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Student Safety

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills who is responsible for checking that schools have sufficient smoke alarms and fire extinguishers and that they are in working order. (81666)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: The Department for Communities and Local Government recently published guidance for schools on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, “Fire Safety Risk Assessment—Educational Premises”. This states that the responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order rests with the “responsible person”. With a school maintained by a local authority, the duties of the responsible person are likely to be shared between the local authority, the governing body and the head teacher. One of the prime duties of the responsible person is to appoint one or more competent persons—someone with sufficient training, knowledge and experience to carry out the preventive and protective measures required by the Fire Safety Order. The guidance covers what these are. In Part 1, section 3.41 deals with fire detection and warning systems, and 3.42 with firefighting equipment and facilities. They give advice on what to look for in school premises and provide checklists for both detection and firefighting.