A few weeks ago was NFPA's annual Conference & Expo, held in Las Vegas. Little did we know, one of Las Vegas's historic buildings, The Riviera Hotel and Casino, was due for demolition that week.
Did you hear about it? (Click the link for an amazing video of the implosion!) The Riviera was the first high-rise on the Las Vegas strip. And a fun fact: the hotel was known for its mobster ties and portrayal of Hollywood's mobster scene having been featured in many movies throughout the past decades! The building was demolished at 2:30 am on the morning of Tuesday, June 14. The hotel closed in 2015, after being in business for 60 years. It was one of Las Vegas's most (infamous?) properties and landmarks.
Source: US News and World Report (usnews.com)
So, what does this have to do with NFPA 1, Fire Code? Chapter 16 of the Code requires structures undergoing construction, alteration, or demolition operations to comply with NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 provides measures for preventing or minimizing fire damage during construction, alteration, and demolition operations. (The fire department and other fire protection authorities also should be consulted for guidance.)
The requirements of NFPA 241 cover issues such as the location and use of temporary construction for offices, storage, and equipment enclosures; control of processes and hazards such as hot work; temporary heating and fuel storage; and waste disposal. The general requirements also cover temporary wiring and lighting, site security, access for fire fighting, and on-site provision of first aid fire-fighting equipment.
In addition to compliance with NFPA 241, Chapter 16 contains some additional, NFPA 1 specific, provisions:
- A fire protection plan must be establishes where required by the AHJ. (A fire safety program helps control fires and emergencies that may occur during construction or demolition operations by early planning and implementation of safety measures.)
- Fire department access roads in accordance with Section 18.2.3 of NFPA 1 must be provided at the start of a project and maintained throughout construction. This ensures adequate access for the fire department should a fire or emergency occur.
Construction and demolition operations can be dangerous, and history has shown us that major fires and property damage can occur, if the proper safety measures are not followed. NFPA 1, through NFPA 241, offer the provisions necessary to ensure safe construction and building demolitions.
For additional information, check out this article from the Jan/Feb 2015 NFPA Journal about the recent uptick in huge fires at residential complexes under construction, and how NFPA 241 can protect these buildings from loss.