Fire can cause irreparable damage to buildings, and nowhere is this more of an issue than in older properties. Every year, damage is caused to stately homes or National Trust properties, some of which cannot be repaired. Installing preventative measures and protection systems such as those supplied by an Automist installer in Bristol can help protect these valuable architectural gems.
The key risks
Older properties are particularly at risk because many of them were constructed long before any kind of building regulations were devised. The material used can be extremely flammable, especially if the structure contains a large proportion of untreated wood. Corridors and stairwells are typically extremely narrow, which can make evacuation very difficult. The lack of fire doors means a blaze can quickly spread out of control, whilst the buildings might also be poorly equipped with exits. All of these factors mean that not only is there an increased risk of fire in the first place, but that if one has broken out, getting it under control can be difficult.
Early warning systems
One of the issues to address is the implementation of an effective early warning system. When a fire breaks out, it can be some time before it is noticeable, which is why early detection is vital. Smoke detectors and heat sensors are an integral part of this. It is also essential that the system not only detects fire but also that it transmits an effective warning. Alarms should be loud enough that all people on the premises are alerted to the situation and can take appropriate steps to evacuate.
Fire can spread extremely quickly, especially in old buildings, so tackling the blaze as quickly and safely as possible is crucial. However, depending on the location of the property, there can be a significant delay between alerting the emergency services and the fire crew actually arriving. Onsite fire suppression systems can make effective inroads into tackling this issue. Sprinkler systems are one option that can help to put out an emerging blaze very quickly. However, the potential for water damage can be an issue, which is why many stately homes opt to use Automist solutions such as those from Mainpoint fire protection.
Early detection, effective warning systems, and onsite fire suppression can be invaluable in minimising the damaging effects of fire on period properties.