On April 15, 2019, the famous Catholic cathedral from Middle Age, Notre Dame Cathedral de Paris caught a fire and was severely damaged. On April 16, 2019, the second day of the disastrous fire, the Forbidden City held an emergency meeting to learn lessons from the big fire, talk about fire safety and strengthen the fire protection.
How did the Notre Dame Cathedral de Paris fire happen?
According to the investigation, the fire may be triggered by an electrical fault. In fact, the fire alarm of Notre Dame had rung once 23 minutes before the fire. However, the staff hadn’t found any sign of fire because the computer had given a wrong location. 23 minutes later, another alarm rang and people found the fire on ceiling. However, the fire got very big and fierce in a short time.
After about 500 firefighters’ struggling, the fire had been put out on April 16. However, even though the main structure of Notre Dame has been preserved, the spire and 1,000-square-metre roof have been burned and some internal structures are still at risk of collapsing. This is not only the sorrow of the French but also the loss of the whole human civilization. It is reported that the reparation work will take more than a decade.
Fire Prevention of World’s Largest Wooden Construction - Forbidden City
In ancient times, thunder and lightning was the main cause of the fire in the Forbidden City, thus the emperors ordered to prepare 308 large vats, each with the volume of 3,000 liters. For fire prevention, they were filled every day. In Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the Emperor Kangxi set a special fire prevention institution and deployed a more advanced fire extinguisher Shuilong, a large squirt gun.
There is a fire squadron stationed in the Forbidden City from 1970 on to protect it against fire hazard. However, it is not so easy for these firefighters. Due to the structure of the Forbidden City, large fire trucks cannot be driven into the palace, so the firemen have to run with extinguishers for firefighting. They need more intensity training and to be very familiar with the layout of the palace.
In the Forbidden City, there are 167 fire hydrants and 4, 833 fire extinguishers distributing everywhere. What’s more, the large vats are still in use and filled every day.