Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
Pupil safety in schools is paramount. From anti-bullying policies to teaching pupils about being safe online, a large portion of a child’s school day revolves around security and protection. This includes fire safety.
All education facilities are required by law to implement a stringent fire policy, with alarms, evacuation procedures and risk assessments. But with the tragedy at Grenfell, which subsequently highlighted flammable cladding on a number of schools, many are calling for improvements.
But what steps can be taken? And what additional practices should be implemented?
Commenting on this issue, and on what improvements could be made, experts at Rocburn stated that the government needs to review fire safety across the board: "The UK recently saw the serious effects of fire damage in Grenfell Tower (sadly leading to the loss of life) and it’s important that the government and fire regulation rules are reviewed in terms of the exterior (and interior) materials used. Long term plans could be simple measures such as, reviewing what materials are not highly flammable and considering how the better design and structure of fire escape routes could potentially improve the process for when people exit a building.”
Interior systems are vital in making sure every occupant is aware that there is a potential hazard and frequent drill procedures can help everyone to practice responding to alarms. Our products such as the smoke control system are governed by standards such as BS EN12101 and it’s these checks that make sure our equipment is the best it can be."
While new school buildings have been designed with better fire safety regulations, many older buildings need further development. As such, Labour have recently pledged £14billion to install sprinklers, but what improvements can school leaders make?
"Everyone at Rocburn continuously look for ways to keep our smoke ventilation amongst other products the very best. A well-designed smoke control system for schools can not only protect the occupants within the building but improve external efforts from local firefighters and on-site operations. The Education sector has taken cuts over a period of years and that doesn’t just disturb the children’s rights to have the best education, it can affect their safety too. It’s crucial the schools look to attaining the latest and safest smoke ventilation and fire safety equipment."
Finally, in addition to updating building safety and procedures, schools also need to put a greater emphasis on education. Although teaching should take precedence, better fire education could help to save lives.
While providing this within budget constraints can be difficult, a spokesperson from Rocburn stressed its importance:
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