Due to the diversity of the buildings concerned, fire protection measures in historical buildings are a challenge for all fire protection planners. In addition, the complete preservation and use of the building fabric of such structures is in the public interest – making the best possible protection of these buildings a necessity.
It is the very old, historic roof structures and other wooden components that harbour special risks in particular. Problematic elements include the spatial extent of most very high roof beams, the open connections with underlying floors and adjacent parts of the buildings, inaccessible cavities and historic wooden building materials (centuries old and dry).
Buildings with towers and high wooden roof structures are very difficult for the fire service to reach with the usual equipment due to the elevation level. City centre locations, with their narrow and constricted properties and access, also complicate the operations.
Nevertheless, numerous measures against the prevailing increased fire risk are deployable. The flammability of the wooden roof structures is reduced to a minimum through fire protection coatings. A fire alarm system with smoke detectors and direct alerting of the fire brigade ensures early fire detection. Old cabling can be monitored with special linear-shaped heat detectors. The separation of the roof space from the church space with a reinforced concrete ceiling against fire load and debris of the roof structure, fire doors to adjacent building elements and fire curtains at staircases contain the spread of fire. Extinguishing aids can be implemented though dry risers up to the roof structure and portable fire extinguishers.