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OBJECTIVE 1. To explain the construction of various type of the building and their resistance to heat/fire. REFERENCE 2. Manual of Fireman ship Book 8.

CONTENTS 3. Building Construction: a. Firemen must be familiar with the properties of all material used in the construction of building in so far as they contributes to fire safety or danger. The properties of the material can have a marked effect on the difficulties and dangers encountered by the fireman fighting a fire. b. Some materials weaken in heat, some disintegrate in fire, some give off poisonous smoke of fumes, and some fail without warning when water jets are applied to them in the presence of high temperatures. 4. Material Used. Factors affecting behavior of materials: a. b. c. Combustibility. Flammability. Rate of surface spread of flame.

5. Timber. Found in traditional timber framed houses. More modern timber framing (1964 onwards) may not obvious due to wide range of claddings e.g brick enter skins? The period mentioned regulations which resulted in standards being adopted which make protective linings, as safe as the more traditional forms. a. The behavior of timber in fire depends upon: (1) (2) (3) b. 6. Thickness. Workmanships. Protection.

(Single large plywood sheet better than tongue and groove flooring). Timber does not expanded or collapse suddenly.

Stone. Principally: a. Granite. Indigenous rocks such as granite, contain free quartz, which expands rapidly at 575C completely shattering the rock. Spelling of surface may occur, thin sections may disintegrate. In large solid blocks the effect is limited, not usually serious. b. Limestone. Composed principally of calcium carbonate which decomposes about 800C into free lime and carbon dioxide? Heat absorbed in process; interior may be protected by outer skin. Water slakes quicklime so formed and will cause outer skin to fall away.


c. Sandstone. Generally comes between granite and limestone in fire behavior, shrink and crack in fire. Stone in general is a good insulator, although inferior to brick because of tendency to spell or split especially when water is suddenly applied. Stonework should always be watched for signs of cracking when working beneath or near it. 7. Bricks: a. b. Clay fired in kiln. Concrete cement and fine aggregate (sand/crushed stone).

c. Calcium silicate bricks (sand/lime of flint/lime) made by treating a mixture of lime and siliceous aggregate in high pressure steam process known as auto claying. 8. Many varieties of the above and different mortars. No difference in classifying behavior of brick wall subjected to fire on one side. Factors affecting fire resistance: Thickness. a. b. Effect of applied rendering or plastering. Whether load bearing or not.

9. Large perforations or cavities in some bricks may make them susceptible to some extent to spilling or small areas of exposed. 10. Lime: a. Component of plaster and mortar, in older buildings of concrete. b. Made by burning limestone and converting to quicklime which is then slaked (Hydrated) for internal plastered walls. The wall is first rendered with a coat of lime mortar (rough), it is then frosted with a mixture of line and sand to give an even surface. Plaster has good fire resisting properties but is structurally weak, may easily crack and fall away. 11. Cement. Cement is a fine powder which reacts with water. Strength is developed as long as water is available and not by drying. Concretes made with various types of Portland cement have similar characteristics when exposed to beat. 12. Concrete. Aggregates cement and water, mould able, setting to hard rock like mass. High compressive strength and durability, weak in tension. Expands under beat overall change not easily predicted. Internal stress can be set up in the concrete which in severe cases, cause sapling of surface material, aggravated by chilling hot concrete with a jet. Concretes with limestone or lightweight aggregates (Classed aggregates, as for concrete blocks) are lese susceptible to sapling than these made with other aggregates. a. Reinforced Concrete. Except for concrete bricks and blocks, concrete is rarely used for structural purposes without being reinforced because of its relatively weak tensile strength. Nowadays reinforced hot rolled bars or Cola worked bars of high tensile steel are used to reinforce. The steel is not stressed until loads on the structural member. b. Pre-Stressed Concrete. (1) Pre-Tensioned Concrete. High tensile steel tenders stretched and anchored independently of the concrete before the concrete is cast around then and allowed to harden. The tendons are released but because they are now bended to the concrete they put it into compression.


(2) Post-Tensioned Concrete. Cast with ducts through which the tenders threaded and then stressed after it concrete. No difference between the two inches assessing fire resistance. Critical temperature: Mild steel 500C High tensile steel - 400C. 13. Building Blocks. Used for all types of walls. Specially shape blocks used in floor construction. Blocks are generally made of fired clay or concrete. a. Hallow Fired Clay Blocks. Fire resistance varies with the thickness of the walls and size and number of voided in the block. In a fire, exposed surface may spill due to uneven expansion. b. Concrete Blocks. Made in a variety of thicknesses up to 75mm solid used for non load bearing over 75mm (hallow or solid) used for either wall. Hollows are usually vertical to allow the blocks to be reinforced vertically for load bearing duties. 14. Fire Resistance of Concrete Blocks. Machine made blocks are divided into two classes according to the type of aggregate used in their manufacture: a. Class 1. Those with the higher fire resistance for a given thickness are made from lightweight aggregates or from limestone aggregates. b. Class 2. For the same period of fire resistance require slightly greater thickness. Made from natural dense aggregates other than limestone. 15. Metals. Iron and steel, and to limited extent aluminum are normally used for load bearing, cast iron weak in tension strong in compression, used extensively in 19 th century still found in many older buildings. Unprotected metal in constructions is a serous risk. Structural steel loses 2/3 of its strength at approx 600C. Expansion and conduction of heat. Cast iron should not be cooled suddenly with a jet, this could cause cracks and rapid collapse. Increasing use of a aluminum and its alloys for structural and cladding members has created new problems: a. Advantages of Aluminum (1) (2) (3) (4) b. Reduced weight of structure. Resistance to corrosion. Easy to handle and work. High strength to weight ratio.

Disadvantages (1) Very rapid lose of strength in fire (stability affected at approx 100C to 225C). (2) (3) (4) High Expansion rate (approx twice that of steel). High thermal conductivity (over three times that of steel). Very low melting point (pure aluminum melts at 660C).

c. Lead used for plumping, flashing and roof coverings melts at approx 300C risk from molten lead when working beneath such a roof. d. Copper and Zinc also used for roof covering but little or no danger, usually oxidizes away in fire. e. Bronze normally only for decorative grilles, handrails, etc occasionally for window frames. 16. Glass. Non combustible but liable to break and fall out when exposed to high temperatures. For fire resistance only two types are suitable: a. Wired Glass. Generally 6mm thick, diamond, Georgian or Hexagonal mesh.


b. Copperlight Glazing. Panes 6mm thick, 100m square held together by electrically deposited cooper strips. The co-efficient of expansion of cooper is approximately the same as glass so that both expand at the same rate. c. Armourplate. This is type of toughened glass, the surfaces being in tension. Often used for frameless doors, but has no fire resistance as the glass will not stand up to temperatures above 300C. d. Double Glazing. Reduces heat loss from a room by providing double and sometimes triple thicknesses of glass set rigidly in a frame and sealed at the edges. Does not prove a fire resistant structure. The glass likely wall panels. e. Glass Blocks. Also known as glass bricks are hollow, translucent glass units having various patterns on exterior or interior faces. Used for external or internal wall panels.


Building Boards. Fall generally into one of the following: a. Fiber Building Boards. Usually more than 1.5mm thick, made from wood fibers or woody plants filter together. Bonding, impregnating or other agents including fire retardant may be added or after manufacture. Two main types: 112

(1) (2)

Non compresses (Soft boards). Compressed (Hardboard).

b. Plaster Boards. Made from a core of set gypsum or anhydrite plaster enclosed between and firmly bedded to, two sheets of heavy paper to increase tensile strength. In a fire plaster board will retard spread until paper burns away and non-combustible core breaks away. c. Asbestos Boards. Made as tow distinct types: (1) Asbestos Cement Sheets: These consist of between 12% and 15% asbestos, the reminder being cement. These sheets shatter in early stages of fire. (2) Asbestos insulating or wallboard; Almost completely opposite mix, up to 80% asbestos, reminder lime-silica bonding giving good fire properties. Some contraction at high temperature which tends to blow the material away from the source of heat. d. Plywood Board. Wood lamination is alternate directions. Behavior on fire depends on type of timber used, thickness and type of bonding use.

e. Block Boards. Made from a core of separate wood blocks bonded together, finished externally with a veneer or plastic overlay to give appearance of solid board. f. Plastic Boards. Composed of organic materials e.g. paper, linen, sawdust or wood chips bonded together with synthetic resins and subjected to heat and pressure. Behavior in fire depends on treatment during manufacture. 18. Building Slabs. Thicker building boards made to convenient sizes. Most common are wood-wool slabs and compressed straw slabs. Former made from wood shavings and cement and the letter from compressed straw sandwiched between heavy papers. They are often used for roof decking and heat insulation. They are combustible but can be treated to improve behavior in fire. 19. Insulating Material. Heat and sound insulation; spaces filled with loose fibrous materials or layers of materials such as glass wool. Many older types are combustible (cork, sawdust, vermiculite etc. a special form of insulating material is sprayed asbestos and sets hard. One and a half hours protection from 25mm thickness may be dislodged by vibrating machinery or uneven expansion of two faces. 20. Paint. Normally combustible old property can have many layers of paint which will help fire spread. Heat transmitted along metalwork could set paint on fire at a point removed from initial fire i.e. ships bulkhead spreading fire to next compartment. Fire retardant paints of two types: a. Heavy based paint which will not inhibit combustion completely but reduce flaming. 113

b. In tumescent paint which bubbles up under heat conditions forming layers of cells containing air which act as insulation. 22. Plastics: a. Thermosetting will not soften significantly when subjected to heat below decomposition temperature. c. Thermoplastic capable of being softened by heat.

23. Many plastics give off extremely toxic fumes. Nowadays plastic over a wide range that their behavior in fire can only be described in board terms. Generally plastic will burn to a great her or lesser degree dependent upon thickness and available air space.