Otego, the world leader in coated and laminated technical textiles, has announced the launch of Fireguard, a next-generation protective cover designed to shield works of art, valuables and antiquities against the effects of intense heat, soot, smoke and water.
Intended for museums, religious spaces, auction rooms and private collectors, Fireguard is the result of decades of research and collaboration with firefighters and major cultural and religious establishments. Its development was given even greater momentum following the catastrophic fire at Notre Dame.
The innovative textile, comprising a mineral-fibre layer and a metallised outer layer, is already helping to protect the treasures of cultural institutions across France, including The Louvre Museum in Paris.
Protecting the priceless
Grégoire Bernand, Fireguard Product Manager at Otego outlined the situations in which Fireguard can prove indispensable: ‘All museums, art galleries and other cultural and religious spaces are recommended to have a list of priority works which, in the event of flood or fire, would be saved as a priority. Ideally, such works would be extracted from the building but often, because of weight, size, accessibility or value, these artworks have to be protected in situ. These situations are where Fireguard can prove as priceless as the pieces it protects.’
Fireguard is stored at site, ready to be deployed by firefighters in accordance with the gallery, museum or cathedral’s emergency plan. When called upon, the extremely thin, flexible and adaptable construction makes it easy to quickly wrap or tuck Fireguard around sculptures and artwork.
Effective against heat, smoke and water
When fire breaks out, the threat to treasures and antiquities comes not only from heat and smoke but also from the water used to extinguish the fire and the time taken to deploy protective countermeasures. Fireguard not only offers protection against radiant heat (C4 classification to ISO 11612), soot and smoke; it is fully waterproof, offering protection against sprinkler systems and hose water as well as flame.
A range of six standard sizes together with ‘custom’ options and the ability to combine covers enables Fireguard to be tailored to protect artwork of almost any size.
A weight of just 100gsm (4x – 5x less than most competing products) makes Fireguard easier to manoeuvre and quicker to deploy than alternatives. It also places less weight and stress on the items it protects.
Additionally, Fireguard can be the ideal everyday storage solution for works of art and valuables, protecting them against the external factors that can lead to damage and deterioration.
Thierry Mosa, President of Otego said: ‘Our covers allow on-site protection of any type of artwork and has received acclaim from numerous fire and rescue services in France and overseas. Effective and versatile, Fireguard’s lightweight compactness, combined with its powerfully effective heat-protecting metallised layer, distinguishes it from any similar product on the market, making it not only more effective against heat, smoke and water but also easier and faster to deploy.’
Acclaimed by customers
Fireguard has received an enthusiastic response in Paris, Bordeaux and beyond but, as Thierry Mosa explained, Otego does not intend to stop there. ‘We are talking to museums and galleries across France and the rest of the world, but Fireguard’s potential extends to collectors, auction houses and all art professionals who wish to protect their treasures. We look forward to working with all organisations and individuals who wish to explore the wider protective applications of Fireguard.’
For more information, go to www.otegotextile.com