Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • When you start looking at fires

  • in historic buildings,

  • a number of kind 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 stone-masonry-type construction.

  • It 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 in 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,

  • a lot of these roofs in these older buildings

  • are of slate, or lead, or copper,

  • different types of materials,

  • which are intended to keep the water out.

  • So spraying water on tops of these roofs,

  • they're not actually 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 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 at the site in terms of

  • overall construction materials, potentially the scaffolding.

  • Those types of things that could be introduced on site.

  • So in terms of the fire, you know,

  • the ignition potential could be increasing.

  • On the mitigation side,

  • we often, the detection system may be being installed,

  • or it may be covered over so that the dust and debris

  • isn't 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.

  • I think over the years, people have been living,

  • working, 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, "Well, we haven't had a fire. Therefore, we're safe,

  • and this is protected, and we're OK."

  • But 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 is it fireproof for instance,

  • and I think we need to remember that.

When you start looking at fires

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 fire ignition lot instance construction temporary

Fire Expert Explains Why Old Buildings Like Notre Dame Burn So Easily

  • 0 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/25
Video vocabulary