Zurich Municipal, considering data received from 26,800 schools in England, are of a view they are nearly twice as likely to suffer from a fire as other commercial buildings.
The reasons given are:
- Two thirds lack adequate fixed fire protection measures (e.g. sprinklers)
- A quarter rated ‘poor’ for fire detection
- The presence of cooking equipment
- Malfunctioning equipment, faulty electrics and arson are the leading potential causes
Larger and older schools were deemed to be more at risk.
There have been circa 2,000 school blazes in the last three years, and there have been calls for sprinklers to be made mandatory in schools in England.
The average cost was stated at around £2.8 million to repair and in some cases over £20 million.
Zurich are planning to launch a parliamentary petition to urge MPs to change the law on sprinklers in schools, currently compulsory in all new or major refurbished school buildings in Scotland and Wales, though not England.