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A School in Battersea Was Damage by Fire Because It Lacked a Fire Suppression System

by Heather Hall Heather Hall has led the Coordinating team at LFRA
The Fire damaged a ground floor classroom at the school but thankfully there were no injuries.  A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “This Fire is a very timely reminder of why sprinklers in schools are so important as they could have significantly reduced the damage and impact of this Fire. “Fires in schools cause major disruption to pupils’ learning and often lead to costly repair bills. “London’s firefighters are called to more than 80 Fires in schools every year and in most cases, sprinklers are not fitted – meaning millions of pounds are wasted repairing fire and water damage. "We want the law to change to stop developers ignoring our advice and ensure that sprinklers are a core part of fire safety measures. 

The call comes as the Government consults on building regulations in Approved document B that include a crucial section on sprinklers and other Fire suppression systems. Whilst consultations are being carried out and proposed changes to regulations are being formalised what can Schools do to help prevent Fires from happening in the first place.

Step one – Appoint a ‘qualified’ Fire Risk Assessor to carry out a full Fire Safety Inspection and Audit of the premise.

It is imperative that Schools, Nurseries, Colleges and Universities have a current Fire Safety Risk Assessment for their Building. The identified ‘Responsible Persons’ normally the Board of Governors have a huge responsibility to keep their Students and Staff safe from Fire.

Where do you find a ‘qualified’ Fire Risk Assessor – the Institution of Fire Engineers. They are an independent body that ensure all the Assessors on their Approved Risk Assessor Register is competent and fully insured to do the job. All you do is enter your Schools postcode and a list of approved Assessors will come up in your area.

Step two – Once the Fire Safety Inspection and Audit has been completed your Fire Safety Risk Assessment package for your Building will be delivered and then its over to the identified ‘Responsible Persons’ to ensure that the Fire Safety Actions are completed.

A ‘suitable and sufficient’ Fire Risk Assessment report is detailed – it shouldn’t be a yes/no tick box that leaves you in a woolly, grey area not knowing what to do. The identified deficiencies from the Fire Risk Assessment report should be extracted and a Fire Safety Management Plan – Significant Findings should be compiled – this will now become your job list. 

The Fire Safety Management PlanSignificant Findings is a simple tool to help you manage your Fire Safety Actions – it will tell you what the deficiency is, what you need to do to put it right, who is responsible and a timescale to do it in! This document should be used as the primary tool to help you manage the Fire Safety Actions and each Action should be completed and the Fire Safety Management Plan kept up to date. This will be one of the first things the Fire Brigade will want to look at if a Fire breaks out – it will reflect the level of Management in place!

A Fire Safety Policy and a Fire Safety Emergency Plan are the remaining ‘parts’ that form a fully compliant Fire Risk Assessments so when you are looking to appoint a Fire Risk Assessment Company make sure they supply the whole package!

Step three – Time to train your Staff. Fire Marshal Training is imperative in Schools, Nurseries, Colleges and Universities especially knowing your Plan Your Emergency Plangetting your Students to evacuate safely! The Fire Marshals should also ‘walk’ the Building regularly with a ‘Fire Safety’ head on – looking for signs that could cause an incident for example – Combustible materials such as ‘artwork’ placed to near/above a convector heater or near a light bulb. Sockets showing signs of overheating because a multipoint connector is overloaded. Storage on the Means of Escape that could be an obstruction in a time of Emergency - there are many more scenarios that if identified on a ‘Walk About’ could be removed and therefore prevent a catastrophe!

London Fire Risk Assessments is an independent Fire Risk Assessment Company that is not affiliated to any Fire Protection Safety Service selling Fire Safety Equipment so their advice is totally unbiased. They are on the IFE’s Approved Register of Assessors and are fully insured. Their Fire Risk Assessors are all retired London Fire Brigade Fire Safety Officers and have many years of experience fighting Fires and preventing them. They have been supplying the Education sector with ‘suitable and sufficient’ Fire Safety Risk Assessments for many years and included in their Risk Assessments is a Fire Safety Check List helping the ‘Responsible Person’ to identify what they should be checking on a daily, weekly monthly annually basis. They also provide onsite Fire Marshal Training for up to 10 people per session – to find out more contact their friendly team on 01689 890879.


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About Heather Hall Advanced   Heather Hall has led the Coordinating team at LFRA

69 connections, 1 recommendations, 208 honor points.
Joined APSense since, December 23rd, 2015, From Orpington, United Kingdom.

Created on Mar 14th 2019 06:46. Viewed 394 times.

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