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This is another building which is a comparision from building # 1 how does the "stucco" cementaious finish give us a false sense of security and fire resistance?

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Comment by Brad Hoff on October 31, 2008 at 4:32pm
These things seem to be popping up all over the place even have about 5 or 6 of them that have gone up or are going in right now here in Interior Alaska over the last year.

Chief Halton, thanks for the video and information. It is a new prospective on doing building familiarization.
Comment by Chris Fleming on May 23, 2008 at 1:09pm
Thanks for the thought provoking video Bobby. Chris Naum is right in all the things he points out about the construction methods and materials. This is not a building built to last! The time to protect this building and its occupants is in the plans and prevention stage. Sprinklers, sprinklers, sprinklers! Need I say more?

Even if I don't need to, I will! This is a case in point why fire companies need to get out on the road and drive around with their eyes open. The best time to learn about a structure is when it is being built. You can see all the voids, the connections, the utilities, etc. You don't have to be a pest to the construction guys, but ask them if you and your crew can take a look around. Sometimes they'll give you a tour and point out the building's weak points (if they hate their boss!). Then once you do your recon, pass it on!! You may want to send photos, create a pre plan, or just send an e-mail with a warning. The more folks on your job that you tell, the greater chance someone will remember it at 0200 with smoke showing. You may even want to include your mutual aid departments in the mail line. Get together. Talk about required fire flows, ladder sets, the probable fire spread, etc. This is a golden training opportunity that may also keep you alive.

One last thought. You guys may want to get some hills and trees out there to cut down on the breeze!! :)
Chris
Comment by Christopher Naum, SFPE on May 19, 2008 at 9:56pm
Bobby;
Your drive by video presents some very pertinent operational and safety issues that are very self revealing related to the construction and occupancy use for both video clips. The first and foremost question for both properties; are the occupancies protected by a fixed sprinkler systems and standpipe system? It’s obvious that the first clip identifies possible engineered floor support assemblies that are evident by the incomplete exterior sheathing and what appears to be the evidence of voids along the floor line. This stage of construction provides company and command officers with a wealth of pre-planning information to aide in incident risk management decision-making- IF one were to take the time to walk through and observe. The hotel occupancy on the second clip shows the common use of the exterior clad expanded foam backing and synthetic cement coating. The built-up cornice edging at the roof lines will create significant safety concerns when positioning an aerial device near the edge given the false sense of edge integrity under compressive loads. In each instance, the extensive fire loading of the building assemblies and structural systems will challenge suppression efforts once they penetrate the interior wall membranes (wall board) or find open chase or penetrations for travel. The key here is understanding the building’s construction profile, its main components and assemblies and looking at the present workmanship and deficiencies BEFORE it gets fully enclosed and finished. The insights gained by conducting walk-through at this stage of construction are price-less later on.

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