FIRE SAFETY MEASURES IN THE CITIES OF VOLYN IN THE 18TH CENTURY (THE CASE STUDY OF DUBNO)

  • Mykola Blyzniak
Keywords: Dubno, Volyn, cities, fires, fire safety, the regulations on fire safety measures

Abstract

The article outlines the main aspects of the occurrence and prevention of fires in the cities of Volyn. In general, the fires hindered the development of a city, and its citizens bore the heavy burden of restoring the city’s production capacities. The owners of Volyn cities provided the fire victims with help for certain periods of time, but it did not always improve the situation.
The article uses the orders of the prince’s administration in Dubno in the 18th century to analyse the fire safety measures and sanctions against violators. The documents regulating fire management have been published. The sources focuse mainly on the implementation of the system of preventive measures to fight the fires in the city of Dubno and the technical and managerial recommendations aimed to overcome possible challenges. The fire management strategy proposed by the prince’s administration was current and corresponded to the society’s needs at the time, since by the mid-18th century, the privately owned city of Dubno had become Volyn’s leader in the number of households, thus the most populated, and continued to support its people until the end of the century. The necessity of strict fire safety regulations and their adherence was based on four major factors: the high numbers of the city’s inhabitants, the ethnic and religious diversity of military contingent as well as their different professional activities, the constant influx of merchants and guests of the city, and mostly wooden city constructions and buildings.
Volyn cities had night guards, whose responsibilities included ensuring that the citizens adhered to the fire safety regulations. For example, the city of Olyka had quartermasters, which were elected, similar to some other city positions.
The article analyses the fire safety rules and requirements, which united the entire city community and ensured equality in the rights and duties of all city residents and locals from adjacent suburban areas regardless of their social affiliation. Thus, the problem of firefighting in the city became a common cause. Fires and their consequences could also become an instrument of manipulation in the political life of the region.

Published
2020-12-01