Notre Dame De Paris Fire

On April 15th, local time, a fire broke out in Notre Dame de Paris, France, causing the wooden frame to be basically burned and the spire to collapse. The fire has made this ancient building with an 800-year history hit hard and deplorable.


This incident has once again pushed the issue of ancient building fire prevention to the center of public opinion, once again sounding the alarm for all the protection of ancient buildings.


In fact, the ancient buildings of the world have not been able to get rid of the shadow of the fire. On September 2, 2018, the National Museum of Brazil, the most abundant collection in Latin America, was also hit by fire. The three-storey building of the museum was basically destroyed. The fire devours 90% of the collections. At the time, Brazilian President Temer Said its loss is "immeasurable." The reason for the initial fire was that the museum’s long-term shortage of funds and cost were stretched, resulting in the construction being in disrepair and the lack of fire protection systems in the museum. On June 15th of the same year, a fire broke out at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, and the historic Mackintosh building was swallowed up by the fire.


Ancient architecture is a witness of history and a crystallization of civilization. Its cultural value and artistic value are irreplaceable. As Liang Sicheng, a famous architect in China, said: “An ancient building is definitely a treasure, and the more you can appreciate it, the more valuable it will be.” The ancient buildings that have experienced the weather and witnessed the years are also fragile, the Brazilian Museum and the Mackintosh Building. The fire is a disaster of human civilization, and the fire of Notre Dame is also. A new civilized disaster has once again proved that the protection of ancient buildings cannot be taken lightly and with carelessness, these "human treasures" will be destroyed.


Although the fire occurred in Notre Dame de Paris, it also has a very strong practical significance for our country. We have not suffered such a loss in the protection of ancient buildings. In 2003, the fire of the main cultural hall of the Wuzhen Mountain, the world cultural heritage, was due to the local government’s hiring and attracting foreign investment, which led to the “fire”. In 2014, the fire in the ancient city of Dukezong in Shangri-La County, Yunnan Province, was also a place to ignore the security risks in order to develop the tourism economy.


It is necessary to let the ancient buildings get out of the shadow of fire, increase the capital investment in daily maintenance, and not improve their own fire protection system. It is also necessary to make more strict rules for the fire prevention of ancient buildings. In reality, due to the needs of commercial development, many ancient buildings have been electrified, and some have also installed high-power lighting equipment, which may bury hidden dangers. In addition to electrical fire prevention, it is necessary to provide detailed plans for structural fire prevention, material control, facility fire prevention and management, and repair construction procedures for ancient buildings to create a three-dimensional safety net. For maintenance and construction, it is necessary not only to strictly examine the qualifications of the construction party, but also to fully consider whether it has the experience of repair and construction of ancient buildings, and comprehensively supervise and control the construction process to ensure overall safety; and for those ancient buildings that are overdeveloped and have fire hazards It should be thoroughly investigated and published, and the list should not be opened until the rectification is completed.


As far as China is concerned, ancient buildings are facing the predicament of fire prevention. In addition to the risks of repairing construction, there are also reasons for the ancient buildings themselves. China's ancient buildings are mainly composed of pure wood, brick and wood, and civil structures. In addition to a large number of flammable wood materials, the surface paints of many ancient buildings are also flammable. Due to insufficient investment, many ancient buildings have not been equipped with modern fire protection systems. Moreover, these buildings are either in remote mountainous areas or in the old town with narrow roads. In the event of an accident, rescue is often difficult.


Ancient architecture is a gem of all mankind. Its original intention of opening and operating should be to serve the public, not over-commercialization. Such openness and operation must be based on the premise of full security. The fire of Notre Dame in Paris reminds us that the flames are ruthless. We must cherish our cultural heritage and put an end to any luck. We must ensure the best of the best with the best efforts and the ultimate technology and management. Only in this way can we be considered to be worthy of history and worthy of future generations.