Sunday, February 13, 2005

Madrid High Rise Fire - Building Near Collapse

Long time readers of this blog know I've dealt with the unresolved issues of fighting high rise fires. I have made the point that we need to improve our ability to fight fires above the reach of water sprayed from street level. We've had two fires in Chicago, the Cook County Administration Building and the LaSalle Bank Building, where the Chicago Fire Department was able to get water on a high rise fire and prevent building collapse. There is no guarantee we'll always be so lucky!
We need to look at innovative alternatives. One I put forward is to inject liquid carbon dioxide into the standpipes to create a "seltzer water" mix to fight the fires. Another would be to install manometers between the interior of the stairwells and each floor to allow occupants to time their entry into the stairwell so as to minimize smoke intrusion and allow escape through the fire floors. So where are the politicians on this issue? Where is the after action report on the LaSalle Bank Building fire? Now is the time to act.


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