The LWF Blog

Facilities Management & Fire Safety – Community Fire Safety – Part 4

June 3, 2019 12:53 pm

In LWF’s blog series for those who work in Facilities Management, or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been looking at Community Fire Safety. In part 3, we looked at how government campaigns over the last 50 years have had a positive impact, alongside the now-formalised activities of the Fire Service to bring fire safety education and tools such as smoke alarms into people’s homes. In part 5, we begin to discuss fire safety education in schools.


The Fire and Rescue Service have traditionally spent time and resources in taking fire safety education into schools and the results have been considered a success. The necessity of such activity is based on the widespread potential for fire-related injuries in children and also, the potential for danger from fire to the school premises. Schools have been known to struggle to fit fire safety education into busy curriculums, despite the necessity from a safety point of view.


Fire remains one of the leading causes of death and accidental injury in children, despite the numbers of fires in UK dwellings continuing to fall year on year. Detailed fire statistics can be viewed on the Government website.


The Institute of Child Health suggests that wide inequalities exist in rates of accidental injury amongst children, with those children from lower socio-economic groups being 16 times more likely to be killed in house fires than children from higher socio-economic groups.


While it might be thought that children could have little impact on the fire safety provision in the home, fire safety education in schools has shown that the message they bring home and are aware of can have a considerable influence on the fire-safe behaviour of adults within the family. In addition, of course, the messages given to children influences their own choices and fire safety knowledge later in life.


Between 2006 and 2009, the National Community Fire Safety Centre undertook delivery of a fire safety education programme with the aim of increasing fire-safe behaviour in children at primary and secondary schools. Further programmes which were based on fire safety and reducing instances of arson and hoax calls had set target figures for a reduction in deliberate fires and in hoax calls and both targets were exceeded considerably. The government’s current fire safety guidance for families, children, homes etc. can be found on the website.


In part 5 of this series, LWF will look at home fire risk checks. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0800 410 1130.


Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings. 


While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.


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