What can be done to limit the damage from wildfires, like the recent ones in Hawaii? In this episode of If Walls Could Talk, Publisher Jill Bloom talked with Trent Cotney, partner at Adams & Reese, about how to mitigate the spread of wildfires and what changes wildfires can cause to construction.
One change wildfires cause is adaptation of building codes, like the Wildland-Urban Interface standard, to limit future fire damage. “What you always have to take into account with WUI is the building materials you’re using,” Cotney says. “There have been standards in place since the great fire in Chicago 100+ years ago, but when you’re combining these outside forces, you really want to make sure you’re looking at this holistically.”
Cotney also discussed OSHA’s rules for safety incentives, which is more than just discipline. “I’m sure everybody has a great safety manual with a good disciplinary policy in it, but I think there’s a tendency among contractors to just focus on the discipline aspect if they find a safety violation,” Cotney says.
Cotney also spoke about heat standards and the conflict between city and state standards while the federal standard is being worked on.