High Rise Safety Initiative

Are Millions of Business People At Risk of Dying In Collapsing Buildings?

This is one in a series of safety-related public service announcements.

Death Traps?

Millions of people work in or visit high-rise buildings … assuming the buildings were more or less safe.

But it turns out that there is a severe, lethal risk of sudden collapse in even the best-made skyscrapers in America, Britain, Germany, Japan and other nations worldwide.

A New Understanding

Before 9/11, no modern steel-frame high-rise building had ever collapsed due to fire.

9/11 radically changed our understanding of architecture and engineering …

Specifically, 3 steel-frame buildings collapsed on that day. That includes one that was never hit by a plane, and had only small, isolated office fires prior to its collapse.

This was unexpected, as much hotter, longer-lasting fires have never before brought down a modern steel-frame office building.  For example, the 2005 Madrid skyscraper fire “reached 800 degrees Celsius (1,472 F), said Javier Sanz, head of Madrid firefighter”  and lasted some 20 hours without collapsing.

In other words, officials who write building codes, architects and structural engineers had never before worried about small office fires causing office buildings from collapsing.