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Steeped in history – protecting a treasure of the past


Motorised Fire Prevention in Rochester Cathedral.

Rochester, Kent has a very fine and splendid cathedral which can trace its origins back to AD 640. It is a focal point in the City of Rochester and is the seat of the Bishop of Rochester. The cathedral is in constant use by its congregation and tourists alike. Candles are lit for prayers on a daily basis, so the potential risk of this important historical building falling victim to an accidental or malicious fire is considerable. This treasure of the past needs to be protected by the fire technology of today. The main conservation contractors, Baker’s Building and Restoration, considered that an action plan for the fire protection of the building was crucial. They contacted technical fire consultant Clive Wilson of Lifestore Passive Fire Solutions of Kent, whose brief was to protect the two key areas of vulnerability. The first key area in need of protection is the organ’s air blowing area. The volume of air emanating from this area could considerably contribute to the propagation of fire and transmission of smoke. Clive recommended the Envirograf® Product 90 fire and smoke drop curtain, connected to the internal fire alarm system. In a fire, the curtain would descend and provide a tough and robust barrier against the fire and smoke. The second key area of vulnerability is just behind the choir changing rooms, where the main heating boiler is situated. Baker’s were considering major alterations to the cathedral in order to protect this section. Clive, however, suggested that the Envirograf® fire and smoke drop curtain would save considerable installation time and money on the project. These are both fine examples of innovative technology.

Products used

Automatic Fire and Smoke Curtain


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