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There is a great reduction on fire deaths in the last 10 years. The government has come up with different solutions to curb fire impacts and fire control measures. Government has empowered departments concerned with fire fighting agencies shaping code formulation and enforcement of the formulated policies.
United States has recorded a significant decrease in the number of fires that has occurred between 1997 and 2009 from 3.2 million to almost 1.6 million. Civilian fire has followed suit and decrease by more than 50 percent. Fires in different places such as skyscrapers buildings, atrium buildings, nursing homes as well as fires experienced in assembly places.
These fires have brought substantial impact on fire services requiring the need to rewrite the fire codes. Different fires have brought considerable changes in fire codes. Such fires include.
The world Trade Centre Fire
This fire resulted as a result of terror attack on 11 September 2001. This fire led to death of 2752 people and damage to millions of property. It resulted in much scrutiny in high-rise buildings. Building owners and fire fighting agencies realized that these buildings have become a target of terrorists.
This makes it worth to design New National Fire Prevention Association codes that can curb any fire challenge, which may be experienced in the future. Notable changes incorporated after this fire is the use of elevators as a means of evacuation. NFPA Annex B recognizes the use of elevators as a fast and efficient way to evacuate people incase a fire catch up.
The code stress on the importance of installing elevators, which are capable of withstanding fire without being damaged. This is argued that will make elevators to continue evacuating people for long hours in the fire, which is believed, will reduce the fatality rate.
New codes include provisions to ensure sprinklers do not jet water in the hoist ways. This is agreed to avoid contamination of hoist way a thing that may bring problems in the evacuation process. The provision in new code have highlighted a curbed ramp to ensure no water is found in the hoist way. There are also provisions meant to keep off smoke in the hoist way and elevator lobbies.
New codes also states that the stairways should be wide enough to ensure the number of people leaving flaming building is large enough. This is crucial as it will prevent stampede which mostly results to death of those leaving the premise. Widened stairways will provide enough space to fire fighting personnel to enter the building in a large number.
This is essential in order to minimize the time required put off the fire. The new codes require stairways to be easily accessible from elevator lobby. These elevator lobbies are required to contain barriers to prevent smoke from entering them. In every building, there is a need to have an elevator hardened against smoke and fire infiltration to be used for egress by responders who arrive first in the scene of a fire.
NFPA new codes states that high buildings need to leave the third floor empty. This is essential as fighters can use this area to curb fire comfortably. This area need to have ample space to allow many fire fighters and bright lighting as stipulated in code 101.
Tall buildings should ensure they install automatic water sprinklers in their buildings. The fire fighting equipments stored in the buildings should be in satisfactory working conditions. Staffs and occupants should be educated on ways to fight fires. Experts in fire fighting services should carry this out.
Improvements in fire codes
After the Twin Tower fire NFPA, codes have gained much approval from the public. The codes requiring constructors to make wide stairways to facilitate fast evacuation of people in the building is implemented well. Building owners are not resistant to occasional analysis of their fighting fire machines approval tests.
Organizations have acquired loudspeakers to allow fast communication in case firebreak. NFPA code 5000, which has received much approval from different people. Builders have increased the number of arrows leading to fire assembly points (Ching, 312-342). Evacuation chairs are also improvised in tall buildings making it easy to rescue disabled people with ease.
Government has improved the implementation of codes by agitating that guests in motels should stay in hotels that comply with NFPA codes. The codes are widely recognized forcing hotel chains to comply with codes easily. NFPA 13R requires every occupational house above three storey building to install sprinklers systems in these buildings.
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The new code NFPA 750 which is an improvement of NFPA 13R. The new code agitates use of water mist fire protection system to curb fire cases. This system is effective and economical compared to the latter. It is superb in that damage related to water will reduce drastically. They act rapidly since they activate on smoke alarm making them fight fire when it is still small.
New codes require exits of high-rise buildings to always remain open with the exception of doors that open to dwelling units. The owners can adopt the use of fail-safe electronic lock release system as an option. Doors leading to residential areas are required to have self-closer and lock.
Moreover, it states that there should be no residential house should have a self-locking hardware. NFPA 471 has been revised to help curb hazardous material incidents in the best way possible. This is veritable importance to help fight fires caused by hazardous materials (Schnepp, 54-56).
Ching, Francis. Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2012 International Building Code. Chicago: Wiley, 2012.Print.
Schnepp, Rob. Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations. London: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010.Print.