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Christopher Marrion: When you begin taking a look at fires in historical structures, a variety of typical styles begin to come through. One is taking a look at the flammable products and the interior surfaces and the total structure being of flammable products.
Then entering into possibly restricted detection systems and having the ability to signal the emergency situation responders and hold-ups with concerns to that. Limitations in regards to fire separations and compartmentation. Restricted and even no automated suppression system, such as sprinklers or water mist systems or anything like that, in addition to then simply providing access to the website and having the ability to get near to the structure and having the resources from water to having standpipes to having actually confined stairs that they can be working out of.
You understand, taking among those things out of that is tough. However then when you sort of line all of these up together it develops a great deal of obstacles for firemens to truly, you understand, have the ability to safeguard these structures.
Hi, my name is Chris Marrion. I am a fire and catastrophe management expert.
In regards to, yes, fires in historical structures and structures, they are relatively typical– not simply in regards to there being a fire, however in general the degree of damage that then results as soon as a fire does start.
We have actually seen just recently the Glasgow School of Art fire, the 2nd fire there that was throughout remediation. We have actually seen it on a variety of other structures: Troitsky Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong in Bhutan.
One part is simply taking a look at the total building, in regards to the structural components– the wood trusses, the roofing decking, for example, simply routine interior surfaces throughout these structures that are a great deal of times of wood.
When we initially see a few of these structures they appear like, you understand, stone masonry-type building that is non-combustible. As soon as going inside you can see a great deal of times the interior surfaces. A lot are covered in woodwork. The floorings, the benches, and churches etc are all wood and flammable products. And after that gradually, structures continue to collect products– documents, whether it’s art work, all kinds of various things that are really flammable, and they simply continue gradually to develop and get put throughout various locations of the structure.
A Few Of the other things that we face is simply taking a look at fire separations, for example. There might not be a fire separation. It might simply be a big uncompartmented area that would permit the fire to spread out within that area and to continue sort of unattended. They might have really put in fire walls sometimes, however then throughout the years and centuries etc, you understand, doors might be gotten rid of for numerous factors.
Among the other things simply to bear in mind too, you understand, it’s challenging to send out emergency situation responders into those areas. There’s restricted locations that they need to combat a fire from. They have actually restricted water materials and tubes and those kinds of things. So it’s usually an externally combated fire. And when you take a look at that, you understand, a great deal of these roofings in these older structures are of slate or a lead or copper or various kinds of products, which are planned to keep the water out. So, you understand, spraying water on the tops of these roofings, they’re not really, you understand, permeating into those upper attic areas.
A great deal of times when you do see fires in historical structures, it is a lot throughout remediation duration. For example, Troitsky Cathedral in Russia, numerous years ago there was a fire throughout building. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong in Bhutan had a fire simply a couple of years back also, too. There’s a lot that’s going on throughout that time that present threats. We have, you understand, a great deal of short-term electrical, short-term lighting in those. We have hot works going on– cutting torches and welding operations and those kinds of things. So, you understand, there’s a reasonable quantity of brand-new ignition sources that are presented there on a short-term basis.
We likewise can have a great deal of flammable products presented to the website in regards to total building products, possibly the scaffolding, those kinds of things that might be presented on website. So in regards to the fire, the ignition capacity might be increasing.
On the mitigation side, we frequently, you understand the detection system possibly being set up or possibly covered over so that the dust and particles is developing problem alarms. And after that on the fire separation side also, too, sometimes, doors are removed to be brought back and they’re purchased elsewhere.
I believe, you understand, there’s certainly things that can be done to assist enhance the security of these structures. I believe, you understand, throughout the years individuals have actually been living, working, you understand, going to services in these structures for many years, and these structures have actually lasted for centuries sometimes. And they’re sort of gets this understanding that, well we have not had a fire and for that reason we’re safe and this is safeguarded and we’re fine. However you understand, it truly is simply having an ignition source near to something that is flammable and simply having that chance that something does fire up and has the chance to broaden from there.
So even if it hasn’t taken place, does not suggest that it is, you understand, fire-resistant for example. And I believe we simply require to keep in mind that.