Truss and Engineered Systems Placards

11-22-2008 9-05-24 PMThe Aldridge-Benge Firefighter Safety Act of 2008 became law on December 13, 2009 after unanimously passing the Florida House and Senate in 2008. The new law is named in honor of two Orange County, Florida  Firefighters, Todd Aldridge and Mark Benge, who died in 1989 after the roof of a gift shop collapsed; the bill is called the Aldridge-Benge Firefighter Safety Act. For a copy of the Act, HERE

 The Aldridge-Benge Firefighter Safety Act will require owners of any commercial, industrial, or any multi-unit residential structure, to mark these buildings in a manner that identifies them as light-frame truss-type construction. A sign or symbol will alert firefighters of the construction material and allow them to modify their tactics for fighting fires in buildings.

12-18-2009 9-58-41 AM

Aldridge-Benge Florida Placards

633.027 Buildings with light-frame truss-type construction; notice requirements; enforcement.

(1) The owner of any commercial or industrial structure, or any multiunit residential structure of three units or more, that uses light-frame truss-type construction shall mark the structure with a sign or symbol approved by the State Fire Marshal in a manner sufficient to warn persons conducting fire control and other emergency operations of the existence of light-frame truss-type construction in the structure.

(2) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section, including, but not limited to:
(a) The dimensions and color of such sign or symbol.
(b) The time within which commercial, industrial, and multiunit residential structures that use light-frame truss-type construction shall be marked as required by this section.
(c) The location on each commercial, industrial, and multiunit residential structure that uses light-frame truss-type construction where such sign or symbol must be posted.

(3) The State Fire Marshal, and local fire officials in accordance with s. 633.121, shall enforce the provisions of this section. Any owner who fails to comply with the requirements of this section is subject to penalties as provided in s. 633.161

Truss Systems Placards For Firefighter Safety from across the United States. This was originally posted HERE . Check out the link for examples of various types of placards from various locations around the US. Additional Links HERE and HERE

- The Valley Independent Sentinel covers the proposed law in Derby, Can You Spare Five Dollars (To Save A Life)?.
- NFPA Journal: It’s not lightweight construction. It’s what happens when lightweight construction meets fire.
- Firehouse.com: Understanding the Dangers of Lightweight Truss Construction

-FireRescue1.com: Enhancing Firefigher SAfety, One Step at a time:

 New York State:  PDF HEREFR20Poster0320Large

The following represent various state or local level efforts that have been instituted to provide the fire service with identification placards for attachment to buildings constructed with truss support systems. What we don’t have is a unified national standard, nor do we have these systems in all states. The political strife and lobbying backed by special interest groups and mfg. associations that DO NOT Support these types of placard systems is appalling and inexcusable. This post is to make many of you aware of the various enhacements that exist to support firefighter safety.

New York State TRUSS TYPE CONSTRUCTION PlacardsNYS 19 NYCRR Part 1264 – IDENTIFICATION OF BUILDINGS UTILIZING TRUSS TYPE CONSTRUCTION
http://www.dos.state.ny.us/code/trussID.htm

More from New York State…..
http://www.trussid.org/index.html

City of San Francisco, CA
5.05 Signage of Buildings with Wood or Lightweight Steel Truss, or Composite Wood Joist (TJI) or Roof Construction
Reference: 2007 San Francisco Fire Code Section 507.3.2
http://www.sfgov.org/site/sffd_page.asp?id=80083

State of New Jersey TRUSS SIGNS (Truss Roof and Truss Floor Assembly Signs)
Exterior Placard NJAC 5:70 – 2.20(a)1 and 2 This attachment was provided by the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety and is referenced as Exterior Placard NJAC 5:70 – 2.20(a)1 and 2.
Truss roof signs are required by the New Jersey State Uniform Fire Code for buildings, which utilize either a floor or roof assembly consisting of truss construction. A truss sign gives early warning to fire and emergency service members that the roof and/or floor may be subject to early collapse in the event of a fire condition.

ISOSCELES TRIANGLE SIGNS
N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.20(a)1.
“The emblem shall be of a bright and reflective color, or made of reflective material. The shape of the emblem shall be an isosceles triangle and the size shall be 12 inches horizontally by 6 inches vertically. With letters of a size and color to make them conspicuous, shall be printed on the emblem, as shown in images below.”

N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.20(a)2
“The emblem shall be permanently affixed to the left of the main entrance door at the height of between 4 feet and 6 feet above the ground, and shall be installed and maintained by the owner of the building”.

NJtruss_signs

New Jersey Truss Placards

 

 

 

NIOSH Suggested Truss Placard Type
EXAMPLE LANGUAGE FOR A LAW REQUIRING LABELING OF BUILDINGS FOR THE FIRE SERVICE
This sample language is based on recommendations in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) report entitled “NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Firefighters due to Truss System Failures.”
The report states: “Consider placing building construction information outside the building. Include
information about roof and floor type.

The NIOSH report also recommends as part of pre-fire planning to: Record data regarding roof and floor construction (e.g., wooden joist, wood truss, steel joist, steel truss, beam and girder, etc.) [NFPA 2003]. The sample language below provides building labeling that identifies the building’s construction type, is simple yet logical, and should allow firefighters to quickly know the building’s floor and roof construction materials, promoting better and more complete information on the fireground and increased firefighter safety.

xxx Identification of structural construction. Structural construction types shall be identified by a sign or signs, in accordance with the provisions of this section.

xxx.1 Signs. Signs shall be affixed where a building or a portion thereof is classified as Group A, B, E, F, H, I, M, R-1, R-2, R-4 or S occupancy. The owner of the building shall be responsible for the installation of the sign.
xxx.2 New buildings and buildings being added to. Signs shall be provided in newly constructed buildings and in existing buildings where an addition that extends or increases the floor area of the building. Signs shall be affixed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or a certificate of compliance.

xxx.3 Existing buildings. Signs shall be provided in existing buildings. Signs shall be affixed within ninety days of being notified in writing by the Code Enforcement Official.

xxx.4 Contents of signs. Signs shall consist of a diagram 6 inches (152.4 mm)in height and width, with a stroke width of ¼ inch (6.4 mm). The sign background shall be reflective white in color. The diagram and contents shall be reflective red in color, conforming to Pantone matching system (PMS) #187. Where a sign is directly applied to a door or sidelight, it may be a permanent non-fading sticker or decal. Signs not directly applied to doors or sidelights shall be of sturdy, non-fading, weather resistant material.

xxx.5 Identification of construction classification. Signs shall contain the roman alphanumeric designation of the construction classification of the building, in accordance with the provisions for the classification of types of construction (types I through V) of the building code. The roman numeral designating construction classification shall be 1 inch (25.4 mm) minimum in height and have a stroke width of ¼ inch (6.4 mm) minimum, and it shall be reflective white in color on a background of reflective red.

xxx.6 Identification of year of construction. Signs shall indicate the building’s year of construction or major reconstruction. The arabic numeral indicating year of construction shall be 1 inch (25.4 mm) minimum in height and have a stroke width of ¼ inch (6.4 mm) minimum, and it shall be reflective white in color on a background of reflective red.

xxx.7 Identification of structural construction types. Signs shall contain the alphabetic designations identifying the structural construction types used in the building, as follows:

“W” shall mean sawn joist/rafter construction, wood members
“I” shall mean engineered I-joist construction, wood members
“S” shall mean steel construction
“T” shall mean truss type construction
“C” shall mean concrete construction

NIOSH Suggested Truss Placard

NIOSH Suggested Truss Placard

State of Florida, Truss Placard System 2008;
The Aldridge-Benge Firefighter Safety Act. The law was named in honor of Orange County firefighters Todd Aldridge and Mark Benge, who died in 1989 after the truss roof of a gift shop collapsed. Under the new law, owners of any commercial, industrial or multi unit residential structure, have to clearly mark if their buildings have lightweight roof or floor trusses, allowing firefighters to change their tactics when working in these types of structures

http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2008/7/2/new_firefighter_protect….

633.027 Buildings with light-frame truss-type construction; notice requirements; enforcement
(1) The owner of any commercial or industrial structure, or any multiunit residential structure of three units or more, that uses light-frame truss-type construction shall mark the structure with a sign or symbol approved by the State Fire Marshal in a manner sufficient to warn persons conducting fire control and other emergency operations of the existence of light-frame truss-type construction in the structure.
(2) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section, including, but not limited to:
(a) The dimensions and color of such sign or symbol.
(b) The time within which commercial, industrial, and multiunit residential structures that use light-frame truss-type construction shall be marked as required by this section.
(c) The location on each commercial, industrial, and multiunit residential structure that uses light-frame truss-type construction where such sign or symbol must be posted.
(3) The State Fire Marshal, and local fire officials in accordance with s. 633.121, shall enforce the provisions of this section. Any owner who fails to comply with the requirements of this section is subject to penalties as provided in s. 633.161.

Florida Placard

Florida Placard

 

Wheeling, Illinois Wood Truss Warning Signs
Attached is information from Wheeling, Illinois, who enacted thier own local code requriement. April 18, 1994 adopted Ordinance 2948 amending Title 14, Fire, of the Wheeling Municipal Code by adding Chapter 14.08 “Wood Truss Warning Signs”

State of Vermont
F or additional Info HERE

CITY OF CHESAPEAKE, VA TRUSS ID PROGRAM; A designated sticker is used for quick recognition of potential Collapse Dangers associated with TRUSS constructed buildings. The sticker is placed on every entry door of all commercial buildings with Truss construction. The use of trusses in building construction presents a great danger to firefighting personnel when those structures are involved in fire conditions. By design, the truss members in floor and roof assemblies will collapse, without warning, after being exposed to heat or flame contact for a very short period of time. Because of the inherent danger firefighters must face while operating within these buildings, a Truss Identification Program (TIP) has been instituted to alert personnel of the danger prior to beginning fire suppression operations. The Truss Identification Program is intended to alert the members of the Chesapeake Fire Department with pertinent pre-plan information before firefighting forces are committed to an interior attack.

The TIP shall be an ongoing program applied to all commercial buildings inspected by the Chesapeake Fire Department.
http://www.chesapeake.va.us/services/depart/fire/truss.shtml

City of Greencastle, Indiana

The City of Greencastle, Indiana and the Greencastle Fire Department recently enacted and approved an Engineered Lumber ID Program consisting of a sticker that is used for quick recognization of potential Collapse Dangers associated with Engineered Lumber constructed buildings. The sticker is placed on every electrical meter of all residential & commercial buildings with Engineered Lumber construction built after May 13th 2008. The news release states that; the use of this type of lumber in building construction presents a great danger to firefighting personnel when those structures are involved in fire conditions. By design, the Engineered Lumber in floor and roof assemblies will collapse, without warning, after being exposed to heat or flame contact for a very short period of time. Because of the inherent danger firefighters must face while operating within these buildings, an Engineered Lumber Identification Program (ELIP) has been instituted to alert personnel of the danger prior to beginning fire suppression operations.

The Engineered Lumber Identification Program is intended to alert the members of the Greencastle Fire Department with pertinent pre-plan information before firefighting forces are committed to an interior attack. The sticker is unobtrusive and is placed directly on a meter box, for example, and alerts the FD if either the floor joists and/or the trusses are made of and Engineered Lumber System and materials. The fire officers are already checking the utility boxes on all fires as part of their initial size-up. The ELIP shall be an ongoing program applied to all residential & commercial buildings inspected by the Greencastle Fire Department.

ORDINANCE 2008 – 4 states; AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING A REFLECTIVE SYMBOL ON STRUCTURES USING ENGINEERED LUMBER
WHEREAS, many new building structures currently use engineered lumber in their construction;
WHEREAS, some types of engineered lumber burn at a rate faster that other types of lumber; and
WHEREAS, in fighting fires, it would be helpful to know the types of materials used in the construction of a structure.

NOW THEREFORE be it ordained by the Common Council of the City of Greencastle as follows:
1. Definitions:
a. Engineered Lumber shall mean prefabricated I-joists, truss joists, and truss rafters, and laminated beams and studs.
b. Structure shall mean primary, secondary and accessory structures as defined in the Greencastle Zoning Code that have electrical meters that serve the structure.

2. All structures constructed with engineered lumber after the effective date of this ordinance must have a reflective symbol affixed to each electrical meter serving the structure.

3. The reflective symbol shall be in the form of a sticker, issued by the City of Greencastle that states that the structure is constructed with engineered lumber

4. Any person violating this ordinance by refusing to use the reflective symbol or by removing the reflective symbol shall be subject to a fine in an amount of $25.00 per violation. Each day that a violation occurs shall constitute a separate violation, subject to a separate fine.

5. The owner of any structure that was constructed with engineered lumber prior to the effective date of this ordinance is requested to place the reflective symbol on the electrical meter serving the structure on a voluntary basis.

This is another great example how local level insights, actions and legislation can go a long way in supporting fire service operational challanges as they relate to building construction systems, methodologies and materials. Remember, We can certainly work diligently AND cooperativley with local government officials to enhance incident operations and make our jobs safety, one step at a time….
For additional information on the Fire Department’s efforts in Greencastle, IN contact Lt. John Shafer, Lieutenant/Training Officer HERE.
 
An invaluable free on-line training program on Structural Stability of Engineered Lumber in Fire Conditions – is available from UL, check HERE for further information.
The 2006 NIOSH LODD Report, HERE

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