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Patrick Air Force Base Officers’ Club Fire (Essay Sample)


Subject: Engineering and Construction
Number of words: 550
Number of sources: 3
Formatting style: APA
Answer the following questions:
1. Research the 2005 fire at the Patrick Air Force Base Officers’ Club. Write a short
description of the incident to include the cause of the fire, the amount of damage,
and measures that could have been used to prevent the fire.
2. Material Storage and Handling.
a. What is the maximum allowable height for stacking bricks? What other
requirements apply to stacked bricks?
b. What is the maximum allowable height for stacking lumber? What other
requirements apply to stacked lumber?
c. What is the rated capacity of a ½ inch diameter Grade 80 alloy steel chain sling
when used in a double leg bridle sling configuration at a 45° vertical angle?


Engineering and Construction
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Engineering and Construction
Patrick Air Force Base Officers’ Club Fire
The fire at the Patrick Air Force Base Officers’ Club in February 2005 is a classic case of the far-reaching impacts of accidental fires if not controlled. Preliminary reports showed that a roofer’s torch was all to blame for this incident. According to the US Air Force (2005), the flame ignited flammable materials on the club’s roof; the fire intensified unnoticed, causing a significant burst of the club’s roof.
Unfortunately, despite massive efforts by local and military firefighters to control the situation, everything they did proved futile. The blaze was too strong to extinguish such that a large part of the building was consumed, with only a small section of the outer façade being saved. From what the US Air Force (2005) mentioned further, with the base of the building where social events took place being part of the damage, the overall damage was approximately $3million. With such loss, safety mechanisms are imperative.
Although it is somewhat challenging to predict when a fire will occur, safety measures are essential to avoid the damage experienced at Patrick Air Force Base Officers’ Pub. In agreement with Sowah et al. (2016), organizations and public places should invest in detection systems to make fire warnings once a fire breaks out. Such systems can be manual or automatic as long as they are efficient to help in noticing club officials promptly for them to act. Suppression systems, such as fire extinguishers also play a significant role in minimizing fire damage once there is an accident. From what reports about the fire indicated, as the US Air Force (2005) mentioned, the club did not have efficient mechanisms to detect and suppress the fire. Considering them can be an effective mitigation measure.
Material Storage and Handling
The maximum allowable height for stacking bricks is seven feet, as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2019). Besides stacking height, it is vital to taper back each foot with a height exceeding 4 feet. Furthermore, as contained in Section 1926.250(b) (7) of the OSHA Act, it is imperative to taper back 1.5 blocks per layer if their height exceeds 6 feet (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2019). Above all, the maximum height for stacking packaged bricks in three units and masonry blocks should be stacked on solid and flat surfaces, and it is the same requirement as bricks.
It is worth remembering that lumber stacking must not exceed 16 feet; it is the maximum allowable height. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2019), it is risky to stack lumber beyond 16 feet unless using a forklift. In this case, there must be a safety ladder to control the risk that such height poses

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