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10 October 2018
A fire risk assessment found serious deficiencies at a school in Scotland before a blaze broke out, according to a report by the local authority uncovered by the local newspaper.
Following a fire at the Braeview Academy last month, a Freedom of Information request from the Dundee Courier found the assessment which said that CCTV systems at the school were “very old, very poor quality and require upgrading”. The report says vandals have started fires at the property several times in recent years.
Measures had not been taken to minimise the hazard of ignition of combustible materials and fire exits did not “open in the direction of escape when necessary”.
Other areas of concern were suitable fire procedures were not put in place, including for the evacuation of disabled people, and that weekly testing and servicing of fire alarms had not been carried out.
The assessment also says that reasonable measures had not been taken to prevent electrical fires, automatic fire detection was not provided and there was no remote transmission of alarm signals.
Appliances were either untested or inappropriately placed, and combustible materials managed incorrectly. Assessors also identified issues in fire and safety instructions being given to staff.
A scheduled assessment of fire alarm systems in April was not carried out and successive reports over the past five years have found either “major defects” or systems at “serious risk of imminent failure”.
Findings for four out of five years rated systems in the lowest possible category for safety.
Local councillor Brian Gordon said to the Courier that the report uncovered “the kind of thing you see turned up during an inquiry into some kind of public disaster”.
He said: “We have just got to see it as a blessing that the children were not in the school at the time of the fire as the consequence of not adhering to fire safety checks could have been disastrous for the whole community.”
The school has not reopened since the fire in September.