Leadership

SPEAK UP! TRADEOFFS ARE JEOPARDIZING YOUR SAFETY ON THE FIREGROUND

Issue 11 and Volume 158.

BY JACK J. MURPHY JR. An International Code Tech- nology Committee hearing was held in Chicago in July to determine what constitutes “balanced” fire protection. We need to ascertain the appropriate formula for active (e.g. sprinklers) vs. passive (e.g. fire partitions, fire barriers, for example) components. Many code changes over the past code cycles have revised requirements, such as for height and area building provisions, that have resulted in greater distances of travel, less fire-rating for corridors, elimination of areas of rescue assistance for the disabled, and other fire sprinkler “trade-offs.” Although the fire service for many years has been advocating sprinklers and will continue to champion their cause, a small word-BUT-needs to be added to the fire service vocabulary to ensure that the codes incorporate an effective balance of active and passive fire protection features. The automatic sprinkler/passive fire protection features should not be a “versus consideration”; they should…

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