Fire Facilities offers significant benefits to our customers because we not only market our fire training towers, we design and manufacture them too. As the industry leader in steel training structures, we provide uncompromised quality and versatility in product and design. Our staff of professionals will assist your organization with concepts and designs that incorporate all aspects fundamental to your needs while maintaining safety. Our staff not only brings years of fire service but also the knowledge gained from working with fire departments and military bases throughout the United States. And, unlike any other major supplier of steel fire training towers, our towers are manufactured in the USA.
Fire Facilities is a full service provider dedicated to guiding you through the process with our tower model examples, free customized proposal drawings, and variety of innovative and quality accessories for your tower. We approach every project as an individual design to incorporate features, options, and layouts that are specifically matched to your training needs. It is our responsibility to propose the design that best fits your needs and then tailor it to include the training capabilities and safety features you demand. No matter how large or small your project, we will design and manufacture it exactly as you request.
While we have experience designing hundreds of training facilities with individualized features, we continue to develop new features and designs to meet our customers’ unique training needs.
While each of our training facilities is individually designed, there are two common elements found in all of our towers: quality materials and uncompromised design. We provide a blend of realism and safety that gives your fire department the ability to train in real world scenarios, while maintaining a margin of safety necessary to your program.
Our towers are designed to withstand wind load and seismic conditions. Regardless of where you are located, every component of your structure will be designed to withstand the extremes of a training environment.
Every floor, attic, and roof deck is designed to withstand a 100-pound per square foot (PSF) live load. Our 100 PSF deck has an allowable live load of 100 PSF in addition to all dead loads, including concrete floors. This means that during training, safety officers can be assured the training is being performed as it should be, on a safe working deck, without the added concern of overloading a working deck with firefighters or equipment.
Each component of Fire Facilities’ training structures is designed to perform a particular function. You can safely ladder, rappel, crawl, and walk anywhere, not limited to specific areas provided. We always design the proper component for a specific function rather than compromise by providing an existing part that isn’t the best for the task. Some examples of this are:
Primary Structural Frame
The skeleton of Fire Facilities’ structures is made from hot-rolled structural steel and wide flange beams. Each beam and column is designed to withstand the vertical and lateral loads to which it is exposed. Connection plates, angles, and stiffeners are all shop welded in perfect alignment so the frame can be erected in the field using bolted connections. Bolts range from 5/8″ to 1″ in diameter, thus avoiding welding in the field.
While member sizes vary with building sizes, beam webs normally run approximately 5/16″ thick with flanges running approximately 7/16″ thick. End plates range from 1½” to 2″ thick solid steel plate. This provides the basic “rock solid” structure that will support the rest of the building.
Secondary Structural Framing
Framing for the walls, floors, and roof are constructed with hot dipped galvanized “Cees” designed to support the loads they are exposed to. The capacity of a system is developed by the combination of the member size, thickness, loading, spacing, and span. The physical size, steel thickness, and spacing is varied to produce the appropriate stud or joist (member) for each application. The condition of every building project is examined to ensure that size, strength, and fit are perfect.
Our gable roofs are 100% steel framed (non-combustible) like the rest of the structure, enabling spot burn areas in the attic. The structural system spans across the entire building width, leaving an open attic deck that is rated at a full 100 PSF. If a shingled roof surface is desired to resemble a standard residential roof, it can be applied directly to the steel framing, still providing you with the safety of steel and the open attic deck area.
Fire Facilities’ floor panel system is developed specifically for our fire training towers. It provides a combination of the flattest possible profile, recessed fasteners, and maximum strength (a full 100 PSF). Since commercially available metal decks have large recesses, we manufactured our own floor panel with the flattest and most skid resistant floor panel available, in order to prevent potential injuries. The recess of our floor panel is minimized to prevent tripping and exposure to kneeling on an edge.
Since all of the screw heads are located below the plane of the panel, there is no possibility of tripping or kneeling on them. Constructed of 18-gauge galvannealed steel, our floor panel provides a strong, slip-resistant surface. Concrete fill can be added to any of our floor decks if desired; it is your choice, since concrete is not a requirement of our system.
Because the fire service will exert loads on wall panels similar to what floor panels endure, we have designed our wall panel to withstand rappelling, laddering, and climbing. Therefore, our wall panels are designed with the same loading requirements as our floor systems. Fire Facilities utilizes a horizontally lapped wall panel system, which simulates a flat wall/real world condition and diminishes likelihood of structural damage. The design acts as a buffer between the main structural frame of the building and any exterior elements, so that if an exterior wall panel is damaged, no structural damage is likely to occur.
The formed angles of the wall panels are adjusted to provide a weather tight joint in the vertical wall. Wall panels are also provided with a two-coat, baked-on paint system on both sides of the panels. Wall panels are horizontally lapped, providing a similar exterior appearance to residential siding.
Fire Facilities currently offers a low maintenance, galvanized roof deck that provides a flat walking surface. All of our roof systems utilize closures and caulk tape to make the roof system weather-tight. We also provide a higher load rated parapet wall around the perimeter, with beveled edges, which allows the ropes and trainees to hang over the top of the wall.
The roof panels used on Fire Facilities’ training structures are roll-formed and are 30″ to 36″ wide. The panel’s deep channels provide a means of directing water, snow, and ice off the roof. These panels are manufactured from 18-gauge, hot-dipped galvanized steel. Standard caulked side laps and contoured closures fit the panel ends to produce a weather-tight roof that is durable and safe. These components, coupled with our standard parapet tower wall design, provide an attractive, efficient system.
The chop-outs that FFI utilizes are heavy gauge (12 ga.) galvanized welded assemblies with a diverter angle at the high side of the roof system to aid in water drainage. Our chop-outs are purposely elevated to ensure that water will not run into the tower and damage the roof when training.
The stair systems in our fire training towers are made from heavy gauge steel stringers and bar grate treads. The tread and stringer assembly is factory welded and shipped as one unit. This assembly is standard and eliminates bolted connections between stringers and treads that can create an uneven installation.
For added safety, the landing approaches are constructed of bar grate and installed flush with the floor panels to allow crawling firefighters to feel the landing before reaching the stairs in low visibility environments. Handrails and guardrails are designed to resist a 200 lbs point load in any direction at the top. The stairs are also designed with three horizontal rails to minimize gaps for additional safety measures.
All stair and railing components are delivered to the job site with a baked-on primer finish or hot-dipped galvanization, the choice is yours.
Doors and Window Shutters
All burn room doors and shutters are constructed of 18-gauge galvanized steel with an additional 18-gauge steel skin on the opposite side. Internally, they contain welded steel hat channel reinforcements and 14-gauge steel hinge reinforcement bars.
A specialized slide bolt lock is provided on all shutters and burn room doors which can be used to lock the tower when not in use, or be positively secured in the unlocked position to ensure there is no possibility of accidental latching or locking during a training exercise.
Each burn room door is also equipped with a spring closing device that gently holds the door in the closed position during training to keep the area dark and contain the smoke and heat, but can easily be pushed open. These doors and shutters also come with “hold open” clips that are used any time more ventilation or natural light is needed. Additionally, we provide an 18 ga. sill trim with a beveled/45 degree corner to help prevent damage in turnout gear and rope work when climbing in and out of window openings.
Westec® Insulation System
Westec® is Fire Facilities’ proprietary insulation system that is designed for use in burn rooms and rated up to 1850°F. Westec is a unique two-part system that protects your fire training tower two ways. Outside, a strong stainless steel panel is tough enough to withstand the most strenuous training exercises. Inside, a Westec™ Insulation Blanket protects your tower from extreme temperatures during training. Because steel expands as it heats up, this system was designed to accommodate the panel movement without creating buckling or warping of the panels. The innovative Westec Insulation System provides the highest level of protection–inside and out. It is the burn room with the highest overall thermal resistance. See Cold Face Temperature Comparison for Westec’s thermal performance. In addition, Westec is supported by a 15-year limited warranty against breaking, cracking, or spalling, the source of the largest maintenance costs of a training structure.
To conduct safe training exercises, training and safety officers must have a means of determining the temperature inside the burn rooms at all times. To accommodate this, a temperature monitoring system for each burn room is provided. The Scout consists of a digital pyrometer mounted outside, and thermocouples installed inside each burn room, giving a continuous read-out with actual, real-time temperatures. The exclusive integrated temperature monitoring system features a simultaneous display of all nine probes, data logging, wireless downloading capability, adjustable preset alarm set points, and an internal audio alarm.
The basic design concept for Fire Facilities’ training structures was developed to provide the greatest degree of flexibility possible. We understand that each firefighter training tower must include features that apply to the individualized style of training that is to be accomplished. Fire Facilities’ towers can be designed to meet all training needs without compromise. We have a large library of features we have designed for other departments. We also have all in house services and immediate assistance to help you through the process. There are no limitations! If you can imagine it, our engineers and designers can make it happen. This flexibility, coupled with the economies of operating with our own engineers, results in the perfect training solution at the best price.
Basic Fire Facilities tower features such as the flat wall panel design, parapet wall design with hidden drainage system, or clear-span gable roofs, can be expanded to include more individualized features such as:
Regardless of the final design, be assured that your Fire Facilities tower will be designed to include all the safety features and quality materials that we are known for providing. Your training structure will be an attractive addition to any location and you can take pride in knowing that it was designed to meet your specific needs and the unique needs of your department.