LeeMcCullough - Fire Damage

By: Leemccullough  05/12/2011
Keywords: fire safety, structural engineering, Safety Practice

When a fire occurs, it can have a devastating effect on the fabric of a building. Whether a fire damaged structure is a historic building or a modern construction, the ability of the Engineer to judge the extent of damage to structural elements can mean the difference between demolition and practical reuse-if repair and reuse can be justified, considerable savings can accrue.

At LeeMcCullough we can provide advise on the fitness of structural elements following fire damage through our experience of assessing fire damaged structures and an understanding of the nature of the damage to structural materials caused by a fire. To complement this, one of our Associates has completed the Diploma in Fire Safety Practice at Trinity College.

Damaged timber structures can usually be assessed simply through the residual cross section. For other materials, the key to assessing their structural capacity after a fire is to estimate the temperature reached by the material. A close up visual inspection of the structure immediately after the fire (together with 'clues' from the condition of non structural elements) can often provide evidence of this. In some cases the only reliable way to confirm structural capacity is by material testing.

Where structural elements are found to be overloaded because of reduced capacity due to fire damage, our Structural Engineering experience will often allow us to provide a remedial solution, especially if the building is historic in nature and the alternative would be a loss of historic fabric.

Keywords: fire safety, Fire Safety Practice, Safety Practice, structural engineering,

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