6 Essential Fire Safety Services for Schools [Infographic]
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6 Essential Fire Safety Services for Schools
Schools and other educational facilities have a duty of care and legal obligations when it comes to fire safety. Just like any other commercial building, schools are subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means there are strict rules they have to follow and certain standards they must adhere to.
The reason for these rules boils down to one simple thing: saving lives. By following the regulations and recommendations, schools can help to keep their staff and their pupils safe from the threat of fire throughout their educational journey.
While the regulations are long and detailed, there are some very obvious fire safety services that are essential for schools to help cover this. Most, if not all, fall somewhere within the regulations, but this month at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we wanted to give you what we think are the six essential fire safety services for schools.
While these six aren’t a conclusive list of what you need, they’re all worth investing in to best protect students and staff.
Staff and students may walk through fire doors every day without ever fully appreciating their presence. More than just a heavy, functional door, fire doors help to contain a fire should one break out. Not only does this help to slow the spread of a fire, but it also helps to create a safe passage for evacuation.
Different areas of a school may require different fire ratings for doors, but the important thing is that they’re in place and they’re well maintained. Damage to the doors is understandable over time, given how frequently they may be opened and closed, but they should always be repaired or replaced by a professional to maintain the integrity of compartmentation for the building.
Some may be held open with automatic releases for when an alarm is triggered, but they should never be permanently propped open with any object.
Fire Alarm System
Early detection and warning of fire is vital for any premises, but in a school building where there are large numbers of pupils to evacuate across various age groups, the more time you have the better.
Schools contain different levels of risk in different buildings, such as science classrooms where open flames and flammable chemicals may be present, so having a specialist fire alarm company analyse your building is important. A professional will be able to tell you which system best suits the risk and structure of your building, recommending where break glass points and automatic detectors should be positioned.
In addition to passive fire protection measures, fire equipment for active protection is also vital. Fire extinguishers are the best example of this, with different extinguisher types suited to the different risks throughout the building.
From CO2 extinguishers for electrical fires to specialist chemical extinguishers for science labs, there is an extinguisher to meet each risk – but if you’re not sure which units are right for your school, it’s always best to consult a professional.
Fire Safety Training for Staff
Due to the high levels of responsibility placed on staff within a school or educational facility – particularly when it comes to safeguarding pupils in their care – training should be given regularly. Massive numbers of young people within buildings means a great deal of organisation is required among staff.
Covering their responsibilities day to day that help minimise the risk of fire as well as their roles in a fire drill, all staff should be well versed in fire safety for your school. Helping to prepare your staff for different fire events will mean less panic and confusion should the alarm be raised.
A seemingly small aspect of fire safety inside a building, but in the event of a real fire, emergency lighting can help to save lives by directing people should normal lighting fail. This reduces panic in an emergency and gives people a clear path to follow for evacuation.
Testing and maintenance of these lights is also essential because of how infrequently they will be used – you won’t want them to fail when you need them most!
Fire Risk Assessment
Fire risk assessments are a legal obligation for all non-dwelling premises, including schools. They are used to check that fire safety standards are being upheld, particularly where any vulnerable members of staff or pupils are concerned. There are a number of steps that involve identifying and evaluating different risks within the building. A record should then be kept and regular reviews should be undertaken to tackle any issues or to address any changes within the school, the number of students and staff, and the structure of the building itself.
Here at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we provide a range of fire safety services for schools and educational premises. This includes fire risk assessments, fire doors and fire alarm systems. Our team is always happy to discuss your requirements and provide expert advice and guidance when it comes to keeping your school safe.
Call today for more information or to book an appointment in London or anywhere in the Home Counties – including Maidenhead, Guildford and Slough.