Cultural heritages and historical buildings are vulnerable against severe threats from fire. Since the 1970s, ten fire-spread events involving historic buildings have occurred in Taiwan, affecting a total of 132 nearby buildings. Developed under the influence of traditional Taiwanese culture, historic buildings in Taiwan are often built using non-fire resistant brick-wood structure and located in proximity to residential occupancies. Fire outbreak in these types of neighborhood will lead to severe damage of antiquities, leaving only unrecoverable historical imagery. This study is aimed to investigate the minimal safety distance required between a historical building and its surroundings in order to reduce the risk of external fire. This study is based on literature analysis and the fire spread model using a Fire Dynamics Simulator. The selected target is Jingmei Temple in Taipei City. This study explored local geography to identify patterns behind historical buildings distribution. In the past, risk reduction engineering for cultural heritages and historical buildings focused mainly on fire equipment and the available personnel with emergency response ability, and little attention was given to external fire risks and the affected damage. Through discussions on the required safety distance, this research provides guidelines for the following items: management of neighborhoods with historical buildings and consultation between the protection of cultural heritages and disaster prevention, reducing the frequency and extent of fire damages, and preserving cultural resource.
Chen, C. H., Chien, S. W., & Ho, M. C. (2015). A study on fire spreading model for the safety distance between the neighborhood occupancies and historical buildings in Taiwan. In International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives (Vol. 40, pp. 73–78). International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. https://doi.org/10.5194/isprsarchives-XL-5-W7-73-2015