How to Conduct Fire Risk Assessments in Schools

Carrying out fire risk assessments within schools can be difficult and complex, as fires obviously occur unplanned and unintentionally, making protection vital in any situation. Corresponding measures are required to be in place and form a key aspect of a school fire risk assessment. Fire risk assessments for schools must take into account the action required to reduce further risk and identify potential hazards, assess risks, and implement control measures.

Fire risk assessments in schools is a very serious issue facing all schools around the world, and schools large or small must strive to achieve sufficient levels of compliance and safety. Here in Australia, the issue of health and safety facing modern day schools is essential, making fire safety measures in schools especially important. Fire kills, and the fact that they occur so often within any environment reinforces the importance of understanding fire risks, fire prevention, and evacuation procedures

How is Fire Risk Assessment Done?

A fire risk assessment involves a physical inspection of the school building to determine the adequacy of the existing fire safety measures in schools and the need for any additional fire protection like active sprinkler systems and fire alarms. The components of this particular assessment are actually carried out to be able to highlight the probability of a fire starting up as well as the damage it can cause in specific instances to people in and around the area. The primary goals of the assessment are to:

  • Identify – Any potential fire risks and hazards (sources of ignition, fuel etc).
  • Reduce – Those risks to a level that is as low as reasonably possible.
  • Evaluate – What precautions need to be put in place to ensure the safety of those in and around your premises (escape routes, lighting, training etc).

Here is a quick list of necessities that must also be in place as part of your fire risk assessment procedure:

  • Students, teachers and all relevant persons must be made aware of the relevant information and the risks identified by the assessment. They must also be made aware of the measures to take to prevent such risks and how these measures will protect them in the event of a fire.
  • Teachers and other staff need to be consulted and a handful of them nominated to carry out specific roles in connection with your fire safety proposals.
  • All non-employees and temporary site workers/visitors must be made aware of the relevant risks and the fire safety procedures behind them.
  • You must take into consideration the presence of dangerous substances and the risks they present to school premises in the event of a fire.
  • A suitable method of contacting emergency services must be established.
  • Appropriate information and training must be provided to teachers and other staff the moment they begin working and then periodically after that.
  • All fire-fighting equipment and detectors should be properly and periodically maintained by a competent person in an efficient manner.
  • All emergency escape routes should be highlighted clearly and maintained regularly.

The key to successfully managing fire hazards in schools is the completion of a fire risk assessment by a competent person. Our fire risk assessors all have extensive experience in undertaking fire risk assessments for schools so if you are not 100% sure of your ability to complete this task yourself, you may contact FCF Fire & Electrical Rockhampton.