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Improving the Fire Performance of Building Contents.

pdf icon Improving the Fire Performance of Building Contents. (549 K)
Bukowski, R. W.

Construction Specifier, Vol. 44, No. 2, 42-46, February 1991.


building materials; regulations; fire safety; inspections; occupants


Fire codes traditionally have regulated only the structural and finish materials used in buildings. Such regulation was intended to limit the size of the fire, first to the building of origin and later to smaller and smaller portions of that building. In response to fires in which many lives were lost, codes eventually were designed to ensure protected paths of egress and sufficient structural integrity to keep the building standing, at least until the occupants were evacuated, and hopefully long enough to allow suppression activities. To a limited extent, these goals have been realized in modern buildings. Today, structure fires rarely spread beyond the floor of origin, much less result in total collapse of the building (through smoke and toxic gases still permeate most spaces of the building). But the fire problem has not been solved.