Building Management Hawaii April/May - (Page 26)
Preventing fires in high-rises requires heightened focus.
By Brian Uchima
lthough the risk of fire in highrises is lower than in other
buildings of the same property use,
high-rise building managers have a
particularly tough job when it comes
to fire prevention due to the scale and
complexity of their fire protection
systems and the number of people
who must be trained or educated.
Making things even more difficult is
the advanced age of many of Hawaii’s
Four occupancy classes account
for half of high-rise fires in the
• apartments and condominiums
(which account for 44 percent)
• facilities that care for the sick
• office buildings
According to statistics from the
National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA), U.S. fire departments
responded to an average of 15,700
structure fires in high-rise buildings
per year between 2005 and 2009 (a
high-rise being more than 75 feet, or
seven stories, above grade). These
incidents resulted in an average of 53
deaths, 546 injuries and $235 million
in direct property damage per year.
While preventing fires is
everyone’s business, property
managers hold a heavy share of
the responsibility. By using proper
controls and implementing rigorous
training and education programs,
loss of life and property losses can be
Let’s review a high-rise fire that
occurred in Ontario, Canada, on
Jan. 6, 1995. Early that morning,
The branches grow
because of the trunk.
an improperly discarded cigarette
butt ignited a couch in a fifth-floor
unit. The unit occupant attempted
to extinguish the fire but was
unsuccessful, and within a minute the
fire was out of control. The occupant
escaped the unit but failed to close
the door that led to the corridor. Fire
and smoke quickly filled the corridor,
triggering the smoke detector. Those
on the fifth floor who immediately
evacuated made it out of the building.
Those who hesitated had little choice
but to retreat back into their units
because the corridor was filled with
The building was designed with
two enclosed stairwells. Although the
stairwells were equipped with self-closing
doors, one door did not close properly,
allowing smoke to enter the stairwell, rise
and permeate the upper corridors.
When it comes to Hawaii, our roots run deep.
2013 marks our 40th year of serving Hawaii. We’ve
recommitted ourselves through new leadership, a
reinvigorated management vision and team, and
an unwavering integrity that defines all that we do.
To mark this change, we’re changing our name
from Certified Hawaii to Associa Hawaii. While
our name is different, our people and our
commitment to serve Hawaii remains beyond
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737 Bishop Street, Mauka Tower, Suite 3100 | Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 836-0911 | Fax: (888) 608-4021 | www.associahawaii.com
Delivering unsurpassed management and lifestyle services to communities worldwide.
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April - May 2013
2/4/13 10:10 AM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii April/May
Lifts: Elevators & Escalators
Service Providers Leverage Cutting-Edge Technology
Time To Modernize?
Ready To Switch Gears?
Concrete: Restoration & Repairs
When To Test For Lead
3 Steps For A Solid Spalling Job
Phase The Work
Tips On How To Reduce Spalling On Newer Buildings
The Difference Between Repair & Restoration
Equipment Breakdown Insurance
Toolbox Talk: How to choose the correct ladder for the job.
Industry News and Movers & Shakers
On Site: Saving Staff
Building Management Hawaii April/May