Fires at Heritage Sites have always presented special challenges to Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) worldwide, not only because of the loss or damage of historical value, but also because of the difficulties in fire-fighting and rescue in such incidents.
Their design, construction, layout and fire load are conducive to rapid and uncontrolled fire spread. Lack of separation and compartmentation, dust deposit over the years, the extensive use of untreated timber in construction, difficult access and late detection, have contributed to major fires in Heritage Sites in Europe over the last two decades.
HERITPROT, aims at bringing all the knowledge at European level under a one overarching initiative, which can pool together experience, transfer of knowledge, best practices and case studies, which will in turn strengthen the management Heritage Sites risks within the European Union and further afield (Norway).
Heritage Cities included: La Laguna (Spain), Sighisoara (Romania), Cuenca (Spain), Riga (Latvia), Warsaw (Poland), Vilnius (Lithuania) , Holloko (Hungary), Bergen (Norway), Liverpool (United Kingdom), Angra do Heroismo (Portugal).
The cooperation and exchange of experiences of cities classified as World Heritage Sites has allowed the leaders of this initiative to see the potential for working together on matters of fire prevention and action.