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Firefight: Lightweight Construction Posing Deadly Risk to Firefighters

We keep stressing to our members how important it is to be involved in the building codes process.

Now some media outlets are also highlighting the importance.

CBS Washington is producing an investigative series on the dangers fire fighters face while battling blazes made of light-weight construction.

The first report examines how homes are being constructed at a rapid pace to keep up with the increasing amount of people moving to the DC region.

While homes are being built “virtually overnight” the materials used to make residences pose a major safety hazard.

Loudoun County, Va. fire fighters describe a fast moving fire that destroyed a million dollar home in 2008.

Three minutes after fire fighters entered the home a flashover occurred – resulting in several fire fighters receiving serious injuries.

Fire fighters say they are meeting resistance from home builders who argue that prices will soar if more safety requirements are put into place.

Read CBS Washington’s reports.
Part 1: Dangerous Battle Raging Between Contractors, Firefighters
Part 2: Lightweight Construction Posing Deadly Risk to Firefighters

The IAFF will continue to make sure to do its part in helping to keep fire fighter safety concerns about lightweight construction on the forefront.

Earlier this month, at the International Fire Code Hearing the IAFF worked to make sure a number of code change proposals addressing the protection of lightweight construction would not compromise the safety of our members.

Statistics have shown that fires and civilian deaths have decreased across the United States and Canada. The misperception is that building codes are becoming more restrictive and buildings are less dangerous. Fire fighters remain at high risk. Construction materials are now lighter and, as a result, fires spread at a faster rate. In addition, more than three dozen states have yet to mandate residential fire sprinklers, posing an increased threat to fire fighters in these jurisdictions.

 

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