Cost saving measures in construction are becoming more commonplace. A popular trend is the use of Lightweight Engineered Lumber truss systems to create larger places with less wood. Firefighters say this cost savings is dangerous, but one engineer says firefighters are wrong.
Russell Ziskey an engineer for Ziskey & Winger Design Inc, has come out on record saying firefighters have no basis for their fears. “Look the engineered lumber is INSIDE the walls. It gets covered over by drywall. You know like gypsum board, as is sheet rock. Think about this a second, drywall is literally made of rock, it is fireproof.”
According to the presentation Ziskey has been putting on for community groups across the country homes are now built fireproof. When cities try to update building codes to limit the use of Engineered Lumber he swoops in to “educate” the citizen about the truth.
“Fact in the last twenty years the numbers of fires are down. Fact we have more firefighters today than in the past. Fact most of the materials used in home construction today are fireproof. Fact fireproof homes are causing the number of fires to go down.”
Mr. Ziskey never directly says it but his message is clear. Firefighters are against engineered lumber because they want more fires. Fireproof homes mean budget reductions for the departments.
“Have you ever seen the tests they do? The set two boards side by side and set them on fire. One is a normal 4×6 the other is an engineered beam. They don’t cover them in drywall and doing put in insulation or foam. It is a test designed to make people afraid and want to increase the local FD budget.”