Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building Ablaze AgainJune 19, 2018 10:00 am
Yet again, the world-renowned Mackintosh building of the Glasgow School of Art has set ablaze causing catastrophic damage and undoing the previous £35,000,000 of restoration work. The cause of the fire has yet to be established, but what has been confirmed is the fact that fire security systems had not yet been installed in the building. While it was still under renovation, it is clear now that this was a costly oversight.
Thankfully, no one was harmed by the disaster, helped by the fact it began late at night. However, the severity of the damage is so widespread that the future of the building as a whole remains unclear. Firefighters are still tackling the blaze, having been forced to take water directly from the Clyde river to gain access to the necessary water to put up a serious fight.
It should also be noted that the fire also spread to the O2 ABC which is just next to the Glasgow School of Art. This similarly historic music venue was close to the hearts of many Glaswegians, and while its future is unclear, it is clear from pictures that the roof has collapsed and damage inside is extensive.
What Happened to the Mackintosh Building in 2014?
In May of 2014, flammable gases from a foam canister being used in a student project were ignited, causing a fire in the historic category-A listed Mackintosh building. The fire took place just before the final degree show for students in their fourth and final year, destroying most of their work. The building’s world-famous library, one of the finest examples of art nouveau design, was also damaged beyond repair along with everything inside.
Scottish Fire and Rescue established that a projector in the building set alight gases from a foam canister which quickly spread through the building. Archaic ventilation ducts enabled the flames to spread rapidly throughout the building, quickly entering bordering studios as it rose upwards throughout the entire building.
The same Scottish Fire and Rescue report also noted that a fire suppression system was in the process of being installed in order to bolster existing fire defence systems. However, the system as not yet operational, leaving the building to deal with the blaze using its less extensive prior system.
This tragedy attracted worldwide attention and strong support from a broad range of people, including celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Peter Capaldi. When the necessary money was raised, a £35m restoration project went underway. However, just as it was near completion, disaster has struck again causing even more damage than last time.
What Could Have Been Done to Stop the Repeat Event?
First of all, it is important to note that anything said here is purely speculation. The official report has not yet been released, and at this stage, we know very little about what happened and what will happen. However, it has been stated that while a fire suppression system was in the process of being installed, yet again it was not actually functional.
We should repeat; we do not know any specifics as of yet. However, it would appear as if a momentous oversight has been made. Not only was the building hugely historically and artistically significant, but nearly £40m had just been invested into repairing previous damage. Moreover, thousands of students have had their education disrupted.
While hindsight is 20/20, what is clear now is that a fire suppression system should have been installed as a priority. Fires can strike for such a huge variety of reasons (especially around an active construction site) that the importance of having defences in place can never be overlooked. While admittedly a system was in the process of being installed, evidently the timing was significantly off.
Lightning clearly does strike twice, and you can never be too careful when it comes to fire safety precautions. To make sure your commercial or domestic property is fully secured, get in contact with SSH Fire and Safety today.
How SSH Fire and Security Can Help
At SSH Fire and Security, we specialise in keeping buildings of all kinds secure. Whether you want to protect yourself from intruders or fires, we will be able to install alarm and protection systems which fit your requirements.
Whether you are looking to protect a small domestic property or extensive commercial premises, we will offer pragmatic and practical solutions that are entirely bespoke to your specific circumstances. We provide cost-effective solutions that will perform flawlessly, helping to minimise the risk of crime or accidental fires.
To book in your free survey today, give us a call on 0808 164 0280.
Alternatively, click the ‘Get in Touch’ button on the top right of this page and fill in your contact details. One of our friendly staff will give you a call as soon as they can!