H.C. Andersen had a rope ready to secure his life

Beth Werner

His new house has leak-proofing ready to secure the cultural heritage he left behind

H.C. Andersen had a simple and practical life insurance policy. Namely, a nine-meter-long rope. The rope was a regular part of his luggage on the 30 trips abroad he made throughout his 70-year life.


The fireplaces of the time in the hotels where he stayed were fire traps, so the poet preferred to stay on the first, second or third floor. So if a fire broke out in his room, he had secured himself with the rope, which allowed him to quickly jump out of the window. Whether he ever needed his fuse, however, is not clear from history.

The new H.C. Andersens Hus in Odense has also secured itself. Namely against the risk of minor or major leaks from the house’s water and heating systems.

The exhibition of Hans Christian Andersen’s personal belongings is among the museum’s most priceless. Andersen’s personal belongings are among the museum’s most priceless, emphasizes Bo Johansen, Technical Manager at H.C. Andersen’s House.

Disaster with incalculable consequences

– The security consists of a leakage protection system that monitors all water and heating pipes in the house and, at the slightest leak, shuts off the water and sends an alarm, says Christian Ingerslev, service manager at
DanTaet, the company behind the leakage protection system.


Bo Johansen, technical manager of Odense City Museums, with overall responsibility for a total of eight museums and exhibition venues, including the new Hans Christian Andersen House, which opened its doors in June 2021. Andersens Hus, which opened its doors in June 2021, hardly dares to think about water damage and its consequences, and says:

– Museums and water damage are generally a very unfortunate and fateful combination. Specifically in museums, where the objects on display are cultural heritage, this would be a disaster of the highest order with incalculable consequences.

– Several of the exhibitions in the new H.C. Andersen’s House contain objects that are absolutely irreplaceable. Here I am thinking first and foremost of Hans Christian Andersen’s paper cuttings and all his personal belongings. Andersen’s paper cuttings and all his personal belongings.


“In short, the system sends an alarm to the responsible technician and shuts off the water if a leak occurs,” explains Svend Garnæs, Development Director at DanTaet, the company behind the leak protection system.

The safety provided by the system not only helps to prevent accidents, it also saves on consumption and boosts the green profile.

Odense City Museums have good experience with leak protection

Since the first system was installed on the “old” Hans Christian Andersen’s House in 1987, several of Odense City Museums’ buildings have been protected by leakage protection systems. Andersen’s House in 1987, have been protected by leakage protection systems, most recently at Odense’s cultural history museum Møntergården, which was completed in 2013.

The leak protection from DanTaet is the preferred choice due to the good and long-standing experience with the durability and reliability of the systems.

Leakproofing from the start of construction

The new Hans Christian Andersen House is a museum. Andersens Hus is a museum whose buildings intertwine with a magical garden H.C. Andersen Garden. Both the House and the Garden were designed by Japanese star architect Kengo Kuma and are considered world-class architecture. The House itself is 2400 square meters.

– With a building of this caliber, it was almost a matter of course to consider leakage protection from the design phase and the start of construction in 2018. In fact, leakage protection was one of the first things to be installed here in the technical room, says DanTaet’s service manager and adds

– Leak proofing not only helps to prevent minor or major accidents, it also means savings on water consumption, thus strengthening the green profile. Finally, a large number of insurance companies offer a discount on the insurance premium if the customer has established leakage protection.

The leakage protection systems that control and monitor the H.C. Andersen House’s consumption of district heating and domestic water does not look like much in the building’s 150 square meter technical room. DanTaet’s service manager Christian Ingerslev (left) has been responsible for setting up and running in the systems – in collaboration with the museum’s technical manager, Bo Johansen.

H.C. Andersens Hus Odense. Copyright: Laerke Beck Johansen