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Schools: Fire Hazards

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Chair, Children, Schools and Families Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to raise awareness of fire hazards associated with certain types of composite building panels among those involved in the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners)

The Department has already published comprehensive guidance on the fire hazards associated with some types of composite building panels in Building Bulletin 100 "Design for fire safety in schools". The Building Bulletin was written for DCSF by the Fire and Safety Unit at the Building Research Establishment and was published in 2007. BB100 is quoted as the compliance document for schools in Approved Document B (Fire Safety) 2006 edition, in support of the Building Regulations. In order to obtain Building Regulations approval, new and refurbished schools, including those in the Building Schools for the Future programme, must comply with Approved Document B.

Appendix B of BB100: Fire behaviour of insulating core panels covers composite building panels and gives design recommendations for their use in schools. This guidance is based on research that BRE carried out for the Home Office in 1996-97 on the fire hazards of some types of composite panels and the findings are valid for many building types, including schools.

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