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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

School is Highlight of Fire Safety Engineering Conference

18 February 2014

A tour of a Burton school will be the highlight of a national conference regarding fire safety engineering tomorrow.

"Sadly schools are at increased risk of fire and the estimated cost of school fires each year has reached £65 million. A school fire is significant, not just in financial terms, but also in terms of the devastating effect on the environment and the disruption to students, teachers and families." 

Fire Engineer Andrew Brown

Over 80 delegates, including Councillors, Engineers and Surveyors, are expected to descend on Christchurch Infant School in Burton. The visit forms part of a conference, being held by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, which is looking at how the incorporation of sprinklers can make building design more flexible, as will be demonstrated at the local school.

Speakers at the conference, being held at Branston Golf Club, will include the Head Teacher of Christchurch Infant School as well as experts from the sprinkler industry and the fire and rescue service.

Fire Engineer Andrew Brown said: "The theme of the conference is fire safety by design and so we will be looking at how the use of fire engineering and sprinklers can reduce the need for other fire safety measures, such as compartmentation and other active fire safety systems along with making allowances for fire service access.

"Sprinklers are often seen as an additional cost, whereas actually they can reduce the overall construction cost by allowing more flexibility in the design of buildings. Also there has never been a fire death in a fully sprinklered building and you can’t put a cost on human life.

"Sadly schools are at increased risk of fire and the estimated cost of school fires each year has reached £65 million. A school fire is significant, not just in financial terms, but also in terms of the devastating effect on the environment and the disruption to students, teachers and families. The impact on children’s education is not confined to lost coursework but often includes longer travelling times, disrupted social groups and poorer facilities.

"So the fitting of sprinklers at Christchurch Infant School is a welcome decision and we look forward to showcasing the building to demonstrate what a sound investment sprinklers can be."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is amongst several fire and rescue services calling for Government to make the fitting of sprinklers compulsory in new build accommodation.