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Fire Protection Tips for Different Types of Schools

Last Updated: February 20, 2017

As a manager, principal, or administrator of a school in the Mid-South, you have a vested interest in the safety of your pupils. Fire protection is an important aspect of ensuring your school is a safe place to learn. From daycare centers to elite college campuses, fires can start anywhere, and you must be prepared.

Know Your School’s Fire Risks

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments across the US responded to an estimated 5,100 structural fires in educational properties each year from 2009 to 2013. On average, these fires injured 79 civilians and caused $88 million in direct property damage each year. About 70 percent of these educational building fires occurred at the pre-school to high school level.

Arson is the leading cause of fire across all types of learning facilities, accounting for 38 percent of blazes on these properties. Another 20 percent of fires are caused by cooking equipment. Almost one-third of school building fires begin in a bathroom or locker room, where mischievous students set fires either intentionally or accidentally while playing with heat sources.

Install the Right Fire Protection Systems

Your first defense against fire damage in your Mid-South school is to install the proper fire protection equipment. These serve to either actively extinguish the blaze or facilitate a safe evacuation.

  • Fire alarms: These are the first response system for alerting students, visitors and faculty members of a fire or another emergency. Smoke detectors can set off the alarm manually while pull stations give building occupants the power to sound the alarm if they see flames or smoke.
  • Fire extinguishers: In 80 percent of cases, a properly trained person wielding a portable fire extinguisher can successfully douse the blaze. This makes extinguishers an invaluable tool in your fire protection arsenal.
  • Fire sprinkler systems: There’s no better option than sprinklers for guarding your school against fires 24/7. The NFPA reports that the direct property damage reported from fires in schools is 62 percent lower in facilities with wet pipe sprinklers.
  • Fire suppression systems: Your school probably has a cafeteria or dining hall attached to a commercial kitchen. You should install an automatic fire suppression system here, as well as in any science labs or student kitchens, in case flammable liquids or cooking oils ignite.

Test & Maintain Fire Protection Equipment

It’s not enough to install fire protection systems – you must also have them serviced on a regular basis. Routine inspections and testing ensure each component of your fire protection system works when you need it.

According to the NFPA, 13 percent of automatic suppression systems failed to operate in school building fires between 2007 and 2011. The reason? Lack of proper maintenance. State Systems will work with you to minimize interruptions to students and staff while performing routine maintenance and testing.

Have Faculty and Staff Follow Fire Safety Protocol

When it comes to fire safety in your school, you can’t be too careful. To maximize your fire mitigation efforts, make sure all faculty and staff members know:

  • How to use a fire extinguisher. Pursue training for newly hired teachers and staff through State Systems
  • The locations of fire extinguishers and manual pull stations.
  • Where emergency exits are located and the importance of keeping these routes unobstructed at all times.
  • How to read the evacuation route maps you’ve hung in each classroom, hallway and stairwell.
  • The protocols for watching over their students and taking attendance during fire drills.

Protect Your Mid-South School from Fire

The best way to prevent loss of life and property damage is to take a proactive approach against fires in your school. If you need help implementing the above tips, count on State Systems We offer school fire protection services for preschools and day care centers; elementary, middle and high schools; continuing education institutes; and college campuses.

To learn more about our fire protection services, please contact State Systems today. We serve schools across the Mid-South, including Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

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