Community SafetyScanningOvercrowding is a usual hazard present in almost all country and accidents in the home are one of the leading causes of injury worldwide (Landon 2006, p. 124). The type of dwelling and its construction are essential determinants of hazard in the indoor environment. If building standards are hopeless or absent predominantly in housing, there are risks of fire, explosion, collapse, accidents and pollution. For instance, poorly designed buildings and fittings or unfinished construction can lead to falls. If housing is made of flammable materials, or cooking fires and stoves are hazardous, the risk of death and injury due to fire are increased.
The inferior layout of the room can lead to insufficient space and ventilation for cooking (Landon 2006, p. 124). Fire poses a particular serious threat in overpopulated high-rise buildings. Initially, it is difficult for fire fighters swiftly and safely evacuates large populations in buildings. Since elevators do not provide a safe means of exit during a fire, thousands of people may be forced to move down crowded stairs. This is a disheartening problem under the best of conditions, but the dangers are intensified in the noise, smoke darkness, and confusion of a high-rise fire, predominantly for those trying to get away from upper floor.
Second, it is hard for fire fighters to reach the upper floors thus to extinguish fire above that point, fire fighters must sometimes climb dozens of flight of stairs, dragging fire hoses and other heavy equipment with them. Third, chimney type stairwells and electrical/plumbing chases allow smoke to travel to floors for above the fire. Fourth, building materials in high-rises constructed in the past forty years pose a further danger, as a fire will frequently produce toxic smoke from thousands of miles of wiring, plastics, fibre floor tiling, furniture, and carpeting.
The longer the fire rages, the more poisonous the surroundings become. Ultimately, as a high-rise fire increases, it will actually begin travelling up a building through outer windows, raging from floor to floor (Chicago High Rise Safety Commission 1999, p. 4). The origins of high-rise building fires are not very different from the causes of fires in other buildings. In high-rise, electrical distribution system fires rank first in causes of fire-related property damage.
In 1998, a study according to Craighead (2003, p. 43) reveals structure fires and associated losses of 37 civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries, and $41.1 million in direct property damage. These statistics verifies previous studies that most high-rise building fires and associated losses occur in apartment buildings. Two of the leading causes of high-rise building fires are electrical problems and arson, with a third major cause being careless workers. Fire originates in tenant spaces 28 percent of the time, usually occurring between 7:00 in the morning and 6:00 in the evening on weekdays when the building is full.
Another 21 percent of building fires occur in electrical and mechanical rooms, with a similar proportion of fire starting in common areas and other building areas. Many of the hazards presented by high-rise buildings are not exclusively associated with buildings of one specific period. Because of their size and form, these buildings share some familiar problems. For instance, the occupancy of a particular building changes its problems. Offices, hotels, apartments, homes for the elderly, factories, and showrooms are all different.
Some buildings have mixed occupancies and many tenants dwell in more than one floor in a building thus accommodation or access stairway are installed. This is typically done as a modification and is hardly ever enclosed. The effect is that two or more floors become one fire area, totally opposing the theory of floor integrity (Brannigan and Corbett 2007, p. 268).