Fire Safety: the Eiffel Tower, an exceptional monument
The Eiffel Tower, 4 mythical floors, 7 million visitors per year, 1665 steps and… safety measures to prevent fires.
How can we protect a monument like the Eiffel Tower against fires?
With its 4 floors, restaurant and its daily influx of visitors, the Eiffel Tower is an exceptional monument. In order to provide fire protection, two Uxello business units belonging to VINCI Energies have installed several types of equipment and are performing maintenance:
- Sprinklers: close to 550 sprinklers are installed on the 1st and 2nd floors, and in the restaurant Le Jules Verne, to fight fire with water,
- Detectors: 800 are installed, with an automatic gas extinguishing system adapted to the protection of the electrical, computer and control rooms, with the objective of reducing the level of oxygen and thereby putting out the fire.
- Fire hose cabinets which protect the 3th and 4th floors of the Eiffel Tower.
Eiffel Tower: an exceptional monument, special fire protection?
At a building as busy as the Eiffel Tower, the paying monument which receives more visitors than any other in the world, the rules for maintenance must be strict. “We verify the proper functioning of the facilities, we do the maintenance, both preventive and curative, and handle repairs” says José-Louis Gonzalez, head of the business unit Uxello Surfaces Commerciales. “On the Eiffel Tower, we have major constraints, in terms of responsiveness because we made a commitment to intervene within less than 4 hours, but also in terms of safety. The safety measures are impressive: verifications, special working periods… you can’t just stroll into that kind of a building! Lastly, if we have to work on the structure, we always use harnesses. It’s rather rare though, most of the maintenance is done within the premises, in the basements of the south pillar where the machinery is located”.
Is VINCI Energies handling other work on the Eiffel Tower?
What are sprinklers?
A sprinkler, or rather a sprinkler head, is an essential item for fire protection. If a fire breaks out, the sprinkler head bursts under the effect of the heat, triggering the fire alarm and the sprinkling of the area involved. When the fire brigade arrives, the fire is theoretically out, or at least contained.
Uxello is not the only VINCI Energies business unit that works on this exceptional monument: SDEL ITT and SDEL IMTEC handled the high current, low current* and BMS work for the overhauling of the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower, while Tunzini took charge of the Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning and plumbing work on the part of the Férié pavilion and restaurant 58. VINCI Construction France (BATEG) also took part in this project.
*low current is used, inter alia, for lighting, heating, the computer network, automatic systems, etc.