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Flashcards in Chapter 3 Building Construction Deck (29)
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Types of Building Construction

Type 1- Fire-resistive
Type 2- Noncombustible or limited combustible
Type 3- Ordinary
Type 4- Heavy Timber
Type 5- Wood Frame


Type 1

Fire Resistive
Provides structural integrity during a fire

-Structural members, including walls, columns, beams, floors & Roofs made of noncombustible or limited combustible materials.

-Fire-resitive compartmentation provided by partitions & floors tend to retard the spread of fire.

* Primary Hazard "Contents"
-FF can launch an interior attack with confidence
-Fire can spread by opening in partitions & improperly designed heating & cooling systems.


Type 2

Noncombustible or limited combustible

Similar to type 1. Degree of fire resistance is lower.

-Fire resistance ration on all parts of structure (exterior & interior load bearing walls, building materials.

- No fire resistance rating such as wood "can be used in limited quantities"

* Primary concerns, contents of building, Heat can cause structural supports to fail, Type of roof "Flat built-up roofs. Felts, insulation & tar


Type 3

-Exterior walls & structural members constructed of noncombustible or limited combustible materials.

- Interior members (Walls, Columns, Beams, Floors & Roofs are completely or partially wood.)

* Primary concern- Fire and Smoke spreading through concealed spaces.


Type 4

Heavy Timber
- Exterior & Interior walls & their associated structural members made of noncombustible or limited combustible materials.

-Other Interior structural members, including, Beams, Columns, Arches, Floors & Roofs, are made of solid or laminated wood with no concealed spaces.
(Old factories, Mills, Warehouses, Churches)

*Primary Hazard= Massive amounts of combustible contents, Tremendous amounts of Heat & Exposure protection problems.


Type 5

Wood Frame
-Exterior walls, bearing walls, floors, roofs & supports made completely or partially of wood or other approved materials.

- Commonly typical single-family residence
-Unlimited potential for fire extension with building of origin & to nearby structures

-FF must be alert for fire coming from doors & windows extending to the exterior of the structure.


Load Bearing Wall

Walls that take loads (Party walls)

Most exterior walls are load bearing walls


Party Wall

A load bearing wall that supports two adjacent structures.


Partition Wall

Divides two areas within a structure and is a non-load bearing wall



Reaction of wood to fire conditions depends on two factors

- Size of Wood
- Moisture content ( Green Wood)



Bricks, Stones, Concrete ( Minimally affected by fire & Exposure to high temps)

- Commonly used for Fire Wall assemblies


Cantilever Wall

Free standing fire walls commonly found on large churches & shopping centers


Block Wall

May be load-bearing walls
Most Brick and stones walls are Veneer walls


Veneer Wall

Decorative & usually attached to the outside of some type of load-bearing frame structure.



-Rarely show any signs of floss of integrity or serious deterioration

- May Spall or lose small portions of their surface when heated

-May Crack but usually retain most strength & basic structural stability

- Motor between bricks, blocks, & stone are subject to more deterioration


Cast Iron

Rarely used in modern construction

*Primary Concern is stand pipe bolts or other connections can fail



Primary material used for structural supports in modern buildings.

- Elongate when heated (50' beams may elongate as much as 4" @ 1000 degrees)

-If restrained @ ends it buckles & fails somewhere in middle.


Reinforced Concrete

Internally fortified with steel reinforcement bars or mesh.

- Doesn't perform particularly well under fire conditions. Loses strength & Spalls



Inorganic product from which Plaster & Plasterboards are made

- High water content
- Provides insulation to steel & wood



-Wire-reinforced glass has some thermal protection
-Typically used for insulation purposes


Two primary types of dangerous conditions that may be posed by a particular building

-Conditions that contribute to the spread & Intensity of the fire
-Conditions that make the building susceptible to collapse


Fire Load

Maximum heat that can be produced if all the combustible materials in a given area burn.


Heavy Fire Loading

Large amounts of combustible materials in an area of a building.

- Most critical hazard in commercial & storage facilites can quickly override sprinkler systems.


Collapse zone

One and a half times the height of the building


Lightweight & Truss Construction Hazards

Two most common
Usually fail in 5-10 minutes

-Lightweight metal steel bar bent at 90 degree with flat or angulated welded to top and bottom

- Lightweight wood 2x3 or 2x4 connected by gussets.


Gusset Plates

Small metal plates (18 to 22 gage) with prongs that connect into wood 3/4"


Bow String Tusses

Building with large openings (car dealerships, Bowling alleys, Factories & Supermarkets)


Trusses are designed to work as a integral unti

-Some are in tension (Vertical & Horizontal stresses that tend to pull things apart)

- Some are in Compression ( Vertical & Horizontal stresses that tend to press things together.)


Construction, Renovation & Demolition

-Additional fire load & ignition sources( Open flames, Torches, Grinding, Cutting) by contractors

- Subject to rapid fire spread while partially completed, lack of doors and widows spread fire

- Arson, Poor house keeping prevents egress.