Schools Need to Do More to Protect their Buildings at Night
There are thousands of independent schools around the UK.  Many are situated in old rambling buildings built around the turn of the twentieth century or before. Their hub is often a large house with multiple ancillary buildings spread far and wide, usually equipped with simple standalone fire detection and alarm systems.

Due to their age, design and construction, these buildings can present a considerable fire risk. This was seen during the recent major fires at the National Trust’s Clandon House in Surrey and at the Glasgow School of Art, where the extensive use of untreated or unprotected timber caused the blaze to spread rapidly and extensively.

Although these school buildings may have adequate fire alarm systems to enable the evacuation of staff and pupils during the day,  the system may not protect the building or alert the fire and rescue service during the silent hours when there is no-one there.  Without this rapid detection, these buildings are at risk – and of course, if a fire here gets out of hand, it could even threaten the lives of boarders and others in adjacent buildings. Fortunately, there are products that can help. Drax Technology offers solutions that can help reduce false alarms, improve response times to alarms, improve communication to key individuals via their PC, smartphone or tablet and provide an extensive audit trail in the form of an electronic log book. 

Generating detailed and accurate information for system governance is becoming an increasingly important requirement.  Recording electronically and automatically the precise location and time of a fire or fault, weekly testing and routing maintenance all help to provide credible evidence to mitigate those responsible should a serious event occur.

None of the above measures would extinguish the fire but they do provide users and engineers with immediate detailed information when fires or faults occur and store the data for future reporting or analysis. This is particularly important from a compliance point of view to ensure that both routine weekly testing and maintenance providers are completing all the testing required within the time allowed.