Detailed guidance on fire safety in school building design has been published, in draft form, by the DfES.

The fire services attend more than 1,300 school fires a year in England and Wales, around 70% of which are started deliberately. The guidance is intended to show how good design and management can cut the risk of fires occurring in schools and reduce the chance of them spreading when they do.

Although the guide concentrates on new school buildings, the principles can be applied to extensions to existing buildings and major refurbishments. It also contains plenty of advice on assessing fire risks, which could be applied to any existing building.

The draft is available from www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations with responses accepted until October 31.

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