Sprinkler advice for schools

School fire damageSchools are twice as likely to suffer a fire than any other commercial building. School fires result in significant costs. Large fires within schools cost around 2.8 million pounds. Schools are hubs in the community, the effect of fires impact pupils's education as well disruption to teachers and families. It can take months/years for schools to rebuild following a fire.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue service welcome sprinklers within schools. Both within Cheshire and nationally we have seen both significant fires to schools without sprinklers, as well as successful sprinkler saves. With these saves schools have been able to stay open and allowed pupils education to continue without disruption. In the building stage or during substantial refurbishment of schools, sprinklers can be cost effectively fitted for around 1% of the build cost.

A study carried out by Zurich Municipal revealed that 480 primary and secondary suffered fires in 2019. That equates to 40 incidents a month. Almost 20,000 school pupils have had their education impacted or have been displaced from their usual school building over the same period.

Sprinkler Benefits

Sprinkler systems should be fitted by third party certified installers. The benefits to have sprinklers fitted within schools include:

  • Avoidance of disruption to pupils and their education. In a school with sprinklers, the fire will be controlled or extinguished and the fire will be contained to the point of origin. Meaning both pupils and teachers wont have a need to relocate.

  • Prevent the loss of resources. Some of these resources being irreplaceable if created by staff and pupils. Along with the financial cost of educational resources.

  • If fitted in the early stages of the build. Sprinklers can offer more design flexibility.

  • Raises the level of fire protection within the building

Further Information

BAFSA has further information on sprinklers in schools (opens in new window)

Recommendations for the design and installation of sprinkler systems can be found in the following documents:

Toolkit for schools (new window PDF 92 kb)


Last updated: Friday 09 April 2021

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School fire damage