Fire safety in schools: requirements and guidance

Understand the statutory requirements for fire safety in schools, including risk assessments, fire alarms and staff training. Read guidance about limiting flammable materials and get expert advice from the London Fire Brigade and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Last reviewed on 25 May 2023
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  1. Carry out risk assessments on all buildings
  2. Install fire-fighting equipment and alarms
  3. Train your staff in fire safety
  4. Follow fire safety guidance on flammable materials
  5. Consider connecting your fire alarm to a monitoring service

All maintained schools, academies, independent schools, non-maintained special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs) must have up-to-date premises management documents, including policies on fire safety and statutory testing (see the 'Premises management documents' section of the DfE’s guidance on statutory policies for schools).

Download our premises management model policy from another of our articles.

Carry out risk assessments on all buildings

For existing buildings, this means determining the precautions needed to protect occupants and enable a safe means of escape in the case of fire.

In particular, schools must:

  • Ensure procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of fire
  • Maintain fire detection and alarm systems
  • Ensure staff and pupils are familiar with emergency evacuation procedures

Learn more about fire risk assessments, and download templates you can use from our article on conducting a fire risk assessment.

Building work on all new schools must "comply with the building regulations enforced by local building-control bodies".

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