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Monday, September 7, 2009

Dangerous Building Design in DC

I never imagined that new architecture design could be dangerous, but a popular firefighters' blog VentEnterSearch points this out clearly. The pictured building is a remodeled light commercial structure that currently houses Foot Locker has a fake second story.

Adding a fake facade is an old trick that allows a building to appear much more attractive, and thereby increasing foot traffic into it. But this also poses a serious challenge to firefighters in the case of the building catching on fire, since most building fires are combated by punching a vent hole in the roof first.

It makes me cringe thinking of firefighters either trying to punch through the fake windows, or climbing over the parapet wall and seeing a 10 foot drop down to the real roof.

I've never noticed it before at the corner of H and 8 street, just up the street from popular venues like The Red And The Black and Rock & Roll Hotel. I'm going to try to be more alert to safety angles of new architecture now.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Being a District firefighter this is one of many known buildings in the District with this type of construction/design. Keeping up to date on the construction within the district is part of our job and helps keep us safe. There is no doubt that the building shown here could be extremely dangerous to unknowing firefighters.