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Do not count losses after fires, rather rely on thorough fire protection of the building

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Patrícia Jaššová
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We all know that fire is a serious threat and can cause great damage to life and property. And it is for this reason that we should sufficiently protect our property from this, unfortunately, very common element. Despite this, new cases are constantly increasing when fire has catastrophic consequences for historic or modern buildings. And it could be easily prevented – especially thanks to the installation of fire protection systems. These are nowadays a necessity for companies and organizations that want to protect their assets and take care of the safety of not only their employees.

According to the latest statistics of the Fire and Rescue Service of the Slovak Republic (HaZZ SR) from January 2023, up to 50% of fires are caused by the carelessness and carelessness of adults, 18% from unknown causes and 12% of fires are caused by operational and technical malfunctions. At the same time, the number of HaZZ SR trips is increasing year by year.



Incalculable damage to lives and property

The worst scenario in the event of a fire is a threat to human life, and this is exactly what was caused by a burning warehouse near Bratislava. The area around the warehouse was evacuated until the situation was stabilized. The hall could not be saved and only its collapsed structure remained. 700 tons of plastic and 1,500 wooden pallets burned in the warehouse. The evacuation of residents also took place in the case of a fire in an apartment building in the capital, when 3 people were poisoned by the smoke and taken to the hospital.

A slightly more difficult situation when extinguishing a fire occurs in shopping centers and administrative buildings, where many people are present at the same time. Not so long ago, a fire hit the Korzo shopping center in Bratislava. On the spot, it was found that the cause of the fire was the fire spreading from the container. The damage caused by the fire was preliminarily estimated at approximately 500,000 euros. During the fire of the parking garage on Drieňová Street in Bratislava, the overall structure of the building was damaged. The 46-year-old building lacked fire-fighting equipment that would have been able to report the fire in time or ensure the removal of exhaust fumes in the event of a fire.

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When history burns, love remains

In the spring of this year, a fire struck a historic building in the center of Banská Štiavnica. Among them were the Pišlov House, the Basic Art School, and the Berggericht Mineralogical Museum. The reason was most likely a short circuit in the electrical wiring. The fire spread from the roof of the historic building and at the same time the interactive museum called “Bank of Love”, the so-called Pišlov House, once the entrance gate to the mine and at the same time the residence of Marína Pišlova. It is known from the longest love poem in the world – Marína by the Slovak poet Andrej Sládkovič.

The fire also affected several nearby buildings, which resulted in property damage in the millions of euros. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries or loss of life. However, historical buildings suffered irreversible damage, which remained devastated cultural monuments and, unfortunately, a large part of the historical heritage was also destroyed by fire. There is no doubt that if the building had been properly secured against fire, such extensive damage might not have occurred. Even though the walls burned down, love remained.



How to take care of buildings and ensure timely reporting of any fire?

The offer of electronic security systems nowadays already provides protection against the danger of a large-scale fire or explosion by default. It includes different types of sensors – ionization, optical or thermal fire detectors. The system can inform about their violation in time using SMS, mobile application, siren or directly reporting to the police.

Technologies for reducing the impact of fire on property and human lives:

1. Smoke and heat detectors: These detectors are designed to detect the presence of smoke or an increase in temperature in the building in time. The detectors, together with the push-button fire detectors, are connected to the “brain” of the system and together form the EPS (electronic fire alarm system). The system then transmits the information to the staff in the building, or to a place with permanent staff.

2. Automatic extinguishing systems: They work on the principle of automatically starting extinguishing devices, in case of fire detection. The outlets of the system can use an extinguishing agent to stop or completely suppress a fire at the place of its origin.

3. Integrated building management systems: These systems allow for central control and monitoring of various security systems, including smoke and heat detectors, camera systems and access control systems.

4. Back-up power sources: In the event of a power outage, security systems could fail. That’s why it’s important to have backup power sources, such as generators or batteries, that keep systems running even in the event of a loss of regular power supply.

Fire protection systems are a key part of building fire protection. This includes checking and replacing batteries, calibrating smoke and heat detectors, and regularly testing the functionality of extinguishing systems. Fire protection systems are a key part of building fire protection. It is essential that every company has its own complex and well-thought-out security system, which also includes these fire protection technologies. Fire protection should be a priority for every building, and the value of investment in security systems is often negligible compared to the amount of damage that can occur in a fire.


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