Friday, July 22, 2011

Spidey Sense Tingling?

Enjoy this guest post from Roy Poteete.

It is all the rage Light Weight Building Material. From Wood I Beams to Open Web Floor Truss. Cities and local building codes are allowing these materials to be used to save the contractor money on the front end of there cost to make a huge profit on the back end.

But what is really instore is a potential Fatal Hazard for the Firefighters, the Home Owners or anyone that might be trapped inside the structure. Open Web Floor Truss; check out the video link as you can see that there is only 2x4's top and bottom and a steel web gusset palte that is stamped/rolled into the wood. These gusset paltes only penetrate the wood about 1/4".

Firefighters you need to know where these houses are being built, subdivisions and the homes that these are built with. They have a faster burn thru time vs. a #1 Southeren 
Yellow Pine 2"x12" floor joist. 

Yes, they offer a ease of building, open floor web trusses allow for duct work, electric, plumbing to be ran thru it. But the danger of failure is the same as in any roof truss. Failure in any web member and you have a total failure in all web members and the truss system. 

Wood I beams......where to start. They should be outlawed as well. I am sold on traditional building materials of a #1 Southern Yellow Pine 2" X 12" floor joist.

Check out this video of a Wood I Beam. You can cut a hole in them allowing the threat of fire to potentially travel thru the hole to another floor joist. Allow the fire to attack the wood fibers of the OSB Board that they are made with. They are attached with a 8 penny nail. A nail that is about 2.5" in length. A 16 penny nail is about 3.5" in length. So the depth of an 8 penny nail is shorter then a 16 penny. so attachment is 1" less. 


Know where these products are being used. Make sure that the crews are aware of these building materials being used. You may want to go on a defensive attack when encountering these structures. Make sure that the home owners are aware of the potential danger of trapping a firefighter and failure of the floor systems could cause the structure to collapse.