With the images of Notre Dame Cathedral shrouded in flames and smoke still before our eyes, we are reminded how devastating fire can be for cathedrals and church buildings of traditional construction. In the wake of this sad event, which will undoubtedly be discussed by fire prevention officers and heritage professionals as a case study for years to come, it is certainly worthwhile to consider updating your church’s fire risk assessment or conducting one, if such an exercise has never been carried out.
Church buildings of traditional construction usually have a low fire risk and do not have a history of injuries and deaths caused by fire. However accidental fires; especially during repair, conservation and development works, and arson attacks do occur. Particularly when churches are in more remote locations and unmanned on a daily basis there is a potential for serious fires to develop.
Please see below relevant fire safety advice from Historic England and others.