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Lightweight trusses


By Mark van der Feyst

When arriving at a structural fire, it can be difficult sometimes to figure out if the building has lightweight trusses. Some jurisdictions label the building on the front wall with some kind of placard to indicate lightweight-truss construction.

We all know the dangers that are associated with this type of construction. Too many firefighters have been injured and or killed due to lightweight-truss construction failing under load and fire.

One way to verify if lightweight trusses are present is to use a pike pole to check the eaves. By pushing up on the eave and exposing the inside, you will be able to see if there are any 2 x 4 members that indicate lightweight trusses. The crews assigned to laddering the building or RIT members doing their 360-degree size up can quickly check this and relay the information to the incident commander.

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