From Red to Green: Fire Station Design

How a Zoned Approach to Fire Station Design Supports Firefighter Health and Safety

Fire-fighting safety precautions often focus on the scene of a fire, but minimizing exposure to lingering carcinogens and other contaminants extends well beyond a fire event.

Cancer is an ongoing occupational hazard and concern for fire personnel, with a growing body of research that shows the increased risk for firefighters.

A multi-year study of 30,000 firefighters by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety found that firefighters had a 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general U.S. population.

Despite improvements in personal protective gear, hazards on the scene are growing more aggressive. Increasing use of synthetic building materials over the past 40 years is one contributing factor to fires that burn hotter and faster, with more toxic smoke. The often harmful particles from these blazes and smoke can remain on gear, clothes and skin without proper decontamination practices.

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Author:

Matt Bickel

AIA, LEED AP

Author:

John McNamara

AIA, LEED AP

Author:

Jake Wollensak

AIA