Formal education usually takes place in a school environment with classrooms of multiple students, taught by a qualified professional. Educational facilities often accommodate a large number of students and staff, ranging from as young as two or three right past retirement age, including some with special needs. Therefore it is essential that these buildings have a safe and reliable fire detection system.
In April 2016 a fire was started at Cromwell, a Special School in Greater Manchester that offers intensive support for secondary aged pupils. Sadly the fire was the result of an arson attack, carried out by three teenage boys, which would leave the school out of action for the rest of the year.
It took around fifty firefighters to bring the fire under control after its blaze ripped through the ground floor, causing an estimated £1m of damage.
Fortunately the fire occurred in school holiday time and no-one was injured. However, the extent of the damage has caused the school to be closed and pupils to be relocated and divided across other venues.
The Importance of a Reliable Fire System in the Education Sector
It goes without saying that it is of huge importance to ensure the safety students and staff in education buildings. However, this is not the only reason that a reliable fire alarm system is absolutely essential.
Damage caused by fire is not limited to the structure and construction of the property but also to the disruption of business. The stress and effects of having to rearrange and relocate to alternative facilities could be detrimental to students and staff alike.
Despite the obvious legal requirement to have a suitable fire detection system installed in school properties (or any public building for that matter) there is also a legal requirement to minimise unwanted fire alarms, with the cost false alarms in the UK estimated at around £1bn a year.
It is the responsibility of head teachers, governors and college principals to provide evidence that a fire alarm system is designed, installed, commissioned and maintained by competent contractors in accordance with the applicable standards.
What are the Fire Risks in Schools?
One of the the biggest fire risk in education properties is arson. School properties are often left unoccupied at night or during school holidays leaving them open to attack from disgruntled students or mindless troublemakers.
There are also a number of high risk areas within schools where electrical equipment, science apparatus, flammable materials, gas supplies and hazardous chemicals may be present such as:
- Design technology departments
- Art studios
- Photographic dark rooms
- Drama studios
A number of non-teaching areas such as kitchens, offices, science and technology rooms and boiler houses, which all have a higher than normal risk of fire, are also present.
Cost Effective Solution
When providing a fire alarm detection system for education sector properties there are a number of important factors to consider. The fire alarm system must be able to provide fast and reliable detection of fire with minimal risk of false alarm. On top of this it must conform to regulations and be installed, commissioned and maintained by competent contractors.
The fire alarm must be cost-effective, taking into consideration the total cost-of-ownership and not just initial installation costs.
Zoning of fire alarms is also advantageous to education facilities, allowing personnel to determine where a potential fire incident is happening and initiate necessary procedures.
These requirements make analogue addressable fire alarm systems the most suitable and common systems for use within the education sector.
ProFyre Analogue Addressable Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
The ProFyre range of analogue addressable fire detection equipment provides a complete, high quality and reliable fire detection system for small to large complex, networkable sites. It is based on a reliable and flexible communication protocol that is expandable to meet future developments.
Its simple user interface employs a high-visibility LCD display for all the end-user and engineers needs. Initial configuration, additions or minor changes can be configured at the system’s control panel and every ProFyre loop device can be addressed via DIL switches or using a hand-held programmer.
Flexible, ‘Open’ Protocol Solution
When a system is provided with a ‘closed’ protocol all of its devices and control panels use their own, specific code and access to its technical details are not provided.
This restricts its use to only specific approved installers. Eurofyre believe that the client should have the freedom to choose their own maintainer and endeavour to provide the highest level of support possible. Therefore, all ProFyre systems provide an ‘open’ protocol solution, giving the owner full control of how the system is managed.
Full support, manuals, software, access codes and spare parts are all provided regardless of who is appointed to manage or maintain the fire alarm system, giving third-party manufacturers and suppliers the opportunity to produce compatible equipment using the same protocol.
Eurofyre are proud, British manufacturers of specialist fire detection systems for commercial and industrial applications. Our range of products includes, but is not limited to, analogue addressable fire alarm systems, 2-wire fire detection systems, conventional fire alarm systems, aspirating smoke detection and video smoke detection.
Our expertise and experience enables us to supply complete systems for any application. Please feel free to get in touch if you need help with choosing the right system for your application or if you would like to discuss any of our products.