Fire in The Education & Health Sectors

Each year around one in 20 schools experiences a fire with nearly 60 per cent of school fires being started deliberately. Building Bulletin 100 (BB 100) is a landmark publication in improving fire safety in schools, providing both a design tool and a management aid clearly showing how the requirements for life safety, enshrined in the Building Regulations, can be met in the design of a new school or an extension. BB 100 differs from previous fire safety guides in that it stresses the importance of protecting the fabric and building envelope of schools and clearly warns about the risk of using combustible materials in cladding.


BB100 Designing and Managing Against The Risk of Fires in Schools


BB100 :Appendix B Fire Resistance

"Performance in terms of fire resistance to be met by the various elements of construction, including doors, is determined by reference to the relevant parts of BS476: Parts 20 to 24*, or the European test"

In addition, The Zurich Municipal: School & Academy Design Guide highlights the need for fire resistance when specifying metal faced composite wall panels]


Zurich Municipal: School & Academy Design Guide

"Because the high incidence of external fires in schools environments, only wall panels complying to Grade EXT-A will be acceptable for walls and these must have a minimum integrity and insulation of 30 minutes"

An equivalent guidance to that found in schools is also in place to help shape the appropriate design and construction of healthcare premises. Health Technical Memorandum, HTM 05-03: Part J - Fire engineering in healthcare premises contains the following clauses.


A64: Fire resistance is important in the protection of property, whether this is the healthcare building itself or its contents.

A65: Fire resistance also has an impact on life safety, particularly in large or tall buildings or where the

occupants either cannot move, or only slowly, or may be asleep. In these cases it must provide sufficient time for evacuation or for people to remain in place while the fire is attacked by suppression systems or the fire-and-rescue service.


A66: It is also necessary to protect the members of the fire-and-rescue service, who may remain in the healthcare building well after all the other occupants have left. Additionally, fire resistance is important in the protection of property, whether this is the building itself or its contents.


A67: Prevention of fire spread within a healthcare building is accomplished by subdividing the building interior into compartments. The compartment boundaries (walls, floors or ceilings) need to inhibit the spread of fire (and smoke, although the tests in BS 476 do not examine this directly) to adjoining compartments, at least for a time, and thus slow down the spread of fire.


Eurobond has long championed the use of non-combustible materials in composite cladding panel systems. Europanel, Rainspan and Rockspans systems, are increasingly being specified for their superior fire performance. All three panel systems have a stone wool core, which is non-combustible and will not ignite in the event of fire, nor contribute to fire spread or smoke emissions.


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