Fire prevention in historic buildings – approaches for safe practice

KINCAID, Simon (2022). Fire prevention in historic buildings – approaches for safe practice. The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice, 13 (3), 361-380.

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There is a continual loss of irreplaceable built heritage as a result of fire and statistics indicate that the numbers are significant and sustained. Fire prevention suggests itself as the best solution to the problem: if there is no outbreak of fire in the first instance, there are no consequent losses. Taking as a starting point recent statistics, which provide insight as to the causes of fires in historic buildings, this article examines the associated key measures that can be adopted to prevent fire. The initiator for all such measures is a risk-based approach tailored to individual buildings and including, beyond the standard life safety concerns, an additional focus on heritage aspects. Constant vigilance and awareness of day-to-day activities within a building, with good housekeeping practices, are essential; particular attention is required towards any construction activity and for any special events. Risk assessment and fire prevention are however only components of what needs to be a holistic approach to protect historic buildings from fire, which should also include the improvement of fire protection measures where possible and establishing or refining emergency planning for the possibility that, despite best efforts, it may not be possible to prevent all cases of fire.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
Page Range: 361-380
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 09:51
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 08:47

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