Leading insurance provider calls for the government to improve the fire protection system of schools in England.
In an inspection carried out by Zurich Municipal on schools around England, 67% were found to have ”poor” fire protection systems, and only 5% were considered with and “excellent” status. On a similar inspection in Scottish schools, 29% were rated as “excellent” by the insurer.
Just 15% of new schools in England fitted with fire sprinklers.
Fire Brigades Union said the government was showing "utter complacency" on fire safety in schools.
Sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England. https://t.co/aIF6ii6qxh
— Cen 🔶️🇪🇺 #FBPE (@CenLD) April 15, 2019
It is a clear manifestation that the government should at least show a bit of concern with this matter affecting schools in England. The insurer suggests that the government put into law the mandatory installation of sprinkler systems on all English schools.
Scotland has already taken the initiative on their end and already required all new and refurbished schools to install functional sprinkler systems as part of the fire protection standards.
Improving fire protection rating
Sprinkler systems are fire protection installations connected to a water supply system which provides calculated pressure and water distribution around an area where smoke or fire is being detected.
The importance of a sprinkler system is greatly emphasized by the insurer since it is effective in terms of protecting people during fire incidents. It is a quick response mechanism than can immediately put out small fires and not let it spread out.
A sprinkler system also best serves its purpose on after school hours. When the school is empty and no one is around when a fire unexpectedly starts, the sprinkler system will be the first to be activated. It triggers even when no one is watching over it.
Building Combustibility and Modern Construction
This method is a bit costly and schools might not have access to this kind of renovation. But on this method, building composition is being altered to include substances that limit its combustibility. These materials will not ignite or burn even with the exposure to intense heat or fire. A costly option that schools might not consider pushing through with.
On a statement made by Andy Dark, general secretary of the Fire Brigade Union, he stated:
“We’ve made it clear in the past that newly built schools and existing high-risk buildings should at least have a functioning sprinkler system, we are one with Zurich Municipal in encouraging the government to make this mandatory”.
“Schools are fundamentally safe places. It is just right to have up-to-date fire risk assessment and regular fire drills”.