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An argument for sprinklers in schools?

Large loss fire at a Roding Primary School, Dagenham

Over 50% of the large primary school in east London has been damaged in fire.

Twelve fire engines attended the fire in the early hours of  September 4th and fought the fire for almost three hours bringing it under control by 07:49.

The school was due to reopen  on Wednesday 5th September following the summer holidays, alternative arrangements will now have to be made to accommodate 378 pupils who have been displaced by the damage to the Hewett Road site.

the UK governments report “Improving attendance at school” (C Taylor 2012;London) states

“There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement.” 

As sprinklers are a proven method of suppressing and extinguishing fire, and given that loss of education, there is a strong case for future proofing education by emitting sprinklers in schools to avoid a reoccurrence of this type of disruption and loss.

Visit ‘Sparkton’ to help teach your children about fire risk

The three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services together with digital studio company Matmi, have launched a virtual  town ‘Sparkton’  allowing parents and teachers to help children to find out about common  safety hazards including fire safety in the home and the countryside , road safety and water safety.

In  Sparkton, visitors can take play educational games, such as spotting and learning about fire hazards in the home,  and take part  in fun quizzes, as well as watch videos and get helpful tips about fire, road and water safety.

The content is available in English and Welsh



£20,000 Fine for landlord found guilty of fire safety breaches

A  Worthing Landlord has been fined £20,000 for serious fire safety breaches following a fire in a first-floor flat.


Three fire engines attended a fire at the flat in Portland Road, Worthing, on the 14th of May 2017.

Firefighters led two residents to safety from a flat on the second floor after the staircase became filled with smoke issuing from the fire on the first floor. One person was treated at hospital  for smoke inhalation.

Smoke detectors failed to operate, and sleeping residents were not warned of the fire West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service found poor fire safety standards and took legal action against the Landlord Terry Mills who was fined £20,000, the fine was initially set at £30,00 but was reduced following a guilty plea from Mr Mills. In addition the Fire and Rescue Service were awarded costs of £1700

The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order requires the Responsible Person to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and act on the findings of that assessment.

Takeaway owner receives hefty fire safety fine

A  takeaway owner in York has been ordered to pay over £7,000 by magistrates, after North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service serious breaches of  fire safety law.

On the 25th May 2017, fire safety inspectors visited a takeaway shop, Mr Happy Oriental Restaurant and takeaway, on Blossom Street, York.

The inspecting officers found that although there were people living and sleeping on the first and second floors of the building, there was not a functioning fire  alarm in the premises, and no  there protected fire escape route. The Responsible Person, in this case the business owner, had not carried out a fire risk assessment.

If a fire had broken out , the people living there could very easily have become trapped inside a burning building.

A Prohibition Notice was served under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005, prohibiting anyone from  sleeping  on the premises.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were of the opinion there was a risk to life of death or serious injury in the event of fire such that prosecution was considered the appropriate action to take.

At York Magistrates Court on Tuesday 31st July 2018, Mr Kheng Chooi Koay the owner of Mr Happy Oriental Restaurant and takeaway, pleaded guilty to three contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which included breaching the Prohibition Notice served on the premises.

Mr Kheng Chooi Koay was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,989 in costs with a surcharge of £170. A total cost of £7,159

Grenfell – a litany of serious fire safety breaches

Experts have told the Grenfell Tower inquiry that there were a litany of serious fire safety breaches at the tower, including over 100 non-compliant fire doors, a fire fighting lift that didn’t work and a “stay put” policy that totally failed.

There was “a culture of non-compliance” at the tower which contained more combustible material than previously thought, fire safety experts revealed, on the first full day of evidence.

This included flammable parts to the window frames that spread the fire to the external cladding within 15 minutes of the first 999 call, at just before 12.54am from a householder whose fridge freezer appeared to be alight.

The inquiry also heard how risers intended to channel water to the upper floors of the building where most people died, failed to work properly and that a system for extracting smoke from lobby areas on each floor did not work either and did not meet building regulations.

“Thick black smoke” prevented firefighters from being able to use lobbies as a bridgehead or search base and would have prevented residents from leaving their flats.

A statement was read out to the inquiry by the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Dany Cotton, who was on the scene at Grenfell before 3.00am.

She said: “I have never seen a building where the whole of it was on fire, nobody has ever seen that, it was incredible, it was so alien to anything I had ever seen.”

Five expert reports into the fire, its spread and the regulatory environment, were published alongside Millett’s opening remarks.

The above information was reported by the Daily Mail.

Fire Warden Training – Book Now

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires employers to have a strategy to evacuate all occupants within a building. The legislation implements a risk-based approach to fire safety in community, industrial and business premises and requires the responsible person (usually the employer, owner or occupier) to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement appropriate fire precautionary and protection measures, and to maintain a fire management plan.

As such, businesses are recognising the importance of having fully-trained fire wardens as part of their emergency evacuation strategy, and The Fire Practice can provide bespoke courses for your business. If you would like to discuss our Fire Warden training course services please call us today on 01685 70 6555

Fire Risk Assessments – Why are they so important?

Have you completed a competent fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment is important to assist in the creation of a quality fire safety policy in a business premises. It is mandatory by law and ensures all eventualities for the use of the building have been looked at to protect the building, staff, visitors and its contents from fire.

Every business is required to appoint a Responsible Person who holds the responsibility for ensuring your fire risk assessment and fire safety policy satisfies the requirements of fire legislation/law. When completing these responsibilities it is necessary for you to use someone who is competent and therefore fully capable of supplying you with a comprehensive fire risk assessment – you can do it yourself, but will need to feel that you understand all the requirements of your premises.

If it is found that your risk assessment/fire safety policy is not adequate you may face prosecution, in the event of a fire, as the person appointed to fulfil these duties.

For further information on fire risk assessments in the workplace visit the GOV.UK website

The Fire Practice launches new branding

The Fire Practice, Wales’ leading fire safety consultancy is proud to announce that it has undertaken a review of it’s current branding and launched a new logo and website to communicate it’s service offering to potential new clients.

The company led by Richard OConnell who has over 35 years experience of working in the South Wales Fire Service provides a range of fire safety services including fire assessments, fire safety training and fire safety consultancy and advice. The company provides services to companies and organisations across Wales to companies of all sizes operating in different sectors.

The new branding includes a logo and website designed and created by Stepping Stones Marketing Solutions. The logo is a clear and bright design which instantly communicates the service offered, whilst the website is a responsive website which has been built to the highest search engine optimisation  standards ensuring that the company has the very best opportunity to raise it’s profile through search engine rankings.



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