The History of Fire Safety

An industrial fire can spread quickly which is why it is important to exercise caution and have a fire safety plan in place. In fact, the human race has always been wary of fire and we can actually trace it throughout history. Since we believe that every industrial property owner should actively seek to prevent warehouse fires, we have decided to go over key points in history when fire safety measures were considered a priority… Middle Ages: During medieval England, houses were built from wood and floors were layered with straw which meant that fire could spread very easily. Due to this, William the Conqueror ordered that all fire must be put out at night. 12th Century: As the first century to have records that document the attempt of legislated fire safety, the 1100’s saw the London Mayor order houses to be built from stone and prohibiting thatched roofing. 13th Century: This century saw a devastating London fire kill over 3,000 people which led to stricter governing over construction. In addition to this, water was available during the summer months in order to put out any sudden fires. 14th Century: Although hearths were moved from the centre of the room to a safer location against the wall, chimneys were not used until the end of this 14th century. Although this was a step in the right direction for fire safety, they were made from logs which is a very flammable material. 15th Century: A century later, the timber chimney became outlawed and Parliament started to make provisions in order to prevent fires from breaking out, especially in Scotland where arson was commonplace. 17th Century: The Great Fire of London in 1666 was the persuasion the government needed in order to acquire the first list of building regulations in the UK, which included widening the streets and using brick or stone for new buildings. After all, the 4-day fire claimed 6 lives and destroyed 5/6 of the city. 18th Century: In 1774, the Fires Prevention Act was created in order to prevent unnecessary deaths in fire related injuries, listing buildings into 7 different classes and stating the provisions for the maximum area of warehouses and factories. 19th Century: In 1844, the Fire Prevention Act was adapted from 7 classes into 3; dwelling houses, warehouses and public buildings, limiting the size of warehouses to 20,000 cubic feet. The end of the 19th century also saw provisions put in place in order to guarantee escape during a fire under the Factory and Workshop Act of 1891. 20th Century: As factory work became commonplace, the government created and adapted many acts throughout the 20th century in order to ensure that every person had a means of escape in the event of a fire. In addition to this, a national fire service was created in order to tackle large and unruly fires. 21st Century: Thanks to the development of technology, people can now implement responsive fire prevention methods, allowing them to focus on escaping rather than putting out the fire. These include but are not limited to fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire doors and fire shutters. Here at ABC Industrial, we recognise the danger that an industrial fire presents. After all, once the flames have taken control, it becomes much harder to stop them. Fire safety is an important responsibility that every property owner needs to recognise but luckily it is incredibly easy to implement preventative measures that reflect your needs and budget. From fire shutters to fire doors, the ABC team have got your fire safety needs covered! Get in contact today to find out more information!

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