Common fire hazards in schools

There have never been as many students at colleges and universities than currently attending these educational establishments. Many students start their college careers by living in student halls of residence or other dedicated student accommodation.

Of course, health and safety issues are paramount in such buildings, and they are constructed to the highest levels of safety, adhering to the legal guidelines and requirements. Despite all precautions though, there is always a danger of human behaviour and action that can cause fire outbreaks endangering both lives and property.

Here are the most common reasons for fire outbreaks in adult education environments:

Electrical appliances

In some student accommodation there are restrictions as to the use of electrical appliances in the individual rooms – for good reasons. Irons, toasters, coffee machines and other such electrical appliances are potential fire hazards, especially if used or stored improperly. Use of these appliances can also lead to excessive overload of plugs sockets and extension cords causing a fire hazard.

Naked flames

These days, in all student accommodation and common, shared spaces, smoking is prohibited – this, however, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen! Smoking indoors in any environment can have devastating consequences leading to property destroyed and, more tragically, lives lost!

It is easy for someone to perhaps fall asleep with a lit cigarette or to dispose of a cigarette butt carelessly whilst it is still alight. Another common fire hazard is candles – they are very popular these days and, whilst creating a cosy light and ambiance, are also a dangerous if left unattended.

Clutter

One of the biggest fire hazards in any building or environment is clutter – that build-up of items over time that leaves stuff haphazardly lying around in students’ rooms or halls. Very often the items themselves are not a hazard by way of actually igniting a fire but will provide fuel for any blaze that does occur from another source, causing the flames to spread faster and encouraging the fire to take hold.

It is, of course, not only adult education establishments which require sturdy and robust fire safety precautions – all schools need to have established and tested fire safety procedures and fixtures. The safety of both teachers and students in any school or college is vital – among many necessary precautions are the presence of commercial fire doors.

Fire doors for schools

Passive fire precautions, including the fitting of fire-rated doors, help delay the spread of smoke and flame throughout a school building, as well as protecting the structural integrity of the building helping to avoid any collapse as a consequence of a fire. Any “high risk” areas, such as school kitchens and science labs, should be separated from the rest of the buildings by specialist fire doors manufactured from specific materials designed and tested to provide longer resistance time when exposed to a fire outbreak.

These school fire doors, once installed, should be checked regularly to guarantee that they are in full working order. All other fire safety equipment on the premises, such as fire extinguishers, alarms and emergency lighting should also be checked and tested regularly.

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