Fire in any premises has the ability to kill or injure. Premises such as schools and day nurseries can have some unique fire safety challenges. Premises that accommodate children and or vulnerable persons require staff to be familiar with the building and robust procedures to ensure the safe evacuation of all people in their care.
The loss of a school to fire can devastate the wider community. Reducing the possibility of false alarm activation, the risk of deliberate fires and in some cases, large scale evacuations are all things that will need to be considered. You will need to:
- Ensure procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of fire
- Maintain fire detection and alarm systems
- Ensure that staff and pupils are familiar with emergency evacuation procedures.
Fire Risk Assessment
You should keep a written record of your fire risk assessment and any significant findings. It should also be reviewed regularly, especially if any changes to the premises are made. You should focus on reducing the risk of a fire starting in the first place and minimising the risk to people by restricting the spread of fire and smoke and ensuring that escape routes are kept clear of hazards. You need to have an evacuation policy and emergency plan for dealing with any fire situation, and it should be based on the outcome of your fire risk assessment. The purpose of an emergency plan is to ensure that people know what to do if there is a fire and that the premises can be evacuated safely.
The guide below contain further relevant information and will assist you in ensuring that you identify the hazards relevant to your premises and to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Use of the appropriate guide will depend on the age and design of the building i.e. a conversion, pre-1991 or purpose built. The Fire Risk Assessment Guide for Educational Premises can be viewed here and contains further relevant information.
The pro formas here are intended to be used as guides for carrying out a fire risk assessment. Should you adopt one of these for your business premises, then it is important that the content captures any unique aspects of the premises’ design, as well as how the building is actually used.
If you want more information on fire risk assessments, fire extinguishers and risk information boxes click here.
It is crucial that those with responsibility for the workplace give due consideration to reducing the potential for arson. It is an unfortunate fact that 80% of premises suffering a serious fire never fully recover. A proactive approach to reducing potential incidents of arson need not be complex. There are a number of simple but effective steps that can be taken, which will reduce the potential for arson considerably. For example, controlling combustible materials and waste in and around the premises, reviewing security precautions and reporting incidents involving small fires or anti social behaviour in the surrounding area to the authorities, will make a significant impact. For more detailed guidance on arson prevention please see:
For further guidance on fire safety in schools, please see below:
For further guidance on your responsibilities as an employer, owner or landlord, see: