thread: Lightweight construction tactics

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CME View Post
    Wow, a community helping their fire department. We have a community in our area that likes to paint hydrants green and surround them with shrubbery because hydrants are unsightly.

    Back to what you have said, I think this is a great idea. While I would like to see a push for residential sprinklers in homes, especially large ones, this seems to be a push in the right direction.
    Been adopted by ordiance by several communties around here. Also, by law, hydrants have to be a reflective silver in color, and may not be obstructed.
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    Thanks for a great discussion. While having experienced the fire racing up the outside of the building I guess I hadn't made the connection between that and lightweight construction.

    Here's one for you. Many years ago on a POC FD that I used to belong to we had a fire in a 8 unit apartment building. We thought the fire was in the first story apartment to the left of the entry way. A crew went in and searched the apartment with a hose line, cetain they would find the fire. They found nothing but light smoke conditions and very little heat. They came out and another crew headed in, same thing. Just as the third crew was about to enter and another crew was heading down to the basement the entire living room floor of the apartment fell into the basement.

    The fire had started in the basement below this apatment and and burned through several of the floor joists, and most of the the plywood floor decking. What we didn't know is they had poured about 1 inch of lightweight concrete on top of the floor decking for sound deadening. That is all that held the floor in place until just enough of the support underneath it burned away and collapsed.

    No warning, no sag, nothing just boom and gone.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 12-23-2011 at 09:23 PM.
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    what i have found for the most part the 1st company (5 man crew) can place one guy on the exterior line (short duration likely), and then simultaniously get a crew and hose to front door of a residence in those type of exterior fires.

    i have had done that twice two years ago. we have had a rash of wood framed chinmey fires a while back and got a few communicating into the attic. besides ensureing it wasn't on the lower floors we pretty much had an isolated attic fire then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    It was more of a general statement to those concerned about having to operate in/on residential structures with truss roofs. And now that I think about it, how about truss roofs or open-web truss floor members?

    A neighboring community places markers at all entrances to developments with any of the above- "T" for truss roofs, "T/F" for truss roofs and floors. Markers are aluminum triangles, with white scotchlite with red print.
    Yes, we do the exact same thing. Code requires all new commercial or multi-residential construction and renovations to add markers indicating truss roof/floor construction exactly as you describe.

    Pertaining to truss roofs however, I do not understand why so many people freak out and are so scared of ALL of them. Sudden, early, and total collapse of truss roofs occurs in buildings with large, unsupported spans - like churches or warehouses. Truss roofs in lightweight residential construction does not fit in this category. These roofs burn away, they do not fall down in mass. Small structural boards that may fall, fall to the ceiling joists. Even most McMansions have typical size rooms. There are not large open spans, just more rooms.

    And for all the naysayers that will chime in behind this post, I once again off a challenge:

    Find one documented incident in the history of the fire service where a firefighter was killed or seriously injured as a result of a truss roof failure in a residential building.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 12-24-2011 at 09:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Yes, we do the exact same thing. Code requires all new commercial or multi-residential construction and renovations to add markers indicating truss roof/floor construction exactly as you describe.

    Pertaining to truss roofs however, I do not understand why so many people freak out and are so scared of ALL of them. Sudden, early, and total collapse of truss roofs occurs in buildings with large, unsupported spans - like churches or warehouses. Truss roofs in lightweight residential construction does not fit in this category. These roofs burn away, they do not fall down in mass. Small structural boards that may fall, fall to the ceiling joists. Even most McMansions have typical size rooms. There are not large open spans, just more rooms.

    And for all the naysayers that will chime in behind this post, I once again off a challenge:

    Find one documented incident in the history of the fire service where a firefighter was killed or seriously injured as a result of a truss roof failure in a residential building.
    Very good point. I am more afraid of concentrating several hundred (extra) pounds consisting of a hoseline team onto an open-web truss floor with fire under it, than I am of fire in an attic under open-web trusses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Very good point. I am more afraid of concentrating several hundred (extra) pounds consisting of a hoseline team onto an open-web truss floor with fire under it, than I am of fire in an attic under open-web trusses.
    Absolutely.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    It was more of a general statement to those concerned about having to operate in/on residential structures with truss roofs. And now that I think about it, how about truss roofs or open-web truss floor members?

    A neighboring community places markers at all entrances to developments with any of the above- "T" for truss roofs, "T/F" for truss roofs and floors. Markers are aluminum triangles, with white scotchlite with red print.
    I've seen the "T" above the street signs too... I like that idea.

    It is those damn truss/lightweight floors that scare the coal out of me.
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    If I remember (yeah, right...) I'll take some pics of the truss signs when I go back to work on Jan 3.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Yes, we do the exact same thing. Code requires all new commercial or multi-residential construction and renovations to add markers indicating truss roof/floor construction exactly as you describe.

    Pertaining to truss roofs however, I do not understand why so many people freak out and are so scared of ALL of them. Sudden, early, and total collapse of truss roofs occurs in buildings with large, unsupported spans - like churches or warehouses. Truss roofs in lightweight residential construction does not fit in this category. These roofs burn away, they do not fall down in mass. Small structural boards that may fall, fall to the ceiling joists. Even most McMansions have typical size rooms. There are not large open spans, just more rooms.

    And for all the naysayers that will chime in behind this post, I once again off a challenge:

    Find one documented incident in the history of the fire service where a firefighter was killed or seriously injured as a result of a truss roof failure in a residential building.
    I think you bring up a very good point that many fail to understand. That a metal bar joist type truss in a type II building is vastly different than a wooden truss in a type V building. whilie both a trusses that support a roof structure they are going to react differently to fire. Add in the aspect of differences in room layouts and load supporting walls the differences between wooden trusses are vastly different. I fully agree with you on the higher concern of web floor joist and other engineered wooden floor supports.

    Once again you have got to know you enemy 'the building".

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I have pondered this a long time and this is how I look at lightweight residential construction fires. IF the fire has not escaped the compartment into the walls, or attic space, we can operate like we always have and go aggressive with an interior attack. If upon arrival we have smoke pushing, or fire showing from the eaves or gable ends, make a quick search, and a quick hit and if we don't get it right away go defensive until we knock down the main body of fire.

    Now, I am fully aware that some may call me a Safety Sally, but if you do I don't think you are hearing what I am saying. I am NOT saying don't go in to do a search, or to attempt a quick hit. What I am saying is we go in and make a rapid search, make a quick hit, if we can get it, great, if not pull out until we can gain control. Believe me when I say to you I am a very aggressive firefighter, but I just don't see the value of losing firefighters in essentially disposable buildings once we have searched, and cleared, the building and made an attempt at the fire.
    This is exactly how we do it too. The lightweight construction I see homes being built now scares the bejesus out of me. I constantly drive around town to keep up on new construction and every so often we tour these construction sites so everyone can see just exactly what is being built and how it is all put together.

    A lot of new construction I see now is the glued together trusses like you mentioned with only 1/2" press board (chip board) as the roof sheeting and shingles upon that. Once that gets hot, the glue gives way so we constantly watch the roof and avoid going up if at all possible. Same for the flooring...if we can get a good quick knockdown great, if not, then we pull out and surround and drown.

    Good topic by the way, just saw it.
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    I work for a pretty aggressive Dept when it comes to fire. 90% of the time the initial attack crew (Normally the first due engine Co) will have a truck crew RIGHT behind them and there job in this situation will be to expose this fire in the walls, attic, etc.. but we are pretty lucky to have a lot of man power on a working job. Within 3-4 minutes you will have 3 engines (with 3-4 each), 1 truck (3-5), and a rescue (2-3) ready to work... A lot of the time the rescue (ambulance) will be assigned to primary search while the truck company is assisting the engine crew with fire attack or venting ops. So command will go ahead and start another rescue for medical sector.. I've seen PLENTY of house fire stopped and property saved when its gone beyond a room and contents.. But there is a point to were you just write it off and go defensive.. But I've gone in and stopped a fire that most would right off..
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    Can anyone give their feeling on the lightweight fires they have been to? We have been told over and over about the lightweight trusses collapsing and that reinforcement has saved lives, but with our smaller SFD's that are compartmentalized, thus the partitions may be supporting the trusses more, it seems that our department has been noting that instead of trusses and roofing collapsing, it seems more apt to just burning away.....I'm not advocating staying in their, just wondering if other places are noticing that too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by npfirediver7 View Post
    Can anyone give their feeling on the lightweight fires they have been to? We have been told over and over about the lightweight trusses collapsing and that reinforcement has saved lives, but with our smaller SFD's that are compartmentalized, thus the partitions may be supporting the trusses more, it seems that our department has been noting that instead of trusses and roofing collapsing, it seems more apt to just burning away.....I'm not advocating staying in their, just wondering if other places are noticing that too.
    Disregard....Memphis E34a covered this. Sorry

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