Building construction awareness during fires
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) sponsors research to create a safer operational environment for firefighters by increasing awareness about the performance of construction components and technology during fires.
In partnership with the USFA, the American Wood Council (AWC) provides a web-based educational program for the fire service on modern construction components and technology. The web-based program consists of:
- FireFrame, an interactive tool developed with the assistance of state and local fire training agencies that provides information on the structural use of traditional and engineered wood products in modern construction.
- Woodaware.info, a website with information about modern building components, including trusses, structural glued laminated timber beams, I-joists, structural composite lumber, structural insulated panels and wood structural panels.
Predicting structural collapse with technology
USFA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology partnered on a project to examine the feasibility of predicting structural collapse and determine if there were any trends or patterns that could be detected in firefighter fatalities due to structural collapse.
Explore the research findings by downloading these reports and free DVDs that contain videos from project experiments.
Residential fire environment
Building construction methods and materials impact how home fires grow and develop and today, home fires spread faster than ever.
To help address these issues the USFA invited fire service members, fire researchers and other home fire safety organizations to participate in a workshop to:
- Discuss the combustion risks to people who live in residential buildings.
- Create a report PDF 7.1 MB that summarizes:
- Presentations on home fires and building materials.
- Risk and strategies for home construction, design and furnishing.
Workshop participants collaborated to create an eight-point action plan to address the changing severity of home fires by:
- Initiating a national program to develop education and training for the fire service on the hazards of evolving building construction and contents.
- Developing a way to provide ongoing national focus on the changing issues that impact home fires.
- Continuing research on the risks to firefighters who fight home fires.
- Continuing research to improve the performance and reliability of home smoke alarms.
- Incorporating home fire awareness information into national fire prevention campaigns.
- Finding a way to measure how furniture contributes to the fire heat release rate, and solutions to help reduce it.
- Creating new strategies to get more home fire sprinklers implemented.
- Increasing participation by the fire service in ensuring building codes reflect residential fire safety.
More information on building construction awareness