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Armed Forces Covenant

Heritage Fire Safety


On Tuesday 4 April 2017, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) and the National Trust joined forces to raise awareness of the serious risk of fire in heritage properties, at an event held at the National Trust’s stunning Hardwick Hall.

The event, which was attended by DFRS Fire Protection Officers as part of their continued professional development, employees from across the National Trust, County Council Architects, Conservation Officers from the Peak District National Park and other Local Authorities, Senior Lecturers from Sheffield Hallam University and Fire Inspectors from neighbouring fire and rescue services, was opened by Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Terry McDermott who welcomed guests to Hardwick Hall and discussed the importance of such events in helping to protect and safeguard our living architecture.

Mr. McDermott was followed by Head of Operational Risk for the National Trust, Graham Clowes who presented a case study in respect of a catastrophic fire at Caldon Park House* – the catalyst for organising the event.

Speaking at the event, DFRS Group Manager Gary Platts said: “Protection of our valuable heritage is of national importance and events such as today’s help to underline how we can all play a key part in that.

“In order to have a successful prevention and protection strategy to safeguard such valuable heritage for generations to come, it is essential to build effective relationships between the fire and rescue service and teams onsite. It is also important to design fire protection systems that are sympathetic to the aesthetics of these beautiful buildings and of course vital to ensure fire evacuation and salvage plans are in place.”

Head of Operational Risk for the National Trust, Graham Clowes said: “It was so useful having a whole day in the company of experts in this area, culminating in the exercise at the end of the day where we could put into practise many of the things we had talked about.”

The event concluded with a salvage exercise whereby on-call firefighters from Bolsover, Bakewell, Clay Cross, Dronfield and Shirebrook responded to a 999 emergency fire call from Hardwick Hall, demonstrating their response, firefighting operations and salvage operation of valuable artefacts from the building should a real incident occur.


*On the 29 April 2015 a fire destroyed Clandon Park House an 18th century National Trust mansion. Clandon Park House was home to a valuable collection of furniture, porcelain and textiles and was reduced to a charred shell following the fire which started accidentally due to an electrical fault. This was a truly devastating loss of property and the many priceless artefacts which can never be replaced.

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Terry McDermott opening the event.

Fire Engines from across Derbyshire in attendance for the salvage exercise.

Firefighters wearing Breathing Apparatus (BA) ready to be deployed into Hardwick Hall for the salvage exercise.

Firefighters wearing Breathing Apparatus (BA) ready to be deployed into Hardwick Hall for the salvage exercise. 

Salvage of items from Hardwick Hall during the salvage exercise. 

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