Why Are Sprinklers Important For Universities and Student Housing?
Every year, over 1,000 fires occur within educational buildings in the UK; with the largest incidents costing an average of over £3 million. Though we have covered fire safety within schools of primary and secondary before in a previous article, what about universities?
It may seem like less of a concern, as there are no small children that are more vulnerable, but universities still have a wide range of fire safety concerns, especially since many live either on-campus or very closely located by. Here at RAD, we are here to explain how universities and student accommodation could benefit from installing fire sprinklers.
Common Causes of Student Fires
According to the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, more than half of accidental fires at the home start in the kitchen. And, this is no exception in student accommodation. If anything, there is a higher risk as there are flats on top of each other (in high-rise complexes), with each flat having around 5 or 6 residents.
Cooking is, without a question, the most common cause of fires in colleges. Many students are learning how to cook for the first time and may not know how to do so safely. Toasters and hot plates are some of the other main sources of cooking-related fires; which some may forget to turn off after use, causing them to overheat and lead to a fire risk.
Also, as many students either do or try, smoking is another common risk to fire safety. Especially in bedrooms. Though accommodation has non-smoking signs, this may not stop certain smokers, who may not want to go outside. It only takes a cigarette not properly put out or ash falling on the bedsheet to cause a fire. And if not noticed straight away, could quickly expand and spread.
Installing fire sprinkler systems throughout accommodation has the potential to save hundreds of student lives. If a fire has been detected in a particular flat, the accommodating sprinkler head will deal with the flames and prevent spreading. This fire safety equipment individually works, so that not every sprinkler is activated. This not only efficiently deals with the potential risk but also, does not bother the rest of the building or damage any other belongings with water unnecessarily.
In some cases, legislation in the UK mandates the installation of fire sprinklers in residential buildings. However, the rules vary based on the location of the structure and other factors, which are related to the property’s height. In Scotland, any new ‘high rise’ building (i.e. a structure with a floor over 18m) used for student accommodation is likely to be sprinkler protected. But, this may not always be the case in England.
Inside a University Campus
But it’s not just for student accommodation, fire safety procedures like sprinklers could also help with university buildings where lectures or practicals ensue. This is key in rooms where there is expensive and valuable equipment that a fire would destroy; for example in laboratories.
Universities should consider the installation of fire sprinkler systems within their buildings. Not only will this protect the equipment from fire damage, but it will also add security for both students and staff members. The sprinklers will only activate when detecting a temperature over 56°C. So, those worried that the sprinklers will go off accidentally and affect the property unnecessarily, do not have to fear. Find a professional installation company that can help.
RAD Fire Sprinklers
Here at RAD Fire Sprinklers, we promote and install fire safety equipment throughout residential and commercial buildings in the UK. Fire sprinklers are the most effective fire safety plan; easily implemented in educational buildings in a cost-effective manner. We understand the benefits of sprinkler systems, in regard to fire safety, and are trained to ensure installation is efficient and correct. For more information on student dwellings, read our previous blog here.
To find out more, or to receive a quote, why not fill in our online form? A member of our team will shortly be in touch to see how we can help you. Or, give us a call on 01892 680 090 and speak to us today.