Ul Lightweight Wood Truss Training

by mobrian on November 2, 2008

Last year, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) received a fire grant from the DHS to do a research study on lightweight construction.  UL conducted a series of tests, and just this month posted the results of their study titled “Structural Stability of Engineered Lumber in Fire Conditions” on their UL University website.

This is a great online course, free of charge, and available to all.  This course is essential for firefighters and an absolute must for all ICs or company officers across Michigan. It is only 52 minutes long, but it is absolutely worth it.  It is a great hands on course that shows the actual firefighting challenges in these lightweight construction infernos.

UL did six tests and had two firefighter mannequins (dummies) in full gear with Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC) on these test floor and roof assemblies. Watch the videos and see if you can predict when the dummies will fall through.

It is also interesting to see the difference in the temperature reading of the TIC at the top assembly compared to the inferno below.  In one test after 5 minutes, the TIC temperature showed a comfortable 73 degrees on the floor level above the fire, while below the temperature was 1378 degrees.  Not that the TIC was not working and reading accurate temperatures, but because the flooring and carpets do not transfer that temperature, so the TIC doesn’t see it.

Bottom line is that the lightweight construction, increased fuel load, and the synthetic petroleum based materials, contribute to much greater fire growth and presents significant challenges to our firefighters.  Please take the time to educate yourself and the staff under your command.  The lives that they save, could be their own.

Take the engineered wood course now or

Visit UL for free online training for firefighters

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