AWC relaunches WoodAware as a resource for Fire Service

May 06, 2019

LEESBURG, VA. – The American Wood Council this week relaunched WoodAware (, an informational website on wood construction for the fire service. New additions to the WoodAware site include a section on the International Code Council (ICC) tall mass timber code changes recently approved for inclusion in the 2021 ICC building codes.

WoodAware aims to educate the fire service on traditional and engineered wood products used in residential and non-residential construction. The website provides extensive information on fire safety and testing, along with examples of typical wood construction in all types of structures the fire service may encounter. WoodAware also provides the fire service with a detailed guide explaining all of the newly-approved tall mass timber code changes.

“It is vital that firefighters educate themselves on all construction materials and methods of construction,” said AWC Fire Service Relations Manager Ray O’Brocki. “The past fifty years have seen unprecedented changes in technology and environmental stewardship impacting construction. In response to these evolving issues, the construction industry has modified its practices and use of materials. Correspondingly, environmental limitations and consumer demand have spurred a transition to engineered lightweight wood construction in residential applications.

“Further, tall mass timber is starting to take hold in the United States and will revolutionize how cities are built. However, with many misconceptions surrounding wood construction, it is important to distinguish mass timber construction from traditional light-frame construction. Mass timber panels are very large and dense, contributing to their fire resistance. ICC echoed our sentiment about mass timber by approving all 14 proposed tall mass timber code changes for inclusion in the 2021 IBC, allowing mass timber construction to reach new heights.”

To explore the new and improved WoodAware website site, visit