When you start looking at fires in historic buildings,
a number of common themes start to come through.
One is looking at the combustible materials and the interior finishes
and the overall structure being of combustible materials.
It creates a lot of challenges for firefighters to really
be able to protect these buildings.
My name is Chris Marrion.
I’m a fire and disaster management consultant.
In terms of, yes, fires in historic buildings and structures,
they are fairly common – not just in terms of there being a fire,
but overall the extent of damage that then results once a fire does get started.
And we’ve seen recently the Glasgow School of Arts fire,
the second fire there that was during restoration.
We’ve seen it on a number of other buildings:
Troitsky Cathedral in Saint Petersburg,
Wangdue Phodrang Dzong in Bhutan.
One part is just looking at the overall construction in terms of the structural elements.
The wood trusses, the roof decking, for instance,
just regular interior finishes throughout these buildings
that are a lot of times of wood.
When we first see some of these buildings they look like, you know,
stone-masonry-type construction that is noncombustible.
Once going inside you can see a lot of times the interior finishes.
A lot are covered in woodwork.
The floors, the pews and churches and so forth
are all wood and combustible materials.
And then over time,
buildings continue to accumulate materials-papers, whether it’s artwork,
all types of different things that are actually combustible,
and they just continue over time to build up
and get placed throughout different areas of the building.
Some of the other things that we run into
is just looking at fire separations, for instance.
There may not be a fire separation.
It may just be a large uncompartmented space
that would allow the fire to spread within that space
and to continue on kind of unchecked.
They may have actually put in fire walls at times,
but then over the years and centuries and so forth,
doors may be removed for various reasons.
One of the other things just to keep in mind too,
you know, it’s challenging to send emergency responders into those spaces.
There’s limited areas that they have to fight a fire from.
They have limited water supplies and hoses and those types of things.
So it’s typically an externally fought fire.
And when you look at that, you know
a lot of these roofs in these older buildings are,
都是板岩 铅 铜以及其他不同类型的材料
you know, of slate, or lead, or copper, or different types of materials,
which are intended to keep the water out.
所以 你知道的 往屋顶喷水
So, you know, spraying water on the tops of these roofs,
they’re not actually, you know, penetrating into those upper attic spaces.
A lot of times when you do see fires in historic structures,
it is a lot during restoration periods.
For instance, Troitsky Cathedral in Russia,
several years ago there was a fire during construction.
Wangdue Phodrang Dzong in Bhutan had a fire
just a few years ago as well too.
There’s a lot that’s going on during that time that introduce hazards.
We have, you know, a lot of temporary electrical,
temporary lighting in those.
We have hot works going on-
cutting torches and welding operations, and those types of things.
So there’s a fair amount of new ignition sources
that are introduced there on a temporary basis.
We also can have a lot of combustible materials introduced to the site
in terms of overall construction materials, potentially the scaffolding,
those types of things that could be introduced on site.
所以 你知道的 就火灾而言
So in terms of the fire, you know,
the ignition potential could be increasing.
On the mitigation side,
we often, you know, the detection system may be being installed,
or it may be covered over
so that the dust and debris is creating nuisance alarms.
And then on the fire separation side as well too,
at times, doors are taken off to be restored,
and they’re brought somewhere else.
I think there’s definitely things that can be done
to help improve the protection of these buildings.
我想这些年来 人们在这些建筑物里生活 工作
I think over the years, people have been living, working,
you know, going to services in these buildings for years,
and these buildings have lasted for centuries at times,
And there kind of gets this perception that,
“嗯 我们的建筑物没有发生火灾 所以 是安全的”
Well, we haven’t had a fire. Therefore, we’re safe,
and this is protected, and we’re OK.
But you know, it really is just having an ignition source
close to something that’s combustible
and just having that opportunity that something does ignite
and has the opportunity to expand from there.
So just because it hasn’t happened,
doesn’t mean that it is, you know, fireproof for instant, magically，you know
and I think we need to remember that.