Disputes are being made into the building regulations of school sprinklers. Disagreements have advanced regarding the proposed opposition to fire sprinkler suppression systems being required in new and refurbished schools.
A proposed guidance for new and refurbed school buildings to have sprinkler systems was suggested in the draft as no longer ‘expected’.
The requested change is to allow new builds and refurbished schools not to require sprinklers. However, the proposed change was rested in wake of the Grenfell tragedy. Therefore the guidance has remained the same until further consultation.
The guidance stands reading: “New schools should have fire sprinklers installed except in a few low-risk schools” DCSF March 2007. Therefore sprinklers are currently not a requirement under building regulations unless advised subsequently to being rated as medium or high-risk upon local authority fire risk assessments.
In Scotland and Wales, school sprinklers in new build schools have already been made compulsory.
The outrage was sparked by the London Fire Brigade’s commissioner: Ms Cotton, who “do[esn’t] want to see is a very large school fire to be the thing that brings about that change”. National Fire Chiefs Council agree that sprinklers in new build schools in England and Northern Ireland should also be instated.
DfE requirements which remain strongly instated, are that schools must have a fire risk assessment and new schools require further checks upon designing.
Assistant Fire safety Commissioner states: “Sprinklers are as important as smoke alarms in buildings like schools [and] residential care homes”. Dan Daly continues: “Fires can move quickly and often silently but sprinklers can stop a fire in its tracks”.
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Original Sources: BBC | GOV.UK | FIA | LFB