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Schools: Fire Prevention

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the combustibility of plastic foam composite panels used in the building of schools. (196303)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The Department commissioned the Fire and Safety Unit at the Building Research Establishment to write Building Bulletin 100, Fire safety design for schools. This was published in 2007. BB100 is quoted as the compliance document for schools in Approved Document B (Fire Safety) 2006 edition, in support of the building regulations.

Appendix B of BB100: Fire behaviour of insulating core panels covers composite plastic foam insulated panels and gives design recommendations for their use in schools. This guidance is based on research that BRE carried out for the Home Office in 1996-97 on the fire hazards of this type of construction and the findings are valid for many building types, including schools.