A school fire can have a significant impact on the social and emotional experiences of pupils, staff and the wider community. This, in turn, can affect teaching and learning.
The long-term disruption that follows any fire not only places a huge financial burden on the school, but also places staff and pupils under significant stress when having to deal with temporary learning arrangements and replacing lost school work and teaching aids.
We are still seeing around 20 fires per week at our schools within the UK so it is essential that we make sure that suitable fire safety arrangements are put into place to minimise the effects should a fire take place.
Schools (which include nursery schools, academies, universities, colleges, free schools and pupil referral units) are required to undertake risk assessments which identify the general fire precautions required to safeguard occupants in case of fire. This includes their means of escape. The Responsible Person (usually the Head Teacher) will be required to:
Ensure procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of fire
Maintain fire detection and alarm systems
Ensure staff and pupils are familiar with emergency evacuation procedures
Since the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, within England and Wales, guidance on conducting fire risk assessments for schools is contained within the HM Government national guidance document, Fire safety risk assessment – educational premises. This is found by following the link below.
The Department for Education also provides fire safety information to schools through their document 'Guidance: Fire and safety in new and existing school buildings' which can be viewed by clicking the following link.