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2023-2024 General Catalog 
    
2023-2024 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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FIR 124 - Building Construction


Last Date of Approval: Spring 2019

3 Credits
Total Lecture Hours: 45
Total Lab Hours: 0
Total Clinical Hours: 0
Total Work-Based Experience Hours: 0

Course Description:
This course provides the components of building construction that relate to fire and life safety. The focus of this course is on firefighter safety. The elements of construction and design of structures are shown to be key factors when inspecting buildings, preplanning fire operations, and operating at emergencies.

Prerequisites: FIR 127 
Prerequisites/Corequisites: None

Mode(s) of Instruction: Traditional/face-to-face

Credit for Prior Learning: There are no Credit for Prior Learning opportunities for this course.

Course Fees: None

Student Learning Outcomes and Objectives:
Course Outcomes: 

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: 

  • Describe building construction as it relates to firefighter safety, building codes, fire prevention, code inspection, firefighting strategy, and tactics. 

  • Classify major types of building construction in accordance with a local/model building code. 

  • Analyze the hazards and tactical considerations associated with the various types of building construction. 

  • Explain the different loads and stresses that are placed on a building and their interrelationships. 

  • Identify the function of each principle structural component in typical building design. 

  • Differentiate between fire resistance, flame spread, and describe the testing procedures used to establish ratings for each. 

  • Classify occupancy designations of the building code. 

  • Identify the indicators of potential structural failure as they relate to firefighter safety. 

  • Identify the role of GIS as it relates to building construction. 

Student Learning Outcomes: 

  • Describe building construction as it relates to firefighter safety, buildings codes, fire prevention, code inspection, firefighting strategy, and tactics.  

  • Classify major types of building construction in accordance with a local/model building code.  

  • Analyze the hazards and tactical considerations associated with the various types of building construction. 

  • Explain the different loads and stresses that are placed on a building and their interrelationships. 

  • Identify the function of each principle structural component in typical building design.  

  • Differentiate between fire resistance, flame spread, and describe the testing procedures used to establish ratings for each. 

  • Classify occupancy designations of the building code. 

  • Identify the indicators of potential structural failure as they relate to firefighter safety.  

  • Identify the role of GIS as it relates to building construction.  

Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of studying building construction as a fire fighter. 

  • Understand why using proper language is so important for understanding building construction techniques and for fire-ground safety. 

  • Understand why evacuation protocols are critical. 

  • Identify the role of prefire plans and prefire analysis in firefighting operations. 

  • Understand the importance of looking for building deficiencies and dangerous conditions while conducting prefire planning walkthroughs.  

  • Explain why it is so important to study reports of significant fires, NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality and Near Miss reports of the past. 

  • Understand the relationship between risk and benefit and its impact on fire fighter safety. 

  • Identify the variety of forces to which buildings are subjected. 

  • Identify the different types of loads and how they are applied to buildings. 

  • Define safety factor and explain how it affects the choice of materials used in a building assembly. 

  • Identify composite materials and explain how the combination of two different materials affects structural elements.  

  • Identify and define key types of structural members, such as beams, trusses, columns, walls, roofs, and arches. 

  • Identify the various types of structural connections and explain how they affect transmission of loads and behave in a fire. 

  • Identify and describe the basic regulations that apply to building construction projects. 

  • Identify and describe the role of the typical members of a building design team. 

  • Identify and describe the roles of the various members of the construction team. 

  • Recognize why it is important for fire fighters to be able to read building plans and specifications.  

  • Identify the tasks performed during site preparation prior to construction. 

  • Point out the unique features of modular construction that influence firefighting operations. 

  • Identify and describe the hazards to fire fighters during the construction, renovation, and demolition of a building. 

  • Identify and describe the hazards to fire fighters of the different types of materials used in the construction of buildings. 

  • Recognize how the shape of a material affects its ability to resist a compressive load or a deflective one.  

  • Explain the history and basis for building and fire codes. 

  • Explain the differences between fire and building codes. 

  • Identify other construction codes and standards that have an impact on the fire service. 

  • Identify important fire protection features of building and fire codes. 

  • Identify construction-related provisions of fire codes. 

  • Identify fundamentals of fire behavior and key fire phenomena. 

  • Describe the development of a compartment fire. 

  • Identify the ways fire is influenced by a building and its characteristics. 

  • List the ways buildings and their components are affected by a fire. 

  • Explain how specific building materials behave under fire attack. 

  • Describe smoke behavior and the effects it can have on the building, occupants, and fire fighters. 

  • Understand the basic concepts of providing fire protection in buildings.  

  • Define fire resistance and understand how it is determined. 

  • Identify the primary laboratory fire tests and the characteristics they assess. 

  • Describe research being conducted to enhance fire protection capabilities. 

  • Explain the ways in which smoke and fire containment is achieved. 

  • Describe the various types of fire protection systems 

  • Understand and correctly use the terminology associated with wood construction. 

  • Identify and describe six types of wood-frame structures classified as Type V construction. 

  • Identify and describe the specific fire protection differences between balloon-frame and platform-frame construction.  

  • Describe the construction of a platform-frame building. 

  • Understand how a truss is constructed and how it performs from a fire protection perspective. 

  • Explain the difference between firestopping and draftstopping. 

  • Describe the behavior of engineered and manufactured wood products under fire attack. 

  • Describe the different types of sheathing, siding, and roofing materials. 

  • Identify and describe the characteristics of heavy timber buildings and specific characteristics of mill construction (Type IV construction). 

  • Identify the dimensions of heavy timber members. 

  • Describe why the misnomer “slow burning” is inappropriate for heavy timber buildings. 

  • Identify the specific hazards of these conflagration breeders. 

  • Identify specific problems with mill construction.  

  • Identify the dangers of concealed spaces in renovated mill buildings.  

  • Identify the differences between new heavy timber buildings and those built in the past.  

  • Describe the hazards of vacant heavy timber buildings and structures under demolition. 

  • Understand the details of ordinary construction, including features found in modern structures of ordinary construction. 

  • Understand how the structural stability of a masonry wall is compromised. 

  • Identify specific wall and wall component problems. 

  • Recognize collapse indicators. 

  • Identify the problems associated with interior structural elements. 

  • Identify fire hazards associated with roofs. 

  • Understand fire spread through void spaces of ordinary construction. 

  • Explain how masonry walls and fire doors act as fire barriers. 

  • Understand the difference between noncombustible and fire-resistive construction. 

  • Identify the different types of steel building components and their characteristics. 

  • Describe the use of masonry, including concrete, in noncombustible buildings. 

  • Describe different types of steel structural systems. 

  • Describe the hazards of a metal deck roof fire. 

  • Understand the hazards of high fire loads in unprotected steel structures and ways to improve the situation. 

  • Recall the difference between noncombustible and fire-resistive construction. 

  • Describe different types of concrete structural systems. 

  • Describe the two types of prestressing. 

  • Describe the hazards of formwork. 

  • Describe the methods of fireproofing steel and of ensuring a level fire resistance in concrete. 

  • Describe how concrete and concrete structural elements react to fire.  

  • Define green (sustainable) construction. 

  • Explain the role of green certification rating programs and green construction regulations. 

  • Identify and describe the four general categories of green construction.  

  • Identify firefighting hazards associated with each type of green construction material or green building system. 

  • Determine the unique design and construction details found in buildings based on occupancy type. 

  • Establish how occupancy-specific building code requirements dictate particular safety features. 

  • Identify the unique details and hazards associated with specific occupancies. 

  • Understand how occupancy specifics affect firefighting operations. 

  • Explain the role of situational awareness in collapse. 

  • Identify the indicators used to anticipate collapse. 

  • Identify the various types of collapse. 

  • Apply risk analysis to fireground safety. 

  • Identify the specific basic competencies all fire fighters should have to perform at a structural collapse. 

  • Explain the essential elements of the collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers on September 11, 2001. 



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