Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service have published helpful guidance on protecting historic buildings from fire a year after the terrible blaze at Exeter's Royal Clarence Hotel
Essentially the main fire risks to consider in realtion to heritage buildings are:
- Sources of ignition and fuel
- Potential for fire to spread through the building
- Adequacy of the fire alarm system
- Means of access and escape
- In rural areas: Water supplies and access for fire appliances
- Any valuable contents you wish to prioritise
The good news is that property owners can take suitable protective measures that are sympathetic to the historic fabric of the building. The key document in the process is a fire safety management plan, which should also incorporate a business continuity plan. This means that if a fire occurs repair work can proceed promptly. Being prepared for the worst-case scenario will vastly improve the chances of a quicker recovery.
The guidance can be accessed on the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service website.