News

08-03-19

NFCC supports call for evidence on fire safety design guidance for schools

The Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds MP, has today (March 8th) launched a call for evidence on the DfE’s non-statutory fire safety design guidance for schools, Building Bulletin 100 (BB100).

NFCC is pleased to support the Secretary of State in taking this important step to seek views and evidence from the fire sector and construction industry, before embarking further on the process to update and revise BB100.

Terry McDermott, NFCC Lead for Automatic Water Suppression Systems, said: “We welcome the opportunity from the DfE to comment and share our wealth of experience on the important features of both life safety and property protection.

"The existing BB100 makes insufficient distinction between these two factors, so we are glad to see the DfE separate these issues in their call for evidence to ensure both areas are clearly and proportionately considered.”

NFCC is clear that there is no evidence to suggest there is an issue with fire-related life safety in our schools. Schools are well equipped to safely and quickly evacuate through multiple exit routes and occupants are active, alert and typically well drilled in what to do in the event of a fire.

However, while the incidence of large school fires, where the whole or significant portions of school facilities are lost, is very low, the loss of any facility can have a great impact on the community of that school, and its wider geographical community.

Mark Hardingham, Chair of NFCC’s Protection Coordination Committee, added: “NFCC believes that it is necessary to prevent such needless disruption to our children’s education and damage to what can be years of children’s hard work. Preventative action could also eliminate the impact of loss and disruption to the community, and of community facilities, as well as drastically reducing the cost to the tax payer of repairs and rebuilds of schools lost to fire.

 “We would encourage all our members to engage with this consultation process and share their views with the department [LINK]. We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with officials and supporting the DfE throughout the revision process.”

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