What Type of Fire Protection System Do Historic and Listed Buildings Have?
Though at RAD Fire Sprinklers, we advocate the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all buildings, sometimes it is much more complicated. There are certain historic buildings that officials do not want to modify, due to conserving their structure. More commonly, listed buildings also celebrate the history and architectural interest across the UK. However, this also means that there are certain modifications, such as a fire protection system, that cannot affect the building’s structure.
Find out more about the inclusion of sprinkler systems in listed buildings and their importance.
But, first. What do we mean by “listed buildings”?
- Grade I – of exceptional interest (2.5%), e.g. Royal Albert Hall, York Minster
- Grade II* – of particular interest (5.8%), e.g. Coliseum Theatre, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
- Grade II – of special interest (91.7%), e.g. Abbey Road Studios, BT Tower
Notre-Dame de Paris
Though not in the UK, the Notre-Dame is one of the most iconic landmarks in Europe and attracts a variety of tourists. In 2019, a tragic fire broke out near the spire and spread quickly, due to the wooden beams that support the roof. Expected to be completed by 2024, certain architects state that the reconstruction could in actuality, be completed between 20 and 40 years. Due to the size of the new structure.
However, could this have been avoided with s fire protection system in place? Previously, officials that represent the cathedral decided not to introduce firewalls and sprinkler systems. This was because they feared the wiring would be a risk to the timber surrounding. Yet, sprinkler system experts have stated that this fire protection system could have extinguished the fire and stopped the flames from spreading.
Jean-Michel Leniaud, a historical expert, stated: “The lack of fire security allowed the fire to spread quickly. If there were sprinklers everywhere it might have been different, but there weren’t.”
Wet Pipe Fire Protection Systems
Although there are many other sprinkler system types, it is widely accepted that wet pipe systems should be installed within heritage buildings. This is because they are the most straightforward, easiest to operate and cost-effective.
Strict adherence to design standards over the years has led to the dependability of these systems. It is important for owners of listed buildings to consider a number of factors. For example, if there was a fire, which areas pose the biggest threats?
In these cases, sprinkler heads can be implemented throughout areas that have flammable materials, which can easily spread the flames. The use of a fire protection system has its advantages. Doors, for example, if kept cold by being sprayed with water, can offer a higher level of fire protection.
Sprinkler heads that are strategically placed can help preserve a building’s original structure and maintenance of original fittings. Additionally, a sprinkler system can help compensate for a building’s inability to withstand fire. In certain circumstances, installing sprinklers is necessary to preserve the original design and function of a historic structure. And overall, its historical significance.
What About Modernisation?
Some experts argue that adding sprinkler systems into these buildings may modernise the structure and makes it lose its historical impact. Adding a sprinkler system may cause some disruption, as the pipes will need to be fitted and installed in at-risk locations. However, what if a fire did break out? Without these fire protection systems in place, the building’s historical impact will massively decrease if it’s burnt down.
Sprinkler installation companies will ensure to preserve the building’s architectural integrity with minimal intrusion. With new technology, such as concealed pendent sprinkler heads, they can also now have a low profile and not bring attention to themselves.
RAD Fire Sprinklers
Here at RAD, we design and install sprinkler systems across the London and South East area. Our portfolio includes retrofitting numerous fire sprinkler heads into apartment complexes with developer Galliard Homes.
For more information on our services, or to receive a quote, fill in our online form here. Or call us on 01892 680 090 and speak to our experts today on why a fire protection system can benefit your property.