When we send our children to school, there is a responsibility on teachers and school governors to ensure they are evacuated safely should a fire break out. Ensuring their protection against a fire means the performance of your fire alarm systems and evacuation procedures are of paramount importance.
Most schools have been built to cater for a variety of mixed uses. A school complex can comprise classrooms, kitchens and refractories, as well as science laboratories and indoor sports facilities. Each area poses a different type of fire risk, especially science labs that may contain flammable chemicals and kitchens where perhaps students are learning to cook.
When considering the best type of fire alarm system for a school, the most common requirements are; a system that can be effectively monitored and maintained, a need to prevent false alarm activations, the need to provide early detection and warning of a real fire, and a procedure that enables the safe evacuation of all school occupants in a controlled manner.
Effective and well-maintained fire alarm systems and fully trained fire officers are essential elements of ensuring pupils, buildings and equipment are protected. A well-maintained fire alarm system will ensure compliance with fire safety regulations and also ensure you pass OFSTED with flying colours. Teachers and school governors need evidence that these systems and processes are effective and will alert and prevent the spread of fire and protect people, processes and property.
When installing and maintaining a fire alarm system for a school, one of the key challenges Tecserv encounters is the need to help the responsible individual or the fire officer (or team) prevent false activations.
Children can be naturally mischievous, so education on fire safety is an important aspect of their learning as well as a fire drill that is understood and well-practiced. A key challenge is to do this in a way that educates, without making the children fearful.
We think it is our responsibility to liaise with responsible individuals at schools to help them install and maintain effective fire systems and processes.
We also help by suggesting ways teachers can educate students on the impact and the risk to life certain behaviours can cause. A mistake or prank in the kitchen or during a science experiment may pose a fire risk. The key is to understand areas of high risk and install the risk type of fire detector and monitoring equipment.
A Fire alarm sounding is something that teachers and pupils do want to hear. Unplanned fire alarm evacuations cause disruption to the school and fire service, and interrupt learning.
At Tecserv we help to ensure regular planned maintenance and training takes place and that we help all stakeholders with responsibility for fire safety within a school to ensure that their systems and processes are compliant, well maintained and support fire safety policies, procedures and legislation.