The Biggest & Best Portal to the Professional Property, Workplace and Built Environment Community

Sunday, 25 February

School Sprinklers - NFCC Issues Lesson

The National Fire Chiefs Council is calling for all new school builds or refurbishments to have sprinklers fitted - a policy that is mandatory in Scotland and Wales.

Figures show the proportion of new schools built with sprinklers had dropped from about 70% a decade ago to a third last year - and overall, in England and Wales, just 5% of schools have sprinklers.

The NFCC part commissioned an independent analysis in 2017 which looked at more than 2,000 incidents attended by UK fire services in sprinkler-protected buildings, which found that sprinkler systems correctly operated on at least 94% of the fires and controlled or extinguished 99% of those fires.

According to NFCC, the impact of school fires is significant; while they have an impact in financial terms they also have a devastating impact on the communities schools serve, along with the environment and the disruption to students, teachers and families. The impact on children’s education is not confined to lost course work but often includes longer travelling times, disrupted social groups and poorer facilities.

NFCC believes if sprinklers were considered at the design stage of new build or refurbishment of existing buildings, costs could be kept to a minimum.

Each year, more than 1,300 schools in the UK suffer fires large enough to be attended by fire and rescue services. Fifty-six per cent of these are classed as non-accidental. According to government estimates (DCLG), the average cost of school fires between 2000 and 2004 was £58 million per year.

Statistically there is one in 20 chance of a school having a fire but that does not explain the whole picture. Many fires are not reported to fire and rescue services, particularly if they self-extinguished or are put out by staff.

London Commissioner Dany Cotton and Head of the NFCC said: "The NFCC strongly believes sprinklers can play a significant role in both improving the life safety of occupants, especially in specialised housing, health care facilities and high-rise accommodation. In addition, I believe that sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed - or even extinguished - before the fire service can arrive. Sprinklers save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters and reduce the amount of damage caused by fire."

NFCC has recently submitted an in-depth response to the Hackitt Review, which is looking at building regulations following the Grenfell fire, and would like to see the review consider an improved focus on property protection and sustainability in building regulations.

Cotton said: ""Sprinklers are an effective part of an overall fire safety solution and can be used efficiently to improve fire safety in a range of new and existing buildings. The NFCC supports the concept of risk-assessed retro fitting of sprinklers."

Picture: London Fire Brigade Chief and Head of the NFCC - Dany Cotton

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

Share



Related Articles

Cladding Fire Fears - Unit Closed and Patients Moved

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has received a report on fire safety in the Trauma Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital. An extraordinary Board Meeting...

 Read Full Article
THINK! Drink

Tell your friends not to drink drive this festive period says the latest THINK! campaign which started on December 7. For this year’s campaign, which runs to...

 Read Full Article
How The Mighty Fall - HSE Issued With Crown Censure

In something of a bitter irony, the Health and Safety Executive has avoided justice because of its status and  has instead accepted a Crown Censure after a worker at...

 Read Full Article
If Dolly Can Be Hacked, What About The Hand Dryer?

  Connected toys with Bluetooth, wi-fi and mobile apps may seem like the perfect gift for Christmas. But Which? has found that, without appropriate safety...

 Read Full Article
Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

The RIBA Stirling Prize judges have decided they really do like being beside the sea as they have voted their top prize to the fabulously restored Hastings Pier. The...

 Read Full Article
Fire Door Safety Week

Fire Door Safety Week takes place from 25 September to 1 October 2017. Set up five years ago by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the campaign now attracts more...

 Read Full Article
Sprinklers - Retrofit is Best Way to Make Sure Grenfell Can Never Happen Again

Now is the time for action on sprinklers in residential high-rise buildings and schools, London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton has warned as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry...

 Read Full Article
Jurassic Parks at Tower Top - 14 Rescued by Helicopter

Merlin Entertainments, the biggest ride and attraction company in the UK and with sites across the world, have suffered another embarrassment as 14 people including a...

 Read Full Article
Scaffolding - Dangers Exposed

Date: August 21 - Construction company fined after worker fell from height A construction company has been fined after a worker suffered life changing injuries after...

 Read Full Article
Bong - And Here Is The News - Big Ben to Be Silenced UPDATE

Since ThisWeekinFM reported this story on Monday Aug 14, MPs, concerned the Bell & Chimes would be silenced for too long, have intervened to consider if the period of...

 Read Full Article