High-Rise Buildings – Understanding the Vertical Challenge

 

At the turn of the 20th century, only a few hundred people lived or worked in a high-rise building. Today millions do. In the near future, more than a billion people will live or work in a high-rise environment. The news reported almost instantaneously worldwide demonstrates how unexpected events, whether accidental or the result of acts of terrorism, can expose high-rise occupants to greater risks. It becomes quite evident that to be prepared for any all-hazard emergency, there must be more than the response and cooperation of first responders. It will also require a coordination of effort and assistance from the high-rise building “family of fire,” including the high-rise owners, property management staff, fire/life safety and security directors, and the occupants. Members of the fire service are obligated not only to educate themselves concerning the immense challenges of extinguishing fire and mitigating emergencies in a high-rise building, but also to ensure that those they provide services to understand the challenges and hazards as well.

Understanding the evolution of high-rise buildings, the systems for fire/life safety and  security, and the complexities associated with the installation of “green” technology for self-sustaining supertall and megatall structures will be challenging. There are many disciplines of specialized study that will be of critical importance to the fire professional.

This text provides a retrospective and forward-looking study of high-rise buildings. It is compiled by three fire service professionals who through agency or action have been responsible for leading research and defining changes to fire/life safety codes and standards, security, and fire service operational practices.

Whether a high-rise structure is being planned, built, or renovated, or it is approaching the end of its life cycle, the authors have combined their talents and areas of expertise to create a reference text for generations to come. It will provide essential guidelines for fire professionals, building owners, property managers, and building engineers seeking to manage or respond to all-hazard events within the high-rise environment.

The authors invite chiefs, officers, firefighters, and the greater fire community to explore the text as a foundation for coordination and control of high-rise building operations.

The Authors:

 

Through thoughtful exposition and discussion of the facts and principles relating to high-rise buildings past and present, the authors hope to better prepare all professionals for the greatest challenge they may ever face.

In 1977, FDNY Fire Commissioner and Fire Chief John T. O’Hagan authored the book High-Rise Fire & Safety. In the preface, Chief O’Hagan noted, “Each fire problem in a high-rise building will provide its own particular problems and only experience and good judgment on the part of the reader will allow him to deal with them successfully.”  The authors of this book recommend that those in the fire service become cognizant of the need for battle planning and familiar with preparation of battle plans. The technology to collect, store, and assess building intelligence data will be a vital assistance with the preparation of effective battle plans, a concept introduced in this book. The data intelligence accessible today offers a key response tool that did not exist during Chief O’Hagan’s era.

This book will prove to be extremely useful as a guide and reference document to expand the knowledge of fire literacy, life safety, and the human behavior and actions of occupants in high-rise occupancies of all types. The book is divided into three parts: Understanding the Vertical Challenges; Command and Firefighting Unit Responses; and Erecting a Skyscraper and Looking Ahead to New Designs and Techniques. The chapters in each section will serve as sources of reference for professional firefighters, fire and life safety directors, building emergency response teams, fire protection engineers, architects, and owners and property managers. It will equip them to better understand and meet the tall building challenges. The reader will be exposed to comprehensive coverage of a wide range of relevant high-rise building topics. Included are questions for discussion to encourage dialogue and sidebar explanations of codes, relevant terminology, and background information. These features appear throughout the book to emphasize to the reader the history of high-rise buildings and the building and fire codes that impact our working environment, the fireground. There are extensive references to lessons learned, practical emergency incident histories, and appendices with example charts and worksheets, along with valuable insights from leading fire professionals.

Order Your Copy Today!

 

TOPICS

  At the turn of the 20th century, only a few hundred people lived or worked in a high-rise building. Today millions do. In the near future, more than a billion people will live or work in a high-rise environment. The news reported almost instantaneously worldwide demonstrates how unexpected events, whether accidental or the result […]

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