Fire Risk Assessment

School Fire Safety

SCARE

In 2003, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service had a job on their hands. They were the second most badly hit area in the country for school fires. In that year, there were 52 school fires alone. Fast forward seven years and figures show incidents are now down by 75%. This success has been largely attributed to a joint council and fire service initiative called SCARE. More details

SCARY

An infants school in south Wales has been completely destroyed after a major fire last week. At the height of the blaze, more than 50 firefighters were in attendance using 14 fire engines and support vehicles. The local authority is building temporary accommodation to house around 100 children for the last few weeks of the school year. Incident commander Peter Jenkins of South Wales Fire Service said "Within 15 minutes of the fire service being on scene virtually every classroom and room in the school was totally involved in fire.” Source: Info4Fire


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Scare tactics lead to 75% reduction in school fires

In 2003, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service had a job on their hands. Government FDR returns had just told them that the county was the second most badly hit area in the country for school fires. In that year, there were 52 school fires alone.

“We just thought, this can’t go on,” says John Foolkes, area fire safety manager. “There were two actually quite considerable fires that year, and a £1m school was completely trashed.”

But fast forward seven years and figures show incidents are now down by 75%. This success has been largely attributed to a joint council and fire service initiative called SCARE, something Mr Foolkes has been heavily involved.

“SCARE is made up of three parts,” he explains. “Technical approval, visits to schools, and theatre in education, where we organise a theatre company to bring plays about fire safety into schools for year 8 pupils. That’s offered to every school but it’s voluntary. We get a lot of interest. It looks at things like peer pressure and its consequences.”

“We thought it was a really good idea to risk assess the schools,” John Foolkes says. “So we talked to health and safety advisors in three councils who agreed and got involved. It was they who did the bulk of the admin work, setting out the scheme with regards to the toolkit and visiting the schools,” he explains. Source: Info4Fire


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