Responding to the London Fire Brigade’s call for sprinklers to be fitted in every school, Faith Kitchen education niche director at specialist education insurer Ecclesiastical commented:
“Ecclesiastical fully supports the call for sprinklers to be installed in schools across the UK. Our own claims statistics show that schools are increasingly susceptible to arson and malicious damage during the summer and autumn holidays, during which time a fire could take hold and cause tens of thousands of pounds of damage.
“As a specialist insurer for the sector, Ecclesiastical provides specific advice and guidance to its customers to help them manage their risks such as fire prevention including how they might reduce the risk of arson.
“School fires can have a devastating impact on both the school and the local community. It is imperative that any changes to the guidance issued by government should seek to improve the protection of schools and those that work or are educated in them from fire.
“The revised version of BB 100 has downgraded the importance of property protection and fails to recognise the significant impacts that fires in schools have on the local community and children’s education.
“According to government statistics, on average there are 1,500 fires in schools and other educational establishments every year – many of these schools are funded by the taxpayer. With this in mind, it would seem logical for any government consultation to focus on strengthening fire protection wherever possible and, to provide clear advice and guidance for schools when it comes to fire prevention. We believe that this should include the installation of sprinklers, particularly in new buildings and wherever possible in existing buildings.”