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Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters Due to Truss System Failures


May 2005
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2005-132
Cover of NIOSH document 2005-132

Fire fighters may be injured and killed when fire-damaged roof and floor truss systems collapse, sometimes without warning.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing injuries and deaths of fire fighters due to roof and floor truss collapse during fire-fighting operations. Roof and floor truss system collapses in buildings that are on fire cannot be predicted and may occur without warning. NIOSH recommends that fire departments review their occupational safety programs and standard operating procedures to ensure they include safe work practices in and around structures that contain trusses. Building owners should follow proper building codes and consider posting building construction information outside a building to advise fire fighters of the conditions they may encounter.

NIOSH requests that the information in this Alert be brought to the attention of all U.S. fire departments and fire fighters. To bring the recommendations in this Alert to the attention of the fire service community, NIOSH requests help from the following individuals and organizations: fire commissioners, fire chiefs, State and lo cal fire district administrators, State fire marshals, safety and health officials, trainers, fire inves tigators, unions, labor organizations, insurance companies, and editors of trade journals and other publications.

Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters Due to Truss System Failures [PDF – 1,482 KB]