31 May 2019
The essential need for sprinklers to be fitted in schools looking after children with special education needs has been highlighted by London Fire Brigade (LFB) in an official response to the Government’s technical review of Building Bulletin 100 (BB100).
LFB said schools are ‘failing to protect vulnerable children’ from the effects of a disastrous fire by not fitting sprinklers in all new and refurbished special education needs schools.
The statement said, “The current BB100 guidance does not reflect that school buildings where there are significant numbers of children with special educational needs are considered as a medium to high vulnerability risk.
“We want sprinklers to be mandatory in new schools and major refurbishments and for guidance to be updated around the evacuation of children with additional needs to take into account their health and maintain their dignity.”
Since 2014, 549 fires have started in education buildings with only 13 having sprinklers fitted, and, this year alone, 41 school fires have occurred in London with none of them having sprinklers fitted.
Dan Daly, assistant commissioner for fire safety, said, “So far this year we’ve been to at least two school fires a week and none of these buildings had sprinkler systems.
“Minimising the disruption and impact of a fire is particularly pertinent at special educational needs school where vulnerable children learn.
“We’ve been campaigning for sprinklers in schools for well over ten years and, despite this, we continue to be ignored. It is time for the government to act.”
London Fire Brigade