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Protect unique, irreplaceable works
WAGNER fire prevention provides timeless protection
Valuable one-of-a-kind objects require sophisticated fire protection
Keep cultural heritage safe with WAGNER fire protection
Preserve historical buildings and cultural treasures
Protection from fire, smoke and soot

Fire protection for archives, museums and libraries

Preventative fire protection for unique historical objects and documents

Archives, libraries and museums are of the utmost importance to documenting our history. These institutions preserve a great deal of our cultural heritage in the form of irreplaceable documents and exhibits. One-of-a-kind exhibit pieces, historical artefacts and digital archive data are of immeasurable value, which makes the places they are stored especially worth protecting - and makes maximum fire protection a necessity.

Fire risks and fire behaviour patterns in archives, museums and libraries

Generally speaking, archives, museums and libraries have a low level of baseline fire risk, since the materials in the exhibits do not spontaneously ignite. Even so, such institutions face great challenges when it comes to fire protection, since these buildings often have outdated electrical equipment, and defective electrical systems can create real fire hazards. For example, in 2004, a defective electrical cable connection in the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar led to a disastrous fire. The smouldering fire had remained long-undetected behind a wall panel; by the time conventional smoke detectors were able to detect the fire, it was already fully developed. For many books and works of art, it was already too late - they were destroyed forever by fire and extinguishing water.

This example illustrates the main problem in archives, museums and libraries: if a fire does occur, the damage is often catastrophic. Easily flammable materials such as paper, cardboard, wood and textiles are perfect fuel for the flames, and in this case, they were irretrievably destroyed. At the same time, many archives, museum repositories and libraries store written works and exhibit items densely packed in dry rooms. Once a fire starts, it will spread in a manner of seconds. Preserving liquids used in wet collections, such as alcohol or ethanol, are also highly flammable substances and can act as accelerants. And even small quantities of smoke or soot are enough to cause irreparable damage to delicate documents and artefacts.

Great demands on fire prevention

For all of these reasons, standards for fire protection are especially high in libraries, museums and archives. Smoke detectors need to detect fires as quickly as possible, while they are still in the incipient stage, so that they can be prevented from spreading. Conventional point-type smoke detectors are usually not up to this task, as they are only capable of detecting fires that have already developed to a certain extent. Extinguishing fires using sprinkler systems is problematic as well. They only react once a fire has spread, and although they do put it out, the extinguishing water can severely damage or destroy works that had been spared up until that point. Many archived documents are the only surviving records of historical events, construction regulations or cultural heritage, which makes preventative fire protection absolutely essential. The path to ideal fire protection in museums, archives and libraries includes active fire prevention in the form of a WAGNER OxyReduct® oxygen reduction system, combined with early fire detection using WAGNER’s TITANUS® air sampling smoke detectors.

Active fire prevention in archives, museums and libraries

Minimise fire risk instead of controlling damage with preventative fire protection

WAGNER’s OxyReduct® fire prevention system can actively reduce the risk of fires developing in archives, museum repositories and libraries. The OxyReduct® (OXYgen REDUCTion) system directs a controlled supply of nitrogen into the protected area, taking away the oxygen needed for fires to develop.


As a member of bvfa (the Federal Association for Technical Fire Protection e.V.), WAGNER provides state-of-the-art protection concepts from a single source. The Berlin Museum of Natural History is one institution convinced of our expertise. 


  • Safe
    Early fire detection reliably locates the fire while it is still forming, even under difficult architectural conditions.
  • Efficient
    Protects exhibit items and archive documents from destruction by smoke and soot and prevents consequential damage.
  • Invisible
    Effective fire protection which does not interfere with existing architecture and leaves a building’s aesthetics untouched.
  • Economical
    Attractive cost-benefit ratio in which the use of the active fire protection can easily be adjusted.

Reference projects

City Gallery in Lenbach House, Munich (Germany): A comprehensive solution to protect art collections from fire

The Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (City Gallery in Lenbach House) protects its art collection using an intelligent, state-of-the-art system solution combining fire prevention and early fire detection.

to Application Report

British Library, Boston Spa (Great Britain): Intelligent fire protection ensures maximum safety for valuable written works

OxyReduct® with VPSA technology is effective not only in terms of safety, but also as regards low operating costs.

Patrick Dixon, Head of Construction and Technology at the British Library

to Application Report

Subject news

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WAGNER presents itself digitally at the MHLC 2020

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WAGNER showcase its fire prevention expertise to the GCCA Virtual Innovation Program

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WAGNER Rail GmbH equips the first underground people mover in Russia with fire protection technology

Automated logistics processes effectively protected

Read in the press release for LogiMAT 2019 how intelligent approaches safeguard fire protection in warehouses