According to Zurich Municipal, schools in England are 1.7 times more likely to suffer a fire than other commercial buildings.
The study, carried out using data from 26,800 schools across the country, showed that firefighters had been called to nearly 2,000 school blazes over the last three years.
Malfunctioning appliances and equipment, faulty electrics, arson, and kitchen fires are among the leading causes of school fires. There is also a correlation between poor OFSTED ratings and a greater risk of fires.
In this article, we’ll look at PAT testing in schools and why it is so important for both safety and learning.
Want to know about emergency lighting requirements in schools? Check out this article.
A potential bill of over £20 million
A fire in a school environment can cause significant issues. Not only is there a risk to life, but fires can be a major expense that some schools struggle to recover from.
Fires can cost an average of £2.8 million to repair, with some larger and older schools having to foot a bill of over £20 million.
There is also the disruption to learning that a lack of educational facilities can cause.
Darren Tonge, Business Development Director at Hawkesworth, said: “Schools are full of potential fire hazards that must be managed carefully. Not only is there electrical equipment like monitors, projectors and computers, but also specialist equipment, including laser cutters, kilns, and combustible materials, like those in a science laboratory.
“Schools with catering onsite also pose an increased risk of fire as there is more equipment that could malfunction.”
How Hawkesworth can help with PAT testing in schools
Regular PAT testing (also known as electrical equipment testing) will not completely eliminate the risk of fire in an academic environment. However, it can help reduce the risk by identifying old, damaged and malfunctioning equipment that could cause electrical fires.
In a school environment, we can conduct testing outside of term time or outside school hours to reduce disruption (starting as early as 6am).
Our engineers are Data Barring Service (DBS) checked and qualified in City & Guilds Electrical Equipment and Maintenance Testing (2377) for peace of mind.
Hawkesworth carries out PAT testing for several schools across the country, including Compass Community School Victoria Park.
PAT testing for Compass Community School Victoria Park: a dedication to customer care
Compass Community School Victoria Park is located in Tipton in the West Midlands.
The school supports vulnerable pupils and students, helping them achieve educational qualifications and develop as young people.
We test a wide range of equipment at the school, from televisions and computer monitors to the microwaves and kettles in the staff room.
After testing, we provide detailed records that specify which equipment has passed and failed inspection, helping the school keep tabs on what works safely and what they need to replace.
We start our testing early in the morning. This means we can be in and out of the school as quickly as possible, all while still providing a high-quality service.
We carry out PAT testing work out of hours at no extra charge, helping the school keep to a tight and efficient budget.
Jade Gilchrist, Head Teacher at Compass Community School Victoria Park is delighted with the high-quality service our engineer provides.
“The Hawkesworth engineer was very professional, thorough and efficient when they attended our school.
“We were pleased with the service, and we’d definitely use Hawkesworth to carry out our PAT testing in the future.”
All our staff and engineers are experienced in providing an efficient and seamless service. In addition, we provide additional extra touches other PAT testing companies do not offer, such as out-of-hours testing at no extra charge and a free reminder service.