Fire Service Concerns of Tall Timber Buildings

Timber Building

Recently an article, Construction Concerns: IBC 2021 Heavy Timber Proposal[1] , appeared in Fire Engineering that raised concerns regarding the now newly passed “Tall Mass Timber” code additions to the International Building Code (IBC) 2021 Edition. The article briefly outlined some of the central code changes that will permit tall mass timber buildings.

A brief examination of all the Tall Mass Timber (TMT) code provisions that will be included in the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) will demonstrate that the fire safety protection required by the new code changes provides for the life safety of occupants and firefighters that will respond to emergencies in these buildings. Read more

High-rise buildings and Fire

High Rise Building

High-rise buildings present several unique challenges not found in traditional low-rise buildings; longer egress times and distance, evacuation strategies, fire department accessibility, smoke movement and fire control.

High-rise buildings have garnered significant attention in the fire safety world over the years. The multiple floors of a high-rise building create the cumulative effect of requiring great numbers of persons to travel great vertical distances on stairs in order to evacuate the building. The public, code bodies, local, regional and federal governments, as well as the design, build, and ownership communities are all affected by high-rise building safety. Read more

Fire Safety

Fire Safety

Fire safety is the set of practices intended to reduce the destruction caused by fire. Fire safety measures include those that are intended to prevent ignition of an uncontrolled fire, and those that are used to limit the development and effects of a fire after it starts.

Fire safety measures include those that are planned during the construction of a building or implemented in structures that are already standing, and those that are taught to occupants of the building. Read more

Fire burns through roof of building in Los Angeles

commercial building fire in los angeles

LOS ANGELES – A building in downtown Los Angeles caught fire Wednesday morning, prompting a large response from firefighters.

The blaze started about 5 a.m. and burned until 8:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Margo Street, about four blocks from Staples Center, according to Los Angeles Fire Department. Pallets inside the structure contributed to heavy smoke and fire. Read more

Fire in Pomona Threatening Commercial Building

pomona fire

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) — A commercial building fire sent heavy smoke and large flames into the air in Pomona Tuesday night.

The blaze was reported around 9:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of East 3rd Street. The building was an outdoor pallet storage company. Read more

The Future of the Civic Center

Civic Center LA

The City of Los Angeles’ plan to redevelop the Civic Center over a 15-year period is officially underway. Now, with crews working on a 500-day dismantlement of Parker Center, government representatives are seeking input from Downtown stakeholders on how they want to see the area transform. Read more

74-year-old man found after DC building fire

building fire

(CNN)A 74-year-old man has been discovered alive five days after his senior living apartment complex in Washington, DC, caught fire — but nobody knew he was missing. Read more

Using Smoke Curtains in Multi-Story Buildings

777 Aviation Smoke Curtain

The most important task for firefighters is to save lives. In the case of fires in multi-story residential buildings, this objective can be best achieved by using the stairways as the preferred route of attack. This method of entering a multi-story dwelling ensures that the most important escape route for the inhabitants is immediately controlled. Read more

Atrium Smoke Control Solution

DSI 3HR Horizontal Smoke & Fire Curtain

A horizontal fire protective curtain may eliminate the need for costly additional structural support, sprinklers, and complex smoke evacuation systems saving the building owner a great deal of money. Keep in mind that the building code allows for two stories to be interconnected without smoke control. If the atrium design and space is appropriate then it is possible to divide a taller than two story atrium into a series of two story connections.

An architect on a project for Sargento Foods Corporate Headquarters, estimates that he saved his client between $750,000 to $800,000 by using a horizontal smoke curtain instead of a smoke purge system on the building’s three story atrium.

If you are looking for a solution to meet the building code requirements for smoke control for an atrium and haven’t explored the use of smoke curtains, you should. They have the potential to save a lot of cost and complexity.

See more information on our horizontal fire protective curtain.

Assisted Living Elevator Smoke Containment

The primary focus of assisted-living facilities is to provide care for elderly persons who can no longer maintain independent-living standards. Their facilities are typically commercial construction with a residential design element. Fire and life-safety concerns are a priority that can be made more difficult by the added challenge of ensuring accessibility for mobility-challenged persons. In some cases, a balanced approach is used when more stringent codes are required for the addition of a skilled nursing facility. Read more