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Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters Working Above Fire-Damaged Floors

February 2009
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2009-114
piece of wood

Fire fighters are at risk of falling through fire-damaged floors. Fire burning underneath floors can significantly degrade the floor system with little indication to fire fighters working above. Floors can fail within minutes of fire exposure, and new construction technology such as engineered wood floor joists may fail sooner than traditional construction methods. NIOSH recommends that fire fighters use extreme caution when entering any structure that may have fire burning beneath the floor.