The National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System includes several reports during fires in homes constructed with lightweight/engineered wood. The system is a voluntary, confidential, non-punitive and secure reporting system with the goal of improving fire fighter safety.
New methods of construction negatively impact firefighter safety under fire conditions. Studies point to the failure of lightweight engineered wood systems routinely used in floors and roofs of new homes, as early as six minutes from the onset of fire. Fire sprinklers could help mitigate these dangers and improve safety for firefighters and home occupants.
Firefighters have come very close to being killed, or severely injured, fighting a home fire in homes built with engineered wood. Firefighter fatalities in residential structures are documented in "death in the line of duty" reports from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and listed in the firefighters’ resource page of this site. These incidents provide evidence of the threats of lightweight construction methods and its impact on firefighter safety.
NFPA has created a Powerpoint® presentation that you can use to help educate your community's decision-makers and the public about the dangers of lightweight construction materials under fire conditions.
For a free copy of this presentation, please e-mail NFPA's Maria Figueroa.