Guideline 17.3

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The following Standards and Guidelines are a work in progress intended to spur discussion between exhibit personnel, conservators and other museum professionals. Please check back in the future as information is added to expand on the Guidelines without currently active links.
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Guideline 17.3: Exhibit design strategies are used to protect objects against fire and water damage[edit | edit source]

What design considerations help to protect objects from fire and water damage?[edit | edit source]

Ensure exhibit layout does not create fire hazards or allow water damage:

  • Block the spread of fire by leaving adequate space (1.5m) between walls and exhibit shelving.
  • Avoid creating architectural features that establish vertical airways. These can spread fire quickly and into new areas.
  • Leave heat and smoke detectors and sprinklers clear. Tall cases and exhibit panels must not obstruct airflow around detectors, nor should they block proper sprinkler discharge patterns.
  • Do not place objects in the paths of fire sprinkler heads, particularly if objects are water sensitive. Where possible, the exhibition plan can specify the relocation of detectors and sprinkler heads to maintain optimum system effectiveness.
  • Do not display objects less that 20 cm above ground floor level to minimize the potential from water damage due to flooding (from either natural cause or from broken pipes).

Do not use highly flammable materials. Materials used as props and in exhibit construction should not be fire hazards. Plastics, woods, fabrics and other materials used in exhibits must conform to National Fire and Protection Agency standards.

Ensure exhibit electrical wiring is up to code and does not create a fire hazard: For more information see Guideline 17.4