Principles of Building Construction: Noncombustible Materials
About the Course
The course addresses the need for any fire service personnel to understand fully building construction, methods of construction, materials used in building construction, and fire-resistance requirements in order to conduct fire scene operations safely and make sound strategic decisions. Students should be able to identify a building and correctly apply the classification system for the building in accordance with NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction, identify the important structural feature of a building and use this information in the formation of the Incident Action Plan, identify critical size-up issues such as smoke, heat, and fire travel inside a structure, and predict the path or method of travel based upon the building construction features, and to identify critical safety issues that affect firefighter safety for each classification of construction and identify appropriate measures to enhance the safety of emergency responders.
The overall goal of this course is to provide knowledge about the classification system of buildings, the importance of the fire resistance for structural support elements, and the risks associated with performing fire-suppression activities inside and around buildings involved in fire. One additional major goal of this course is to enhance the skills of emergency response personnel to "read" a building's construction and to apply the information to the action plan for the incident.
At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
- correctly apply the classification system for a building in accordance with NFPA 220 (a standard on types of building construction);
- identify the important structural features of a building and use this information to form an Incident Action Plan (IAP) that outlines strategic goals, tactical objectives, and incident priorities;
- recognize critical size-up issues such as smoke, heat, and fire travel inside a structure;
- predict the path and method of fire travel based upon building construction features; and
- list critical safety issues that affect firefighter safety for each classification of construction and identify appropriate measures to enhance the safety of emergency responders within each type of building construction.
There are no required textbooks or other materials for this course. All course content and activities can be accessed online.
This course is composed of five lessons. Each lesson may contain the following sections:
- the purpose, which states the author’s aim in designing the lesson;
- the objectives, which list the specific kinds of knowledge students should gain from the lesson;
- the commentary, which consists of the author’s discussion of the important topics covered by the lesson and may offer some additional information concerning the topics covered in the text(s);
- the activities, which are web-based questions and exercises that will help you review the material from each lesson on your own; and
- the fire scenarios, which consist of fire scenario and building descriptions, Quick Access Prefire Plans (QAPs), and questions about each scenario for students to answer on their own and compare with an expert’s answers.
Starting with the first lesson, study the lesson’s purpose, objectives, and commentary. Then complete any study activities or fire scenarios on your own. Take notes and make sure you understand all the material presented in the readings. Follow this procedure for each lesson.
You will be required to work through all of the course material, including the activities, and successfully complete the final assessment with a score of 70% or better. This course provides 1.6 CEUs from the University of Missouri Extension Fire and Rescue Training Institute and an American Council on Education Credit Recommendation in the lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 1 semester hour in fire service or fire administration.
Questions for this course should be directed to MU FRTI at (800) 869-3476 or (573) 882-4735.