Throughout history, the world has been treated to a series of devastating fire tragedies leaving a whole lot of destruction behind. Some of the fires are natural whereas others are instigated by deliberated or accidental human faults. Attempts to contain the fire have been successful in some rare and small magnitude incidences.
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However, there are exceptional cases where the fire fighting departments get overwhelmed, hence leaving the fire to take pleasure on what it consumes. This realization is a point of concern to any investor, as well as home owners as the security of their buildings and property, are jeopardized.
As such, there is an urgent need to adopt proper fire codes that could assist in minimizing the extent of destruction resulting from the fires. In this essay, the 1906 San Francisco fire disaster is considered, and the subsequent changes in fire codes explored.
The San Francisco Fire disaster was unforeseen. It all started as an earthquake in the wee hours after that fateful day. The earthquake lasted for approximately 45 seconds, and a number of buildings had given up to the shock waves that had resulted. Thanks to the strong architectural designs, there are, however, some buildings that remained standing tall after the earthquake.
Presumably, the owners had started celebrating completing oblivious of the aftermath of the earthquake. A few minutes after the incidence, the city of San Francisco was engulfed in a wild fire that threatened to bring the whole city into utter ruins. The buildings that had otherwise withstood the quake had no option but to succumb to the fire that was gutting down everything on its path.
The fire emanated from three different regions fanned by the high winds that were blowing across the city. The fires coalesced to form a firestorm with intense temperatures of approximately 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Efforts to combat the fire proved futile as the fire fighters were overwhelmed by the raging fire.
As a matter of fact, the fire fighting department in this city ran out of water that was necessary to calm the fire. The effects of the inferno left more than 514 city blocks in ruins. This is an equivalent of 28,000 buildings that had been consumed in the deadly inferno. Also, lots of property and life were lost in the incidence.
One strategy employed to calm the fire was the use of dynamites to blow down the buildings that were in the path of the growing conflagration. This was a desperate tactic to rid off anything that could fuel the fire further.
Unfortunately, this mechanism bore little fruit, if not contributing to further development of the fire as both the fire fighters and civilians had no experience with the use of explosives. This incidence prompted disaster management department of the United States of America and the world to consider coming up with better fire code to minimize the impacts of such disasters.
The fire code refers to a set of regulation currently contained in Fire Protection and Prevention Act of the year 1997. This represents a set of basic requirements that seek to adhere to fire safety strategies around buildings and other facilities. As a requirement, each municipal is required to be fully armed with fire fighting equipments.
This includes a connection to a reliable water source. Furthermore, each and every building is supposed to be fitted with lifts and emergency exits to minimize on the casualties. Moreover, the plans for construction of buildings in cities should permit the fire fighting machinery to access the area.