How People Used to Deal with Terrible Fires in the Past


Advanced sprinkler systems will turn on the second a sensor detects smoke or heat in office buildings. Everything happens so fast that I doubt you’ll even know there was a fire. It’s why going to work is extremely safe.

How People Used To Deal With Terrible Fires In The Past

It used to be a little different in the past. It’s hard to see how our ancestors managed to create the world we live in today. Let’s look at how they used to deal with fires hundreds of years ago without access to anything.

1. Taking Over Ancient Rome

Marcus Licinius Crassus couldn’t tell you how to refill Novec 1230 & FM-200 fire suppression system, but he did create the first fire brigade in Ancient Rome. His fire department did things you might consider weird.

Firefighters would run toward someone’s house when they heard screams. The home would only be saved if the owners agreed to sell it to him. If any owner refused, he would let the home burn to the ground.

2. Night Watches In Paris

King Saint Louis of France decided to let citizens create their own night watches to reach fires in plenty of time. It wasn’t a great move considering Paris was one of the most populous cities in the old world.

Instead of using pre-action sprinkler systems to solve the problem, the night watches were disbanded completely. Only the king was allowed a fire brigade, which resulted in many houses/villages burning to ash.

3. Insurance Firefighters

London grew into a super city that ended up causing a massive problem. Have you heard about the Great Fire of 1666? The flames swallowed roughly two square miles of buildings, devastating the city for decades.

Insurance companies finally decided they wanted to save money, so they would fight fires themselves back when businesses used to do anything to survive. Sadly, they would only look after buildings they personally insured.

4. 17th Century Breakthrough

There was a breakthrough in the 17th century that changed firefighting forever, at least regarding large cities. A Dutch inventor created the first pump, which allowed people to tackle fires with lots of water.

The method suddenly sprung up in countries like England and Germany, which resulted in lots of lives being saved. It still didn’t become a hugely popular thing until a few hundred years later, which started in the United States.

5. Competition In America

Before the Civil War, companies used to compete with each other to see who could arrive at houses first. The winners would claim the spoils. Those people were paid by insurance companies to put out the flames.

It created a new industry and kept insurance companies away from manual labor jobs. The government slowly introduced fire stations after the Civil War ended, and it’s developed into the emergency services we know today.

It’s Completely Different Today

It’s clear to see we’ve come on leaps and bounds within decades, so you don’t need to worry much about fires anymore. The main difference is the early warnings we get these days.


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