Fire has the potential to spread and have a long lasting impact in minutes. The thought of this kind of emergency happening in a school, where there is a significant risk to life, is frightening. This is why it is important to mitigate the risk of fire in schools with proper assessment, precautions and training.
Reasons for fires in educational establishments
Arson is the leading cause of fire in UK schools, but this does not account for all of the 1,000+ incidents recorded each year.
Unchecked heaters, faulty or misused electrical devices, kitchen equipment, cigarettes, and laboratory experiments also add to the list of potential fire hazards in schools.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and Ofsted have put in place guidelines to ensure minimum fire safety standards in workplaces, public buildings and schools.
Prevention of fire in schools
In order to comply with Ofsted’s fire safety requirements schools must have a fire risk assessment that:
- identifies fire hazards;
- identifies people at risk;
- evaluates the risk of fire and mitigates it;
- records any instances of fire, and includes an emergency plan, informs people about it and trains them according to it;
- and, is under constant review.
This final point is particularly important for schools that have an annual turn over of students whose individual needs must be taken into consideration. New buildings and structural changes must also be factored into the fire risk assessment for it to be truly effective.
It’s important to stress that having a fire risk assessment will not remove all risk of fire in schools but it will significantly reduce it. It will also ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
Ask a professional to risk assess your school
Schools are complex environments when considering fire safety. Buildings and campuses may have evolved over time creating different challenges across the establishment.
Without specialist training, it is hard to understand all the possible risks. This is why you should use a professional assessor. It will also save your staff precious time.
Once you have had the results of your school’s fire risk assessment you must then, by law, implement any recommendations to ensure you have fulfilled all your legal obligations.
This will give you the peace of mind that, if there is a fire, you have done everything in your power to keep pupils and colleagues safe.
Book your school’s fire risk assessment today
Benfield Fire Safety is a leading fire safety, fire risk assessment and fire safety training provider with more 28 years of professional experience. We work with schools, health care providers, charities and businesses.
Our mission is simple – to save lives. Call us now for a free initial chat and to book a consultation: 0300 303 3277. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.