Fire Safety in Schools – How to Protect Your School Using Commercial Fire and Smoke Curtains

It goes without saying that a fire in any school can be catastrophic. As well as the potential for costly damage to resources, equipment and buildings, fires pose a risk to life and are a traumatic experience. On top of that, a fire in a school usually means a period of closure for the establishment, which leads to a break in pupils’ education. This can negatively impact students for months or even years ahead – way beyond the duration of the actual closure.
Commercial fire and smoke curtains, sometimes also known as domestic fire and smoke curtains, can play a crucial role in minimising damage, danger and disruption.

Fire Safety Plans for Schools

UK schools are legally required to have a fire safety plan. This is called a Fire Safety Risk Assessment (FSRA). This applies whether the school buildings are older constructions or new builds.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to your FSRA. Schools differ in size, layout and potential fire risks. But all FSRA’s have certain requirements in common:

  • Schools must have fire drills regularly. This means that all staff and pupils are familiar with evacuation procedures and muster points in the event of a fire alarm sounding.
  • Schools must have a named fire warden.

The government body responsible for producing guidelines and legislation for fire safety in schools is the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The MHCLG provides a guide to help schools ensure that they meet the relevant requirements. You can read the full guide here.

Key points from the guide specify that schools must:

  • Make sure fire safety plans are in place to reduce the likelihood of fire
  • Maintain fire detection and alarm systems
  • Make sure staff and pupils are familiar with emergency evacuation plans

It is also necessary that:

  • Fire assessments are kept up to date
  • Fire precautions remain current and are reviewed when there are significant changes to the building

Why Use Commercial Fire and Smoke Curtains?

Preventing fires in schools is a priority. Every member of staff and every pupil has a responsibility to minimise risks and to take appropriate action if a fire is discovered, or if an alarm sounds. And, if an accident does occur, limiting damage and danger is paramount.
It’s important to use fire prevention equipment that is suitable for the building’s needs so it provides the best protection from damage and harm to life.
Large buildings and open plan areas require special consideration. Fire and smoke can spread quickly in such areas. Super-heated smoke kills fast and harm by smoke inhalation causes more deaths and injuries than fire itself. Fire doors and shutters used alone don’t effectively stop smoke spreading rapidly. Commercial fire and smoke curtains should be used alongside other such measures.
In an evacuation, fire doors are usually open to allow quick escape for those in the building. If this isn’t the case, leaving the premises and reaching a place of safety can take far longer. There is also a danger of problems caused by a bottleneck of people trying to escape the danger. Fire doors that are left open to facilitate evacuation might mean that smoke is free to spread through the building – and the freely available oxygen will fuel any combustion.
It’s possible to design smoke and fire curtains that deploy partially while people leave the building. They can then be fully deployed when everyone is out safely. This provides more effective protection than fully open fire doors.

Choosing BS8524 Fire and Smoke Curtains

British Standards provide consumers with peace of mind that the product they intend to buy is fit for purpose, durable and effective for its specified use. BS 8524 covers domestic fire and smoke curtains and commercial fire and smoke curtains.
Our smoke and fire curtains are made from a lightweight fabric with provides up to 3 hours of tested fire protection. They are easily concealed within a building and don’t mean compromising on space or access.

Professional Installation and Maintenance

If you’re planning to install fire or smoke curtains, it’s vital that they are professionally installed by experienced industry experts. We’ve been installing our fire and smoke protection products in both domestic and commercial premises throughout the UK for over 30 years. We also provide comprehensive maintenance packages to ensure that fire and smoke curtains are functioning correctly and in good condition.

Why You Should Choose Ultimate Fire & Smoke

  • We offer great value for money and all our products are manufactured in our UK-based premises
  • We can get a quote to you within 24 hours
  • Our installation experts have over 30 years of experience fitting commercial fire and smoke curtains
  • We can provide controlled descent and gravity fail safe systems
  • We continually invest in research, testing and development
  • We offer a 3 day order turnaround time*
  • *3 day turnaround time subject to certain restrictions, please ask us for more details.

Find out More or Get a Quote

If you need expert advice, more information about our services or if you’re ready for a quote. Talk to our friendly team today about commercial fire and smoke curtains.