Cause Of Notre Dame Fire May Have Been Electrical

We all watched in shock and horror as news of the Notre Dame fire unfolded.

The fire spread rapidly despite firefighters being on site within 10 minutes and their efforts to contain it. The height of the cathedral meant that fire hose streams could not reach the top of parts of the building.

French police scientists have now entered the cathedral to start gathering evidence on the cause of the fire. Initially, safety hazards in the charred interior had prevented them from doing so. The blaze, that lit the Paris skies for hours, destroyed the spire and devastated the wooden framed roof of the iconic French building.

It took 10 days before the cathedral structure was sufficiently secure for an examination of the interior to take place. The staff from the cathedral and the workers who were carrying out the renovations have also been interviewed.

Electrical Circuit

It is thought that there was an accidental cause to the fire and Police are suggesting that an electrical short circuit may have been responsible. Investigators are expected to search for remains of cables, lights or parts of circuitry for clues.

Fire Alarms

The response to the initial fire alarms is also being looked into with investigators aiming to establish whether the correct procedures were followed. Staff apparently carried out checks but were unable to see anything unusual until the second alarm sounded.

Slightly controversial is the admission that some of the renovation workers were reportedly smoking on site, despite there being a smoking ban on site. However, it is thought that the fire started inside the building so is unlikely to have been caused by a cigarette butt.

It took 9 hours and more than 400 firefighters to get the blaze under control. Whilst one firefighter was injured no one was killed in the blaze. Plans are already being made to rebuild the cathedral and pledges have been made from around the world to restore the Gothic masterpiece.

Fire Risk Assessments

It is hoped that lessons can be learned from this very sad event. It is certainly a reminder to us all, whether at home or in the workplace to consider the following:

  • Accessibility for emergency services
  • The correct procedure to follow in the event of a fire alarm
  • The importance of keeping electrical equipment up to date and regularly checked.

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