Essays on Fire Investigation - Signs and Symptoms of Building Collapse Coursework

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The paper "Fire Investigation - Signs and Symptoms of Building Collapse" is a great example of management coursework. Fire investigation is known to be a hard task even to people who have many years of experience in the profession. This usually calls for the investigator to analyze the entire process. This is in order to ascertain whether the case was arson or whether it was an accidental occurrence. (Alexander, 2004) One aspect that makes it hard for fire investigators to determine whether the case was arson or not, is due to the fact that fires usually destroy evidence.

Without evidence, it becomes very hard to prove that the case was an arson attack. This paper, therefore, looks into various aspects of fire investigation. This includes the hazards faced by fire investigator, arson prevention measures and aspects on the scene that would indicate that it was arson. 2.0 signs and symptoms of building collapse There are usually signs and symptoms that show the collapse of building both during and post fire fighting operations. It is usually very essential for firefighters to look out for signs and symptoms that show that there is a likelihood of the building collapsing.

One of these signs is when there are stones that are falling apart from the building. This shows that there is the danger of the building disintegrating. This is quite common when the building has got very heavy structural decorations. Old buildings will easily have falling stones. Another sign is when there are cracks on the walls of the affected building. This also includes other parts of the building like doors and windows and particularly on the upper arches.

That is why firefighters should be keen on checking the building whether the walls appear to be bending or whether there are any signs of swelling within the building. It is very easy to check out on bending signs by comparing the wall to the entire structure of the building. If there are signs of misalignment, then this can be a sign that the building can collapse. This includes signs that the floor edges are lowered and also illustrate gaps when comparing the walls to the floors. These signs are more common on the floors that are affected by the fire.

(Kirk, 2006) The other sign of collapsing building includes bent pillars within the building. This is especially on the pillars that support various floors within the building. When these pillars are bent, it means that they cannot carry the weight of the floors above, therefore, showing a high possibility of collapse. When the metals that support the pillars contract and expand, it means that the building can also easily collapse. This easily happens when the metals are exposed to high temperatures.

The burn patterns within the building may indicate that the building may collapse. 3.0 Hazards When fire investigators are on duty, they come across different hazards that can harm their lives. First of all, there is always the risk of being affected by the fire. This is for instance when there are live electrical wires within the building. There is also the risk of falling debris. That is why fire investigators always have to be well clothed to protect themselves. It is also advisable that precautions be taken such that areas within the building that have a likelihood of falling debris are avoided.

There are also risks of inhaling harmful gases within the building. This includes harmful gases like carbon monoxide which can be very dangerous. Sometimes there are flying pieces of material in the air that can harm the fire investigator. Fire investigators are usually at risk of being cut by sharp objects on the floor of the building. All this requires the fire investigator to carry out proper plans concerning necessary protection. (Brannigan, 2005)



Alexander, C. (2004): The Professional Risk Managers' Handbook; London; Harvard Press

Brannigan, L. (2005): Building Construction for the Fire Service; London; Free Press

Kirk, J. (2006): Fire Investigation; sixth edition; London; Oxford Press

Lentini, J. (2006): Scientific Protocols for Fire Investigation; London; University Press

NFPA 921(2004): Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations; 2004; National Fire Protection Association

Robertson, J. (1989): Introduction to Fire Prevention; 3rd Ed. New York; Macmillan Publishing Co

White, J. (2000): Arson Forensic Mental Health Care; Edinburgh; Churchill Livingston

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