Sprinkler Systems in Schools

Author - Emily Weekes |
Publish Date - September 26, 2019

Sprinkler Systems in Schools

The capacity for a fire in a school is high when laboratories, kitchens, workshops and electricals are taken into account.

As is common with most fire safety services, there are different types of sprinkler systems. Various sizes, temperature settings and styles are available, with some sprinklers designed specifically for domestic, industrial or commercial locations.

  • Wet systems are stored under pressure, permanently charged with water to be released when heat is detected
  • Dry systems are filled with compressed air, working by detecting a specified heat and opening the valves directly over the fire
  • Pre-action systems are similar to dry systems in that no water is stored in the piping, however they are more commonly used in libraries, data centres and laboratories. The activation of water only happens if there is a definite risk of fire.

In a science block or laboratory, there is an extensive list of fire risks. Chemicals, equipment and electricals all pose a safety risk if not treated carefully. As a ‘mixed risk’ environment, there could be a requirement for different types of sprinkler systems in any one school.

Churches Fire & Security are proud members of the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) that actively promotes the use of sprinklers in properties and the training of apprentices throughout the UK.

a typical sprinkler system being triggered and going off

Impact of School Fires

The potential for a fire in an education environment stands to be higher when laboratories, kitchens, electrical workshops and IT suites are considered.

The cost impact of a fire occurring in a school can be substantial. Figures from 2007, the most recent available, show that over the ten years ending in 2005, the cost of school fires rose to to £67 million. A considerable sum to factor into the decision-making when choosing a fire safety services for a school setting.

Aside from the damage caused to the physical building, the impact on examinations and results, and changes to the students’ daily routine can have an affect on mental well-being.

The National Education Union are campaigning for it to be made compulsory for sprinklers to be fitted in all new and refurbished schools. As of September 2019, the Government are reviewing the Building Bulletin 100: Design for fire safety in schools, originally detailed here.

As a proud member of BAFSA, Churches Fire & Security are specialists in quality-assured sprinkler systems. Ranging from systems with specified water tanks and fire pumps to simple installations supplied by the town’s water supply, we work alongside our customers to ensure their requirements are met.

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