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Preventing School Fires

Image representing Preventing School Fires from Fire Security

Alarming facts about fires in schools keep us here at Fire Security fixed on our aim to educate as many teachers and pupils as possible about the potential dangers lurking in the classroom.

National statistics show that every year, more than 1,300 schools in the UK suffer fires large enough to require emergency services. Of these, 56 per cent are described as "non-accidental", which underlines the importance of educating people about the dangers of fire.

Government figures put the average cost of school fires between 2000 and 2004 at £58 million per year, but research shows that many fires are not reported, at least to the emergency services, particularly if they go out by themselves, or are put out by staff. The Arson Prevention Bureau published research in 1998 showing that more than a half of all school fires fell into this category and that the total cost of unreported fires was likely to be significant.

A major fire in a school in Poole, Dorset, earlier this month proved how much damage can be done. The roof and two top floors of Buckholme Towers were destroyed in the blaze, which broke out in the early hours of 13 March. Investigations are continuing into its cause, but an initial report by the fire service said it was not believed to have been suspicious so may have been preventable.

A report published by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2007 underlined the need for obligatory sprinklers to be installed in new schools, however this vision has yet to be achieved.

Our own Mick Daly says: "The jury is still out on the installation of sprinklers, but it will come. I'm convinced sprinklers will be obligatory in all public buildings and private homes before too long."

Under regulations drawn up in 2005, all commercial properties and workplaces, including schools, in England and Wales must have a fire risk assessment carried out. If this is not considered thorough enough, the responsible person can be fined or imprisoned.

At Fire Security Services we can protect you by carrying out a fire risk assessment for you and by training you in what is required to comply with regulations, helping to prevent you from becoming part of these distressing statistics!

For further information on courses, dates and prices, please contact us.