WOBO is aware of developments taking place that reflect incidents and research carried out relating to the built environment, as part of this process members and fellow professionals are provided with the opportunity to review this initiative in respect of sprinklers in school buildings.
Ministers should urgently change the law to make sprinklers compulsory in all new-build and refurbished schools as is the case in Scotland and Wales. Investing in sprinklers is a small price to pay for improving the resilience of the school estate and protecting young people’s education.
Schools could be almost twice as likely to be hit by a fire as other non-residential buildings, according to research by the insurer Zurich. Unlike Scotland and Wales, there is no legal requirement in England for sprinklers to be fitted in new-build and refurbished schools. With Government data showing almost 2,000 school blazes over the last three years, this is costing taxpayers millions of pounds, harming children’s education, and potentially putting lives at risk.
- Zurich Municipal analysis of data on 26,800 schools in England shows the average fire risk in schools is almost double that of non-residential buildings
- Despite being at greater risk of a fire starting, school inspections carried out by the insurer show two thirds (66%) lack adequate fixed fire protection measures, such as sprinklers, and a quarter (24%) are rated ‘poor’ for fire detection
- Firefighters have been called to nearly 2,000 school blazes in the last three years
- Calls for sprinklers to be made mandatory in England as government pledges £1bn+ school rebuilding programme for England.