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Fire was the first revolution of humanity but it also has influenced many of his choices and man had to set some planning rules to counter and control fires – rules for fire fighting. Some consequences of these regulations are truly poetic!

Perhaps one of the most interesting stories of the effects of the fire fighting laws involves fire usage in Venice, in a particular island in the lagoon: the fascinating island of Murano. Murano is famous for its glass and its workshops where even today masters and their apprentice blowers create masterpieces of glass art. But many do not know how such a concentration of furnaces arose. Either action preordained?

Although Venice was surrounded by water, even she had to manage the problem of fire fighting, and in particular of fires caused by some crafts. Many activities require fire: all those concerned with food and catering but also the shaping of metals and glass.

In the past all these fires used wood that came from the Alps via the rivers and it had to be stored in stacks to be dried and ready for use. For those with expertise in security and fire protection it is easy to understand how these stacks represented a significant potentially dangerous fire load and a challenge for fire fighting where the transport was by canal. Water, water, everywhere ……

In Venice there were many accidental fires until the Republic created new fire regulations that involved relocating all activities related to glass to an island far from the town. The result is that Murano, for lovers of economic schools, became perhaps the first industrial district in history, where technological knowledge and artistry have reached highest standards.

Over the years the concentrations of blowing and glass processing technology developed and the knowledge and art became highly refined. That knowledge has been transmitted to the masters of today who are descendants from those original artisan families of Murano. Tourists line up to visit their shops and watch them while they work the glass.

Murano, born as a result of the laws for fire safety, became a great artisanal centre for using fire, safely. Today, the glass technology of Murano is married to fire fighting with class through Lucio Marin of Marinstyle. Twenty years ago, on the mainland, not far from the lagoon, Marinstyle started to look at firefighting regulations differently, trying to make equipment “stylish” and worthy of being shown.

All the safety signs are implemented on a support of Murano glass with special techniques and Lucio Marin collaborates with the famous school of glass Abate Zanetti to develop special and personalized solutions. Its signs and its ‘design’ extinguishers are located in the best museums, fine hotels and palaces.

Murano was born as a result of the lack of fire fighting regulations and became the capital of stylish fire protection.

(This article has been reproduced under licence from Energitismo Limited)

Claudia Bettiol

IT Ingegnere, futurista e fondatrice di Discoverplaces. Consulente per lo Sviluppo Turistico dei Territori, specializzato nella sostenibilità e nella promozione culturale dei piccoli territori e delle piccole imprese. Ama i cavalli ENG Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in sustainability and in cultural promotion of small places and small enterprises. She loves horses


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