This manual is intended to furnish the reader with basic information about how buildings are designed and constructed. This information will aid in decision making related to fire prevention and fire control. Whether enforcing fire codes, inspecting buildings, developing pre-incident plans, fighting fires, directing fire ground operations, overseeing firefighter safety, or investigating fires, a thorough understanding of building construction principles and practices as these relate to fire behavior and fire load will enable firefighters to make better, safer, and more timely decisions to protect people and property from potential and actual fires. Although this manual is not based on an NFPA® standard, many principles discussed in this text mirror NFPA® job performance requirements from standards such as NFPA® 1001, 1006, 1021, and 1031.
This manual is designed to meet the objectives delineated in the model course outline for Building Construction for Fire Protection as established by the Fires and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) initiative of the United States Fire Administration (USFA).