Understanding Building Construction Types

Construction

Buildings are broken down into five categories (Types 1–5), ranging from the stoutest of construction to that which will most likely fail rapidly when under fire conditions. Each building type has specific characteristics that ladder companies must be familiar with so that they are able to ventilate the building in the safest and most efficient way possible.

A building is best identified during preplanning, but there are distinct features that will help firefighters identify the building type as they pull up on scene. There are also several diagnostic techniques that ladder companies can use when they’re up close and personal with a building.

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