Education is a field in which building operators have a heavy duty of care towards the end user, particularly children and young adults in relation to fire safety, air quality and legionella control. Two areas that are of specific concern and importance are grease management in kitchen extract and ventilation systems and legionella control in water storage units.
With the move away from Local Education Authority control of schools and colleges, many school business managers are facing multiple new demands on their time and are drowning in paperwork whilst getting to grips with unfamiliar regulations. The Swiftclean approach is to advise and support those FMs and business managers facing this situation and reduce overall costs by combining services delivered by our multi-skilled teams.
Your Legal Responsibility
As an Education establishment, it is your responsibility to ensure that kitchen grease extract systems (canopies, filters, ductwork, risers and fans) are cleaned regularly to prevent fires in accordance with Fire Safety Regulations and Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) regulations. Section 7 of TR/19 provides guidance for controlling fire risk in kitchen extract systems. Buildings insurance policies specify cleaning as a condition of cover. Find out more about Kitchen Extract Compliance and Kitchen Extract Cleaning for fire safety.
Infection with legionella bacteria can be fatal in approximately 12% of reported cases. This rate can be higher in a more susceptible population; for example, immunosuppressed patients or those with other underlying disease. Certain groups of people are known to be at a higher risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease; for example, men appear to be more susceptible than women, as do those over 45 years of age, smokers, alcoholics, diabetics and those with cancer or chronic respiratory or kidney disease. Water storage tanks in Education establishments are a potential breeding ground for Legionella and must be regularly inspected and cleaned as required in compliance with L8, BSRIA and CIBSE guidelines. Find out more about Legionella Compliance and Legionella Control.
The HSE’s Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations requires that, where certain chemicals and other substances are used in industrial and commercial processes, they should either be contained or safely dispersed
Also a requirement of these regulations is that LEV systems should be regularly tested to ensure that they are operating efficiently (ideally every 14 calendar months). The provision of this service ensures that LEV systems are adequate and within regulations. Swiftclean has a team of specialist trained surveyors who carry out comprehensive LEV testing across the UK. Find out more about Local Exhaust Ventilation and Ventilation Compliance.
Another very important passive fire prevention measure is the regular testing, cleaning and maintenance of fire dampers. These are metal louvres which can open and close and are installed across the ductwork to form a temporary barrier when closed but allow the free flow of air when open. You may not even be aware that your ventilation system has fire dampers, but they fulfil a very important function, so you must be sure that they are in working order.
In the event of a fire travelling through ductwork, the fire damper must close, to restrict the oxygen supply to the fire and create a barrier which slows the spread of the fire. This buys valuable time in which to safely evacuate students, staff and visitors, especially the more vulnerable and less mobile.
There are different types of fire damper; some are spring operated, some have fuseable links and there are other designs which are remotely operated. All types must be regularly tested, using a method known as drop testing, cleaned and maintained. According to recently updated guidance, BS9999:2017, all fire dampers must now be tested at no more than twelve month intervals.
We can help you locate your fire dampers, create access to inaccessible fire dampers then drop test, clean and maintain them for compliance. More information can be found on our fire dampers page.
Laundry extract systems should form part of the building manager’s fire risk assessment and are covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This advises that laundry extract systems should be regularly inspected and the ductwork cleaned in order to prevent fires. Failure to do so may be construed as negligence and may also compromise your insurance cover, as well as impacting your workers’ health and putting them at increased risk from fire.
Swiftclean Services for the Education Sector
Swiftclean can provide regular effective, expert cleaning services for education establishments including:
- Kitchen Extract Cleaning for fire safety in accordance with Section 7 of TR/19 to control grease, eliminate the fire risk from kitchen extract ductwork and satisfy the conditions of buildings insurance.
- Legionella Control in accordance with the Legionella Control Association (LCA) code of code of conduct. We also provide risk assessments and control schemes carried out to L8, BSRIA and CIBSE requirements to give you full compliance and provide protection from prosecution.
Contact us today to speak to one of our specialist advisors and find out more about our Education Sector services.