Fire safety in schools

Arson remains an ongoing concern; the cause of 100 school fires every year.

 

The impact of a school fire is devastating for staff, students and parents – from the immediate aftermath and injuries to relocating schools, loss of jobs and the effect on local businesses.

 

Before 2006, schools were rarely considered in fire safety legislation, as many were maintained by the local authorities and automatically expected to be of good fire safety standard.

This changed with the introduction of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

 

The RRO introduced the concept of the ‘Responsible Person’ who is ultimately responsible for fire safety. This involves conducting a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) to identify risks that can be removed or reduced to protect the building and people within.

 

  1. Passive fire precautions
  2. Active fire precautions
  3. Fire safety management

 

Passive fire precautions involve the delaying of fire and smoke spreading through a building with floors, walls and doors; these also protect the structure from early collapse.

 

Active fire precautions include fire detection and fire suppression; early warning systems such as smoke detection and automatic fire suppression, such as water mist systems can minimise the damage caused by a fire.

 

Fire safety management connects passive and active systems; any good management system starts with effective fire evacuation plans. This is backed up by staff fire safety training and planned preventative maintenance of fire safety systems.

 

Fire drills

 

Fire drills are critical in all circumstances; drills should be actioned at least once a term and at different times of the day. This should be recorded in a ‘fire log book’.

 

As well as an evacuation plan, schools should have a fire safety policy that includes the following:

 

  • A brief outline of the relevant legislation and the guidance available.
  • A Statement of Intent regarding fire safety.
  • Allocated responsibility for fire safety to a named person.
  • Policy for planning fire safety arrangements including Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) of fire safety systems.
  • Fire safety training policy for employees upon induction, for staff required to perform additional duties such as Fire Wardens/Marshals and/or firefighting using the portable appliances provided and appropriate refresher training.
  • Fire evacuation arrangements.
  • The means for summoning the fire service.
  • The specific role of the fire warden/marshal in the evacuation plan and firefighting within the premises.

 

 

Timmins Group are Firas accredited to carry out surveys, to maintain and to install timber fire door systems and to certificate on completion. This is particularly important as we work in education, local and civil government and office environments which are required to carry out regular fire door maintenance.

 

Timmins Group are BMTRADA approved to carry out passive fire protection and are members of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection, we can carry out surveys and installations to make sure your buildings are compliant with legislation regarding breaches to floors, walls and ceilings caused by data, heating & plumbing and M&E installation.

 

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