Posted by Jolene Nieves on February 18, 2016 at 12:34 PM
Thursday, February 18, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COUNCILMAN HENON INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO HELP PROTECT FIRST RESPONDERS AND RESIDENTS
The Ordinance addresses truss construction and other light frame construction
Philadelphia, PA – Councilman Bobby Henon introduced an Ordinance amending the Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code, and thereby the PA Uniform Construction Code for Philadelphia, to add sections requiring contractors, design professionals and developers to add additional fire-resistant materials to structures containing truss construction or other other light frame construction, under certain terms and conditions. Truss and other light frame construction is shown to burn faster and fail at a greater rate than other tradition construction materials, putting the lives of first responders, particularly fire fighters, and residents at serious risk.
“When our brave first responders run into a building to save lives or put out a fire, their lives are at risk enough without the added danger of wood beams and light weight trusses. Reports show that floors supported by exposed trusses and/or engineered wood I-joists can degrade the floor system when a fire burns beneath it, which can result in a sudden collapse,” said Councilman Henon. “By requiring additional fire-resistant materials to be added to these structures, we can better protect the men and women of the Philadelphia Fire Department as they do their job.”
Additionally, the Ordinance also requires that the Department of Licenses and Inspections share information on buildings known to have been constructed with these materials with the Philadelphia Fire Department for use in its dispatching systems.
The Code change would take effect only after the Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry has approved it.