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Assistant editor, IFSEC Global

December 20, 2019


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Just 15% of newly-built schools in the UK are fitted with sprinklers

iHASCO, a provider of health and safety eLearning, is urging education institutions to tackle fire hazards with the launch of its updated Fire Awareness course, as reported on SHP.

According to an investigation by the Guardian, 13% of schools have not carried out a fire risk assessment, 10% do not have electrical test certificate, and almost one in six school buildings in the UK require urgent repairs, such as roofs, walls and windows which are all deemed in need of immediate replacement.

Along with school institutions, recent research revealed that universities in the UK also face criticism on not prioritising fire safety in its institution. School teachers and staff should be provided with the correct training and knowledge to safeguard students from multiple fire hazards around a school building.

Fire safety awareness course

iHASCO’s updated Fire Awareness course is designed to help educational institutions with training staff to ensure that key information is transferred, to improve the safety of everyone in the event of a fire. The course also complies the requirements under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Staff and teachers will learn key areas on fire safety such as

  • The nature of fire.
  • Fire growth and development.
  • Fire signage.
  • Fire hazards.
  • Emergency procedures for those working in education and how to use different fire extinguishers.

As well as training the correct people, investment in the infrastructure is crucial, such as installation of sprinklers, however a survey revealed that only 15% of newly built schools in the UK are fitted with sprinklers.

The Fire Brigades Union have commented that: “We’ve made it clear that newly built schools and other high-risk buildings should have sprinkler systems.”

Alex Wilkins (Tech.IOSH), Head of Business Development at iHASCO says: “Fire awareness is a key piece of training, a legal requirement in fact, for anyone working in the education sector. We all want to keep schools safe, so it is imperative that we help school staff understand the risks that fire poses and enable them to minimise fire hazards where possible. School buildings are evidently not in ideal shape, but by ensuring that staff know what to do in emergency situations, school managers and boards can make an important step towards keeping everyone on-premises safe,”

“The updated course follows our philosophy that eLearning should be engaging and enjoyable in order to be effective. That is why we have reduced its duration by almost half an hour and added fantastic animation and graphics to keep learners engaged,” Wilkins concluded.

This article was originally published on SHPonline.

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[…] The BSA argue that, although sprinkler systems are a celebrated solution to contain such events and are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and encouraged in Wales, their effectiveness has not led to successful implementation across all UK schools. […]