If a fire breaks out in a school, college or university, the damage can be profound, not least to the learning of students.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) dictates that fire safety equipment such as extinguishers, alarms and fire doors must be installed in education settings. The Responsible Person on-site is in charge of making sure these services are tested as necessary and well-maintained to ensure good working order.
A working partnership with a highly accredited fire safety services provider is encouraged, to ensure businesses meet their legal requirements and have all the necessary measures in place to avoid and detect fire.
Established in 1992, Churches Fire & Security is a nationwide company dedicated to supplying customers across the UK with the very best fire safety and security solutions.
Fire Safety Services & Maintenance
Churches Fire & Security work with schools, colleges and universities as one of our key sectors. Providing fire safety services to vital locations, such as schools, sees our technicians installing and maintaining a number of items, including wet chemical, CO2 and water fire extinguishers to protect the various departments found in an education setting. Fire blankets, fire alarms and smoke detectors, fire doors and a comprehensive fire risk assessment are all essential elements of a school fire safety plan.
A fire risk assessment is a legal requirement under the RRFSO, detailing the fire risks and safety levels of the building surrounds. This assessment should be carried out and recorded to a suitable standard by a competent person on-site, or by a fire safety services company such as Churches Fire & Security. The three main aims of the assessment are to identify any potential fire risks and hazards, to reduce those risks to a level that is manageable and as low as reasonably possible, and to continually evaluate the precautions needed to be put in place to ensure the safety of those on the premises, and in surrounding building areas.
The Case for Sprinkler Systems
Measures announced by the Housing Secretary in April 2020 include the mandatory inclusion of sprinkler systems in all new high-risk blocks of flats above 11 metres tall. This step forms part of the building safety reform to better protect residents from fire in their homes. This new measure will go a long way to safeguard occupants in new builds.
The Prime Minister announced a 10-year rebuilding program for schools in June 2020. Funding of over £1 billion will be provided to settings in the poorest conditions, to ensure future suitability. Further funds for upgrades and repairs will also be offered to schools and further education colleges in 2021. Rebuilding projects will focus on modern construction practices, with the potential to include sprinkler systems in the upgrading.
The financial impact of a fire in a school extends not just to the rebuilding costs, but the students learning as well as employment for staff. The cost of school fires runs into the millions; a significant figure to contemplate in the decision-making about fire safety provisions. The cost of a sprinkler system being installed and maintained to high-quality standards is unquestionably justified when the threat to property and life is taken into consideration.
Sprinkler systems work in a simple manner; when exposed to a quantified temperature, an even jet spray of water is released, quickly suppressing a fire. Working independently from each sprinkler head, it is a common misconception that if one head releases, all will follow suit.
Well-maintained sprinkler systems save lives and buildings. They absolutely have a place in the education sector to protect the students of today and the future.
Churches Fire & Security are honoured members of the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), who actively promote the use of sprinkler systems in buildings throughout the UK.
We operate an in-house specialist projects team, dedicated to the design, installation, and servicing of sprinkler systems for many industries, including the education sector.
We are third-party accredited which sees our business processes, technicians and equipment independently assessed to ensure best practices and British Standards are met.
At Churches Fire & Security, we continuously look to improve our business practices across all departments. To this end, we employ an innovative mobile application in the management of our visual fire door inspections.
A simple way to document the visual assessments carried out by our highly-qualified technicians, Bolster Systems easily provides evidence of fire stop compliance, an inventory of works completed and a secure cloud database.
Other services available include all aspects of fire and security protection incorporating CCTV, intruder alarms, access control, fire alarms, extinguishers, fire training and suppression systems.
For more on sprinkler systems and general fire safety and security, see the Churches Fire & Security website.