Welcome Guest! The IOSH forums are a free resource to both members and non-members. Login or register to use them

Postings made by forum users are personal opinions. IOSH is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the information contained in forum postings. Please carefully consider any advice you receive.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
Herb  
#1 Posted : 23 November 2021 15:51:53(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Herb

What's the view on displays/installations (i.e. forests, under the water themes)  and children's artwork in the school corridors? Should they be taken as it's a combustible material?

firesafety101  
#2 Posted : 23 November 2021 16:00:15(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

It will depend if the corridor is on a Means of Escape route.  If it is it has to be Class O Fire Rating, in that case nothing that will burn is allowed in the corridor.

If not part of  the means of escape I guess you can stick up anything you want to.

A Kurdziel  
#3 Posted : 23 November 2021 16:07:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

What’s the risk?

Sometimes fire people want everything to be sterile -they think that protected fire routes should be lined with bare concrete. But schools like to  display children’s work and Ofsted expects to see work out  on show. Sometimes corridors are the only places to show such work(not many schools have dedicated exhibition spaces).

What is the risk of fire breaking out?

Nobody smokes inside buildings now; there are no heaters in the corridors; there are no processes that generate heat in those areas or create an ignition source. The school is provisioned with adequate fire exits and alternative routes exist.

So, what’s the risk?

 

thanks 2 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Evans38004 on 23/11/2021(UTC), Brian Hagyard on 23/11/2021(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#4 Posted : 23 November 2021 16:22:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

While i totaly agree with you  A I unfortunatly i know a lot of fire risk assessors and insrance companies that would stick with firesafety101 view - just a straight no.

Dazzling Puddock  
#5 Posted : 23 November 2021 16:31:26(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dazzling Puddock

If you were to look at the guidance in Practical Fire Safety Guidance For Educational And Day Care For Children Premises, Paragraphs 137 and 167 are referring to wall displays and displays in corridors in schools

Basically if wall mounted limit them to runs of three metres with a metre gap between and not facing each other on the walls or cover them in perspex.

I wouldnt allow any static table display of combustible materials in a narrow school corridor where this is a means of escape and would restrict the width of the escape, there will be plenty better places within the schools to display things.

I am afraid school pupils are the one group I find still smoke indoors!!   Usually in the toilets!!

Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 23 November 2021 16:39:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Table 6.1 "Classification of Linings" Approved Document B to the Building Regulations states circulation spaces should be Euroclass B-s3,d2 which translates as Class 1 in accordance with BS 476-7 not Class 0.

But then the regulations are discussing the fabric of the building and not some transient display of pupils work.

In reality is it a significant fire load or in the unlikely event will it just burn itself out?

Probably more risk from the overloaded notice board with its layers of neglected and no longer useful information.

thanks 4 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Brian Hagyard on 24/11/2021(UTC), A Kurdziel on 24/11/2021(UTC), Brian Hagyard on 24/11/2021(UTC), A Kurdziel on 24/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#7 Posted : 23 November 2021 16:39:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Table 6.1 "Classification of Linings" Approved Document B to the Building Regulations states circulation spaces should be Euroclass B-s3,d2 which translates as Class 1 in accordance with BS 476-7 not Class 0.

But then the regulations are discussing the fabric of the building and not some transient display of pupils work.

In reality is it a significant fire load or in the unlikely event will it just burn itself out?

Probably more risk from the overloaded notice board with its layers of neglected and no longer useful information.

thanks 4 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Brian Hagyard on 24/11/2021(UTC), A Kurdziel on 24/11/2021(UTC), Brian Hagyard on 24/11/2021(UTC), A Kurdziel on 24/11/2021(UTC)
grim72  
#8 Posted : 24 November 2021 14:44:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
grim72

There are plenty of options out there for fire proof noticeboards if you want to display things without risking the ire of any inspectors. Obviously there is more cost involved than simply sticking things up on the wall with bluetack or selotape but it could be an option depending on budgets (which in all likelihood is non existant).

A Kurdziel  
#9 Posted : 24 November 2021 14:54:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Most schools I know of are more worried about what Ofsted says than any fire inspector and of course they can ask why are shops full of flammable items on open shelving. Could it be that that the retail sector has persuaded the powers that be that they must have things on display . Imagine a fire breaking out on that aisle full of greasy plastic wrapped crisps.

Edited by user 24 November 2021 14:55:39(UTC)  | Reason: words and thgings

firesafety101  
#10 Posted : 24 November 2021 19:08:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Whatever the regs say, and what people think, the fire risk assessment will have the answer.

Is there a FRA and is it up to date?

Has the FRA been revised to consider the combustible corridor display/s?

When a FRA is carried out it is like an MOT on your car.  Only as good as at the time the certificate was signed by the tester.

Every time something changes te FRA should be updated.  That does not mean calling in a competent fire risk assesser because others may be capable of making decisions on fire safety.  If in doubt shout out to the local Fire Safety department of the FRS.  They will have the correct answer.

firesafety101  
#11 Posted : 24 November 2021 19:22:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

Most schools I know of are more worried about what Ofsted says than any fire inspector and of course they can ask why are shops full of flammable items on open shelving. Could it be that that the retail sector has persuaded the powers that be that they must have things on display . Imagine a fire breaking out on that aisle full of greasy plastic wrapped crisps.

Arsonists use bags of CRISPS to start fires because the fat is so flammable that it creates a potent and 'untraceable' accelerant

  • Fire investigators learned of the technique from colleagues in the prison service
  • Crisp packets are innocuous-looking and burn leaving minimal traces behind
  • Experts tested the approach measuring how easily packets of crisps catch fire
  • Firefighters were amazed at how effectively crisp bags work as an accelerant
thanks 1 user thanked firesafety101 for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 25/11/2021(UTC)
Messy  
#12 Posted : 24 November 2021 22:06:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messy

I do sometimes think there's an over reliance on standards when carrying out a FRA Its impossible to visualise the OPs situation, so to say its not allowed is a bit draconian yet on the other hand, measuring notice boards and installing them in a staggered fashion may be excessive Can't we just be brave and use a mix of common sense, experience and professional judgement here BTW, while it's always good practice to consider ignition sources (ie what are they in a corridor?) , please remember fire spread from a classroom, store or riser isn't impossible- unlikely, but not impossible especially at break times and after school times
thanks 1 user thanked Messy for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 25/11/2021(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#13 Posted : 25 November 2021 09:03:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post

  If in doubt shout out to the local Fire Safety department of the FRS.  They will have the correct answer.

No they will have what they belive is the correct answer, which is a little different - i was a H&S inspector for 30 years - does that mean im correct on evreything? Definatley not we are all human and interprite things in different ways - only the courts can give you a definative answer and sadly by then its usuakt two late.

thanks 1 user thanked Brian Hagyard for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 25/11/2021(UTC)
firesafety101  
#14 Posted : 25 November 2021 11:24:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Brian Hagyard Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post

  If in doubt shout out to the local Fire Safety department of the FRS.  They will have the correct answer.

No they will have what they belive is the correct answer, which is a little different - i was a H&S inspector for 30 years - does that mean im correct on evreything? Definatley not we are all human and interprite things in different ways - only the courts can give you a definative answer and sadly by then its usuakt two late.

Brian you are right of course, how could I forget the fire risk assessment for Grenfell Tower.  

firesafety101  
#15 Posted : 25 November 2021 11:35:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Messy Go to Quoted Post
I do sometimes think there's an over reliance on standards when carrying out a FRA Its impossible to visualise the OPs situation, so to say its not allowed is a bit draconian yet on the other hand, measuring notice boards and installing them in a staggered fashion may be excessive Can't we just be brave and use a mix of common sense, experience and professional judgement here BTW, while it's always good practice to consider ignition sources (ie what are they in a corridor?) , please remember fire spread from a classroom, store or riser isn't impossible- unlikely, but not impossible especially at break times and after school times

Messey, this being a question about school corridors I would like to expect the "mix of common sense, experience and professional judgement" to consider the occupants of the school to be mostly minors and without the common sense we gain as we grow into adulthood.

My High School. So many many years ago, experienced a fire involving rubbish accumulated inside the plywood hollow wall of a means of escape.  The fire broke out into the corridor effectively blocking that MOE.

It does happen, it DID happen and it can happen again.

Our experience as firefighters has given us many memories of various fires and my memories contain a good few school fires where fire spread has caused a great deal of damage.

I never take chances.

I know there is a school of thought where people think retired firefighters should not do FRAs unless they have received 'proper training'.

This must be a case where actual fire experiance plays a major part in the FRA.

A Kurdziel  
#16 Posted : 25 November 2021 12:42:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

“So many many years ago, experienced a fire involving rubbish accumulated inside the plywood hollow wall of a means of escape.” So do you strip out all plywood  walls back to the brick work as a matter of course now?

firesafety101  
#17 Posted : 25 November 2021 14:33:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

“So many many years ago, experienced a fire involving rubbish accumulated inside the plywood hollow wall of a means of escape.” So do you strip out all plywood  walls back to the brick work as a matter of course now?

Why would you, if they are in good condition and satisfy the requirements of Class 0.

Roundtuit  
#18 Posted : 25 November 2021 15:14:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Bit hard to meet BS 476 Class 0 when the plywood manufacturers have been required to apply Euroclass since 2013​​​​​​​ https://www.falconpp.co.uk/media/32389/fire-retardant-ply-euroclass-explained.pdf

Roundtuit  
#19 Posted : 25 November 2021 15:14:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Bit hard to meet BS 476 Class 0 when the plywood manufacturers have been required to apply Euroclass since 2013​​​​​​​ https://www.falconpp.co.uk/media/32389/fire-retardant-ply-euroclass-explained.pdf

A Kurdziel  
#20 Posted : 25 November 2021 16:15:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

...but by having no plywood false walls you can prevent the accumulation of rubbish perhaps. Where did the rubbish come from?  

firesafety101  
#21 Posted : 25 November 2021 22:22:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

There was some damage to the hardboard on both sides and school kids were dropping rubbish into the gap as they walked past.  It is believed that discarded smoking materials (match or ciggy) dropped into the gap was the cause of fire.

The damage was there for a good while so I suppose you could say the school was careless in not having it repaired.

I remember it well because a few months after the fire I joined Liverpool Fire Brigade and was posted to the watch and station that attended the fire.

firesafety101  
#22 Posted : 25 November 2021 22:26:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Apologies, I now realise I wrote Plywood instead of hardboard.  Plywood may not have damaged as easily as the hardboard.

Connor35037  
#23 Posted : 26 November 2021 16:01:17(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Connor35037

As someone who regularly carries out inspections in schools, I would expect that corridors would have suitable "fire breaks" between combustible displays as previously mentioned.

If there were combustible displays in escape stairs I would request they be removed.

As also stated previously, there is a balance between maintaining safety and being a miserable sod telling the school to tear all the kiddies' drawings down!

firesafety101  
#24 Posted : 27 November 2021 00:59:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Personally I'm quite happy being the misersble sod as long as I don't hear about school children being hurt because they are allowed to post whatever they want on corridor walls.

Users browsing this topic
Guest
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.