Historic buildings contain much of the heritage and culture of our country’s past. Protecting artifacts and buildings with historical significance is important to preserving history for future generations. Throughout the years, one of the biggest causes of loss of historic artifacts and buildings has been fire. Fire protection systems are necessary to preventing fire damage to historic buildings.
The Challenge of Historic Building Fire Protection
One of the many challenges of designed fire protection systems for historically significant sites is balancing life safety with the preservation of important artifacts. Many fire protection systems may be effective at putting out fires and preventing the loss of lives, but they cause damage to the historic nature of the building in the process. Finding a system that promotes both life safety and historic preservation can be challenge.
Retrofitting Historic Buildings
Installing fire protection systems in historic buildings is more difficult than installing systems in newly constructed buildings. In modern buildings, fire systems can be easily installed during construction with the latest technology and materials. The installation of fire protection systems in historic buildings is not so simple. Historic buildings must be retrofitted to have fire protection systems that will prevent fire damage. The retrofitting process must be done without ruining the site and the aesthetics of the building. It is important to have a fire protection engineer work with a professional who is involved in preserving the historic nature of the building when designing fire protection systems. The design of the system must carefully consider the damage that the installation process could cause for the historic building while also considering fire codes. The standard for fire protection in historic structures is found in NFPA 914. This code puts forth the requirements for fire safety measures in historic sites.
Fire Suppression & Detection Systems
When installing fire protection systems in historic buildings, fire protection professionals must decide which system will be effective at preserving the structure from fire damage. Clean agent fire suppression systems are an option for fire protection in these buildings. Clean agents can quickly put out fires without causing damage to artifacts. A traditional fire sprinkler system may ruin the historical importance of a building through water damage. An effective fire protection system must also have a fire detection system that can recognize a fire quickly to alert building occupants of a fire and activate the fire suppression systems.
Reliance: The Fire Protection Experts
Reliance Fire Protection can design and install fire protection systems in historic buildings. We have experience working to improve the fire safety measures in museums, government buildings, and other buildings with historic significance. We have offices conveniently located in Baltimore and Washington D.C. Reliance can install fire suppression and detection systems that will balance life safety with the preservation of the historic nature of buildings. Contact us today to learn more about fire protection systems in historic buildings.