How often should a school carry out a fire safety check?
Schools have many diverse responsibilities, the most important of which is undoubtedly the health, safety and wellbeing of the pupils in its care. It is estimated that as many as ten UK schools are affected by fire every week, so having a detailed strategy in place for dealing with such an eventuality is essential.
There are some basic measures that each school needs to ensure are constantly in place, such as working fire alarms, regular fire drills and clear and well-signposted escape routes. However, with situations constantly changing and to avoid complacency setting in, it is important that those responsible for fire safety in the school environment are always aware of the potential for new hazards and new measures for improvement.
This is what fire risk assessments are designed to do and that makes them one of the basics of good policy for fire safety in schools. So this month, we’re going to be taking a look at what they involve and how often they need to be carried out.
What is involved in a fire safety check?
A fire safety check is designed to meet five key goals:
- Identifying all potential fire hazards on the school premises
- Identifying those pupils and staff who would be most vulnerable in the event of a fire
- Identifying the level of risk to all staff and pupils
- Identifying whether existing measures are adequate
- Identifying any extra measures that could be introduced to improve safety
Quite apart from identifying potential hazards and improvements, fire safety checks also carry out the essential additional function of creating an audit trail, making sure that any necessary corrective actions are completed by making named persons responsible for them.
Another benefit of a fire safety check carried out by a professional, accredited company like Cheshire Fire is that, should the worst still happen, you are covered legally in the event of a fire on your premises.
How often should fire safety checks be carried out?
Fire safety checks need to be carried out at least once a year to make sure that existing measures and contingencies continue to be adequate. However, extra assessments must be made should there be reason to suspect the existing policy is no longer valid, or if there has been a significant change in any matters to which it relates, as stipulated in Article 9 (3) of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Cheshire Fire has the skills, knowledge and experience required to carry out comprehensive and effective fire risk assessments across a number of sectors, including schools & colleges, universities, nursery schools and other educational settings. With MIFireE, GIFireE and NEBOSH qualifications, you can rest assured that you’re placing your trust in a reliable and trustworthy company that is fully covered by professional indemnity insurance. If you’re in the Chester or Warrington areas, simply contact us today to find out more.