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Challenges to Fire Safety in Tall Buildings.



Richard G. Gann


In order to increase the chances of survival during a fire emergency, the time available for a person to leave the danger zone must be longer than the time needed to make the escape. For tall buildings, providing time for people to reach safety requires unique considerations with regard to the potential for flame spread, challenges in fire suppression, the extended time occupants could be exposed to smoke and heat, and the potential for thermal weakening of the building structure. Over the past two decades, there have been major advances in both the science of fire and its application to fire safety engineering. This presentation will summarize five tactical opportunities to provide enhanced fire control and escape time. All of these issues will be presented in the context of the technical findings and recommendations of the NIST World Trade Center Investigation.
Proceedings Title
Renewing the Urban Landscape. 7th World Congress
Conference Dates
October 16-19, 2005
Conference Location
New York City, NY
Conference Title


high rise buildings, urban habitat, fire safety, survival, escape means, evacuation, safety engineering


Gann, R. (2005), Challenges to Fire Safety in Tall Buildings., Renewing the Urban Landscape. 7th World Congress, New York City, NY, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created October 16, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017