October 30, 2008There have been incidents of fires every time a hazard occurs. When terrorist attack and when there is a road accident there is a likely chance that fire occurs. Fire incidents are disastrous causing loss of property and may cause deaths and bring in grieving. Policies, regulations, codes and laws have been put into place to ensure that such scenarios are completely removed. Therefore, the paper analysis four fires that occurred in a closed setting (buildings) from different countries. In these cases engineering regulations that were floated are been analyzed in relations to there contributions to the fire incident.
Additionally, the lessons that were learned from these incidents are analyzed with recommendations on prevention of such fires been brought forward. These four fire incidents includes Windsor Tower fire in Madrid Spain, First Interstate Bank, Los Angeles, n United States, Dongdu Commercial Building in Luoyang, China and the King’s Cross Fire, London in United Kingdom. The Windsor Tower FireThis is a fire incident that occurred in Madrid Spain in February 12, 2005. It occurred in a storey building that had 32 storey concrete floors with reinforced concrete central core.
At the time of construction of the building and according to code of building in Spain the internal steel beams and the perimeter walls were unprotected. It contained two heavily reinforced technical floors in the 2nd and 3rd floors and between the 16th and 17th floors (Osborne 2005, p. 70). Before, the fire broke out the building was under renovation in which fire protection was been developed for the perimeter steel columns by the use of boarding system. On the other hand, the internal steel beams were been protected with the help of spray protection.
Additionally, the sprinkler system was been installed and a new aluminum cladding system was on the process of installation (Howard 2006, p. 120). At the time when the fire broke out the fire protection had reached the 17th floor with some portions in the 9th and 15th floors that were not complete. However, not all the gaps that are between the floor slabs and cladding had been sealed with the fireproof insulation material. Additionally, installation of fire stopping on the voids and the vertical shafts on the fire doors were not operational.
This is because at the time when the building was been constructed there were no rules that required installation of fire protection to the steelwork or the requirement of sprinkler fire protection. Hence, the steelwork was not protected and there was no sprinkler that was installed. Moreover, the floor slabs and cladding had a gap that was not fire stopped. The building adopted the ‘open plan’ floor concept which ensured that the floor compartment could be floor-by-floor.
This means that each floor spanned over a large space (Osborne 2005 p. 72). It is reported that the wire started at the 21st floor which is believed to have been started by short-circuit. Within an hour all the floors that were above the 21st Floor were on fire. After more hours passed the fire spread upwards to the 3rd floor which was the technical floor. The fire lasted approximately 19 hours.