The Origin of Fire Codes

Fire codes aren’t rules that are applied to all construction projects, although certain commonalities do exist. The fact is that certain fires throughout history have shaped both how we protect ourselves from fires, and how we determine the causes of those fires. Just as a steel fabrication expert relies on evidence to determine the quality of materials, fire safety experts look at all aspects of construction to determine over all safety. Fire safety begins with knowing how the codes were formed, and understanding the importance of protecting your assets.

The 1903 Iroquois Theatre fire had a huge impact in the safety of auditoriums and similar structures. That fire claimed 602 lives, and forever ensured that fire exits would be present at all auditoriums. Buildings are now liable for these exits, and failure to comply can be detrimental to construction claim preparation.

The Winecoff Hotel fire of 1946 led to the permanent installation of smoke detection and fire suppression systems in hotels. The fire killed 119 people in a hotel that had bragged about its fireproof status. The frame of the building was made of steel, and thus impervious to fire. The interior was made of combustible materials, however, and the building burned down the night of December 7th, 1946.

One of the most tragic accidents also had a large impact on fire safety. This fire was already causing massive amounts of damage to the school before it was noticed. As a result, fire alarms are now automated and firewalls and emergency lighting are used in the event of an emergency.

::Lyle Charles is a construction claims expert with experience in steel fabrication. Lyle Charles Consulting is available for commercial construction consulting.