The government in England has launched a consultation on its updated design guide for fire safety in schools. Building Bulletin 100 (BB 100) is non-statutory guidance, which covers designing a school building to have early warning systems and evacuation routes, advises how to minimise the spread of fire and how to ensure the building structure is adequately resistant to fire, as well as requirements for access and facilities for the Fire and Rescue Services. The updated Bulletin contains guidance on compliance with Building Regulations Part B (Fire Safety), school-specific fire risks, property protection and fire safety management.
The government is proposing to make sprinklers mandatory in new schools above 11m, special educational needs schools and boarding schools. Insurer Zurich UK has long called for mandatory sprinklers in all new and major refurbished schools, regardless of the building’s height. Tilden Watson, Head of Education at school insurer Zurich Municipal, said: “By limiting sprinklers to schools above 11m, the government is effectively writing off a significant proportion of the school estate. As predominantly single-story buildings, primary schools will be hardest hit, especially as they already suffer nearly twice the rate of blazes as secondary schools.” She accused the Department for Education of “measuring children’s lives in metres”.
The consultation on the usefulness of the update will run until 17 August and is available at bit.ly/BuildingBulletin100