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Fires in schools cost over£55m last year and security is a key issue for every local school. However, research by ...
Fires in schools cost over£55m last year and security is a key issue for every local school. However, research by local government insurer, Zurich Municipal, has shown that over 30% of schools have below average or poor security and fire prevention measures.

The survey of 22 local education authorities involved individual assessments of security and fire risks carried out by Zurich Municipal's specialist loss control personnel.

The risk ranking surveys enable local authorities to get an accurate picture of the risks within their schools and prioritise where limited resources should be targeted.

Problems identified at the schools surveyed include:

- a lack of fire protection measures such as sprinklers and automatic fire alarms

- fire doors in poor condition enabling the fires to spread very quickly through a building

- combustible fabrics within the schools including walls, roofs and ceilings

- a lack of isolation valves for gas supplies in domestic science and science rooms

- poor refuse and flammable liquid storage

- poor security including windows and doors, poor locking of doors during school hours, and a lack of security fencing

- a lack of intruder alarm systems or systems offering only partial protection and poor and often non-existent signalling methods.

- poor visitor monitoring systems including a lack of badges and signing in procedures

- risks of attack to teachers and pupils in mobile buildings. Risk of attack to pupils moving from mobile buildings to the school.

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