An avoidable catastrophe
In April 1996, welding work was carried out on a ceiling expansion joint at Düsseldorf Airport. The welding work had not been registered before, no fire brigade had been set up. Neither the central control room of the airport nor the fire brigade knew.
An insulating material that was not approved for use in construction ignited and as a result a smouldering fire developed in an intermediate ceiling, which was only discovered when it was too late.
17 people died in one of the biggest fire catastrophes in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, 88 were seriously injured and the property damage amounted to around DM 1 billion.
The catastrophe could have been prevented. By communication and observance of simple security measures.
Better a false alarm too much than a real alarm less!
The University of Constance has a dense network of fire detectors, almost 5000 in total. The fire detectors are all connected to the fire alarm centre of the Constance fire brigade and the i-point. In the event of an alarm, the fire brigade is automatically notified.
Unfortunately, false alarms have occurred more frequently in recent times because construction measures that cause dust or welding work were not properly reported to us either.
On the positive side, however, the evacuation of the affected buildings functioned quickly and flawlessly in every case.
It is very important that you report flammable work and work that develops dust to the i-Point in good time before starting work.
Together with the i-Punkt staff and a safety engineer, a decision will be made as to whether and which fire detectors should be inspected. Although these fire detectors are still active, they do not report an alarm to the fire brigade in Constance.
For flammable work, a permit for flammable work must be completed and signed by a safety engineer and yourself.
If you do not comply with your reporting obligation and a fire alarm is triggered, you may be held liable for the fire brigade deployment.