Stamping out the threat of fire

March 13, 2018

With plenty of blood, sweat and tears – and millions of dollars – being invested to earthquake strengthen and upgrade Taranaki Cathedral, keeping it safe once complete is a priority.

That includes keeping it safe from fire.

As part of The Taranaki Cathedral Project work, fire engineer Sam Grindrod, from fire engineering consultancy Holmes Fire, recently made a site visit to evaluate the life safety aspects of the building and to determine what form of early warning system from fire would work best.

“Our job is to assess the existing fire precautions and compare them to the building code requirements. If there is a gap we find solutions to keep the heritage features of the building while making it safe from fire,” he says.

To protect the interior of the building, no water dousing systems will be installed.

“A laser smoke detection system can be a good option in heritage buildings. Smoke rises and breaks the laser. The system is connected to the fire service, so that when the laser is broken the fire service is notified and can attend quickly,” Sam says.

“There are fewer devices installed so it’s a less obtrusive way to detect a fire in buildings with heritage value.”


Holmes Fire fire engineer Sam Grindrod and The Cathedral Project remediation and design manager Jenny Goddard discuss early fire warning systems at the Cathedral.

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Filed under Cathedral Remediation Work \ Stones and Mortar

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