Typically, schools tend to be large buildings (even some of the smaller primary schools in rural Wales) with a lot of people in and out of the individual rooms and the building throughout the day. As the bulk of these are children along with teachers, support staff and even visitors, it is important to keep everyone safe at all times and that includes from risk of fire.
Of particular importance is to ensure the right types and numbers of extinguishers are installed in the most appropriate locations and that staff undergo training in how to use them. This training is vital in a busy environment like a school to prevent harm or injury to people and property.
All fire extinguishers must also be serviced regularly to ensure they are in good working order. The British Standard BS5306-3:2009 states that fire extinguishers should be serviced annually by a ‘competent person’. Just imagine the scenario if a member of your school, trained in the use of fire extinguishers, finds in the case of an emergency that the equipment didn’t work properly!!!
There are many different types of fire extinguishers depending on the ‘class’ of fire and those most likely to occur in a school are listed below:
Vandalism of fire extinguishers in schools is surprisingly common. It’s most likely to occur to equipment in common areas like corridors or any which may be situated outdoors. To combat vandalism you should ensure that the school’s fire extinguishers are covered or stored in lockable cabinets.
You could also consider keeping a bank of spare extinguishers (stored away safely of course) which could be used to replace any damaged or vandalised equipment. But don’t forget that these extinguishers should also be serviced annually to ensure they are still in proper working order.
It’s also advisable that the person who is responsible for fire safety in the school (a ‘responsible person’ will have been identified at the point of risk assessment) carries out a visual check of all extinguishers at least once a month in line with British Standards.
At Hartson Fire, we work with a number of schools across South Wales providing a range of extinguishers as well as staff training and annual servicing. We also understand that servicing of equipment is not ideal in a busy school environment and so we recommend carrying out these checks during the school holiday to avoid disruption.
To find out how we can help to keep your school safe, call us today on the number below: