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ABI: Schools Need Sprinkler Guidance

Posted: 16/10/2016

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has voiced its concerns about proposed changes to the BB100 guidance that would undermine efforts to reduce fire risks in schools.

Currently, the document states that it is the government’s expectation that all new schools would come with sprinklers fitted. However, the proposed redraft would state the opposite – that Building Regulations do not require installation of sprinkler systems in school buildings for life safety and as such BB100 will not include an expectation that the majority of new schools would have these installed.

Property policy adviser at the ABI Laura Hughes said: “The case for sprinklers is a strong one. Aside from their ability to save lives they drastically reduce the amount of damage done when there is a fire, saving money and getting that school back up and running more quickly. The cost of installing a sprinkler system can be recouped in less than ten years thanks to the savings which will be made insuring the school.”

There are over 1,500 fires in schools and educational facilities each year – which is the equivalent of four a day. Such incidents disrupt the education of approximately 90,000 children and students every year.

The ABI has now submitted a response to the Department for Education’s consultation on Building Bulletin 100, stating that the organisation strongly believes that there is no evidence or justification to support weakening the guidance already in place on the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all newly built schools.

Schools out there looking into their emergency response procedures should get in touch with us at HFR Solutions CIC to see how we can help mitigate all risks on site.