Blake Fire and Security Systems

Balancing Your School's Budget & Fire Safety Needs

Date: 16 August 2018
Categories: ,

After the Grenfell disaster, it wasn't just the tower block managers that started making frantic calls to fire and security professionals to get things checked over.

Schools and businesses also realised they needed to check their Fire Risk Assessment reports...

But a common problem with school fire safety is convincing the board to invest! It is not cheap... but it is also not an option you can ignore.

If your fire system and equipment isn't up to scratch and the worst should happen, the fault lies with the Responsible Person who is solely responsible for the safety of the visitors, staff and pupils.

This guide walks you through the most important steps when reviewing your school's fire safety equipment and some advice about approaching the school board.

school security

1. Working out who's responsible...

Your school will have a designated Responsible Person (or persons) to ensure that fire safety systems and practices meet legislation.

This person/s will also reap the consequences of a substandard system, which can include unlimited fines and, in extreme cases, a prison sentence!

Ultimately, the end users must motivate those responsible for taking action to get compliant. This is not only a legal responsibility but a moral responsibility, especially when it concerns children.The risk is far too great to merely maintain the status quo and hope for the best.

2. Understanding the basic UK fire legislation

Some of the actions required by an education facility under UK legislation include:

  • Complete and document a fire risk assessment;
  • Install and maintain appropriate fire equipment, including at a minimum a means of fire detection and fire extinguishing relevant to the size of the building and number of occupants;
  • Have a fire action plan;
  • Install signs indicating the fire equipment and means of evacuation;
  • Train staff and students regularly on fire safety, including the regular conduct of fire drills;
  • Appoint Responsible Persons (fire warden or marshal) for coordinating fire actions and train them accordingly.

3. Recording & following up on your Fire Risk Assessment

A fire risk assessment is a comprehensive fire prevention and readiness tool that reviews the overall fire risk regarding hazards, actions, and skills.

Areas a fire risk assessment will cover are:

  • Identify potential sources of fire;
  • Identify any at-risk processes or people;
  • Review effectiveness of the fire equipment and signs;
  • Review effectiveness of the fire action plan;
  • Assess people's skills in responding or carrying out the fire action plan;
  • Record any findings and develop an action plan to have them completed

The risk assessment is a means to an end but NOT an end in itself - and this is where schools can fall short.

After carrying out the assessment it's critical to contact a certified professional to do the work rather than the caretaker or the local electrician. Read our guide on following up on your FRA here.

4. Convincing your school board to invest in fire safety

If you are concerned about balancing the school's budget with your responsibility to fire safety, you have powerful allies. Properly installed and maintained systems and equipment are mandatory under UK legislation, which provides the leverage needed to address your school board or management.

The school may want to refurbish the art block and invest in new IT equipment, but fire and security systems MUST be prioritised.

Fulfilling the UK legislation is a simple procedure and need not cost a huge slice of ever-shrinking budgets if you get advice from those who understand it...

Blake's have worked with over 200 schools to provide expert advice and quality fire systems that meet British standards and legislation!

A motivation for improved fire systems

In 2011, London Fire Brigade statistics showed that there was a fire every three days in London schools, colleges and nurseries - that's almost 1 fire per school day!

Although fire incident rates in England are thankfully reducing, only continuing education and application of best fire safety practices will keep this trend going. Statistics show that ignoring fire safety initiatives will lead to accidents.

Get the right system at the right price!

Your school can abide by the law without breaking the bank. Click the button below to download your free eBook, written by the experts, for busy business owners and school finance departments! Get the right fire safety system, at the right price!

Balancing budget and fire safety for business owners

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