Arch Aluminum & Glass Helps Develop New Firefighting Techniques


Tamarac, Fla. - To help better train new recruits in dealing with hurricane-impact materials, Arch Aluminum & Glass recently provided the Davie Fire Rescue Department with several pieces of specially laminated glass. According to Battalion Chief Brian Nolte, department officials were forced to reassess existing firefighting techniques for entering buildings through windows due to the increasing popularity of hurricane-resistant glass in south Florida.

"We have to rethink how to break glass, to not only get into buildings but also how firefighters can exit safely. Hurricane-resistant glass doesn't break like other types. It's much tougher," Chief Nolte said, citing safety concerns for his crew and potential emergency situation victims.

The recruits were instructed to try and break through the 7/16-inch and 9/16-inch-thick hurricane impact laminated glass, placed in a wooden frame, using an assortment of standard firefighting pieces of equipment (axe, reciprocating saw, glass cutter, K-12 saw, chain saw). After an arduous day of trial and error, the chain saws turned out to be the most effective tool for the job.

"By supplying the folks at the Davie Fire Dept. with a range of laminates, they were able to come up with procedures to not only effectively get through the material and do their jobs, but also ensure the safety of the firefighters," said Max Perilstein, Arch Vice President of Marketing.

The training regimen, held at a Broward County fire station, proved so successful that the department is considering implementing similar sessions for all the fire stations in the county, especially relevant since hurricane season has begun. There are 25 fire stations and a fire academy located in Broward County.

Laminated glass consists of two or more lites of glass and one or more interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) permanently bonded together. Arch laminated glass products, which are heat tempered in an autoclave, are durable enough to guard against sound, hurricanes, bomb blasts and earthquakes.

Arch Aluminum and Glass Co., Inc. is the TRUE SINGLE SOURCE® for Architectural Aluminum, Extrusions, Insulated, Tempered, Mirrors, Laminated and Decorative Glass. Arch is an American-owned, family business founded in 1978. Arch now operates 33 facilities in 17 states with over 2,400 employees. For more information on Arch Aluminum & Glass, please visit www.archaluminum.net or call 1-866-629-ARCH.

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