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Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires
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Chapter 07-High-Rise Building Fires

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• Understand and explain why high-rise buildings present a difficult and different fire problem for firefighters, including the unique fire behavior problems that may be encountered in a high-rise …

• Understand and explain why high-rise buildings present a difficult and different fire problem for firefighters, including the unique fire behavior problems that may be encountered in a high-rise fire
• Recognize the difference in construction methods of high-rise buildings and explain how different construction materials and designs impact fire behavior in these buildings
• Describe the fire fighting strategies and tactics used to locate, confine, and extinguish high-rise fires
• Describe the special problems that may be encountered on high-rise fires such as communications issues, the stack effect, ventilation concerns, evacuation issues, and elevator control
• Describe and explain the purpose of the special fire protection equipment which may be found in high-rise buildings
• Describe when a stairwell support system may be needed

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  • 1. High-Rise Building Fires Chapter 7
  • 2. Objectives <ul><li>Understand and explain why high-rise buildings present a difficult and different fire problem for firefighters, including the unique fire behavior problems that may be encountered in a high-rise fire </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the difference in construction methods of high-rise buildings and explain how different construction materials and designs impact fire behavior in these buildings </li></ul>
  • 3. Objectives (cont’d.) <ul><li>Describe the fire fighting strategies and tactics used to locate, confine, and extinguish high-rise fires </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the special problems that may be encountered on high-rise fires such as communications issues, the stack effect, ventilation concerns, evacuation issues, and elevator control </li></ul>
  • 4. Objectives (cont’d.) <ul><li>Describe and explain the purpose of the special fire protection equipment which may be found in high-rise buildings </li></ul><ul><li>Describe when a stairwell support system may be needed </li></ul>
  • 5. Introduction <ul><li>As cost of land increases, building upwards instead of outwards is more popular </li></ul><ul><li>Codes for high-rises vary throughout the country </li></ul><ul><li>High-rises present special conditions and problems for firefighters that will be discussed throughout this chapter </li></ul>
  • 6. High-Rise Buildings <ul><li>From 1996 to 1998: 15,500 high-rise fires in U.S., $252.3 million in annual property loss, 930 civilian injuries including 60 civilian deaths. </li></ul><ul><li>Residential fires usually contained in one room, opposite for manufacturing, industrial fires </li></ul><ul><li>Construction and design divided into three time periods </li></ul>
  • 7. <ul><li>Figure 7-1 Fire in high-rise buildings </li></ul><ul><li>can present firefighters with unique challenges. </li></ul>
  • 8. Early Fire-Resistive Buildings (1870 to 1920) <ul><li>Little or no concern for fire safety </li></ul><ul><li>Floors supported by concrete piers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created open void space where fire/heated gases could move underneath the structure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Terra cotta tile to provide fire resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Water supply line installations too small </li></ul><ul><li>Careful planning and risk assessment required </li></ul>
  • 9. High-Rise Construction (1920 to 1960) <ul><li>Have features not found in earlier or later construction </li></ul><ul><li>Steel framed and tiled with concrete or masonry </li></ul><ul><li>Windows can be opened and leak air for ventilation </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Empire State Building </li></ul>
  • 10. High-Rise Buildings Constructed after 1960 <ul><li>Modern steel and glass buildings found in most downtown areas </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of these high-rises: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gypsum board: used in interior finishes for walls and ceilings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lightweight concrete: blown onto metal to provide a coat of fire-resistive material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Central core construction: elevators, stairs, and support systems are located in center of building </li></ul></ul>
  • 11. High-Rise Buildings Constructed after 1960 (cont’d.) <ul><li>HVAC systems may have to be shut down and windows broken during fires </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire dampers installed to prevent fire and heated gases from circulating in other parts of buildings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of the specific building system needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-planning with building maintenance should be sought </li></ul></ul>
  • 12. High-Rise Buildings Constructed after 1960 (cont’d.) Figure 7-6 Central core floor plan for high-rise building
  • 13. Stack Effect <ul><li>Natural movement of air within a tall building caused by temperature difference between outside and inside of building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becomes stronger as the building gets taller and the temperature difference becomes greater </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stratification location: when light heated air flows upward and reaches a point where it is same temperature/weight as surrounding air </li></ul>
  • 14. <ul><li>Figure 7-7 Stratification inside a high-rise building </li></ul>
  • 15. Ventilation <ul><li>Planned and systematic removal of smoke, heat, and gases from a structure </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional ventilation not always available in high-rises </li></ul><ul><li>If no horizontal ventilation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enclosed stairwell can be used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hold open door on fire floor into stairwell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use positive air pressure fans (with caution) </li></ul></ul>
  • 16. Elevators <ul><li>Elevator use has caused grave injuries or death in the past </li></ul><ul><li>Used when fire is higher than sixth floor </li></ul><ul><li>Remotely located elevators may be used </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of policies and procedures is necessary </li></ul>
  • 17. Use of Elevator Systems <ul><li>Manual control system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brings cars to the lobby or designated place nonstop </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manually control elevator from inside car </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If lobby smoke alarm is activated, cars will not return there, but this will show designated floor in that event </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 18. Stairwells <ul><li>If elevators are unsafe, use of stairwell support procedure is implemented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams stationed two floors apart in stairwell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First team carries equipment up two floors to waiting firefighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second team carries it up two more floors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First team descends and rests while waiting to carry and pass on additional equipment </li></ul></ul>
  • 19. Pressurized Stairwells <ul><li>Designed to provide occupants and firefighters a smoke-free environment while moving within the stairwell </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enclose the stairwell tightly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add a fan to increase the air pressure </li></ul></ul>
  • 20. Building Fire Protection Systems <ul><li>Building systems available to firefighters are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standpipes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sprinkler and water supply systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire pumps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire communications and command systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressurized stairwells </li></ul></ul>
  • 21. Standpipes <ul><li>Most building codes require them </li></ul><ul><li>Look at them as fire water mains built into the building with an outlet </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure at each floor will vary and in some cases can be too high </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressure reducer will need to be installed </li></ul></ul>
  • 22. Figure 7-10 Fire department connection and post indicator valve. Notice the target indicating that the valve is open and the attached alarm system to notify when the valve is closed.
  • 23. Sprinklers and Water Supply Systems <ul><li>Most new high-rises are equipped </li></ul><ul><li>Can quickly control and extinguish most fires with water from two or less heads </li></ul><ul><li>In taller high-rises, building is divided into zones with a water supply tank installed in each zone </li></ul>
  • 24. Fire Pumps <ul><li>Required in all high-rise buildings </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to increase pressure in the sprinkler and/or standpipe system </li></ul><ul><li>Can be found singly or in pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Essential for inlet and discharge gauges to be checked </li></ul><ul><li>Critical that bypass valve is left closed after pump testing </li></ul>
  • 25. Fire Communication Systems <ul><li>Steel columns and beams enclosed with concrete absorb energy from fire department radio communications systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes communication ineffective </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Newer buildings have communication systems installed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard wiring allows intra-building communication using series of high reliability speakers and telephone devices located throughout building </li></ul></ul>
  • 26. Search and Rescue <ul><li>Establish systematic search method to ensure all areas are checked for remaining occupants </li></ul><ul><li>Set up accountability system for those found and those missing </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for convergence cluster behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People gather in groups in one location to feel safe </li></ul></ul>
  • 27. Relocation of Occupants <ul><li>Total evacuation is usually neither practical or feasible </li></ul><ul><li>Dependant upon: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of people needing to be moved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How they can be moved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a safe refuge area is available within the structure </li></ul></ul>
  • 28. Salvage <ul><li>Typically have valuable contents like computers, office equipment, business records, and personal items </li></ul><ul><li>Need for property protection is generally downward as water flows downward </li></ul><ul><li>To help salvage efforts, should channel the flow of water down the stairs or through drains </li></ul>
  • 29. Overhaul <ul><li>Labor intensive and precedent plan is needed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct initial overhaul efforts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct fire fighting forces to hidden shafts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct forces to false ceilings to be pulled down or opened </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crews should be assigned to every floor above the fire for smoke and extension and below to confirm extinguishment </li></ul>
  • 30. Summary <ul><li>High-rise fires becoming increasing problem </li></ul><ul><li>Issues include communication, height, and ventilation problems </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be able to work systems within a high-rise effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Evacuation, salvage, and overhaul issues need to be addressed appropriately </li></ul>

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