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Structural fire and types within our environment

Fire can be a natural disaster or initiated disaster depending on the situation surrounding it cause. Their various source of fire disasters of which structure fire is a typical type.

What is structural fire?
A structure fire is a fire involving the structural components of various types of residential, commercial or industrial buildings, such as barn fires.

Types of structural fire.

1. Fire Resistive
Fire Resistive is usually used in high-rises. The material comprising the structure is either inherently able to withstand significant exposure to fire (concrete), or in which a fire resistive covering is applied to steel structural members. The structural elements consist of non-combustible materials, usually steel or concrete, that afford a fire-resistance.

2. Noncombustible.
This type of construction may not afford any fire-resistance rating for the exposed structural elements, If any fire protection of the structural elements is provided, it is at a lesser rating than that required for Type I construction; in this type of building the structural elements are usually made of steel, bolted, riveted or welded together. It is usually susceptible to expansion, distortion or relaxation of the steel members, resulting in early collapse during a fire. The interior partitions are required to be constructed with non-combustible or approved limited-combustible materials.

Structural fire and types within our environment
Structural fire and types within our environment

3. Ordinary fire.
This construction usually involves a structure which the building is combustible. All or part of the interior structural elements may be combustible. Exterior walls are required to be constructed with non-combustible materials. They can have a fire-resistance rating, depending on the horizontal separation and whether they are bearing or non-bearing walls.

4. Wood frame/combustible.
Use structural members entirely of combustible materials, usually wood, and is divided into two subgroups: protected (structural elements protected as required) or unprotected (no fire-resistance requirement). Post-and-beam construction has a wood frame of substantial dimensions and is sided with a lightweight covering such as wood boards or plywood covered with aluminum or PVC siding; this type of construction is commonly used for barns, sheds and other storage buildings, but also may occur in dwellings and other occupancies.

5. Heavy Timber.
Heavy Timber is usually a type of construction which is found in older factories and mills; however, there is a resurgence in their use in various new occupancy types.Wood floors generally will have a minimum thickness of three inches and may be oil-soaked from years of oiling heavy machinery. Roofsupports will be wood with minimum dimensions of four by six inches, and a minimum roof decking thickness of 11/8 inches.

Understanding fire ground demands a greater knowledge of buildings, occupancy risk profiling (ORP) and building anatomy by all companies operating on the fire ground. The identification, assessment, probability, predictability and intrinsic characteristics of building performance under fire conditions must not be comprehended only. Our next article will focus on effect of structural fire, causes and ways to avoid them in our workplace environment.

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