Five-Step Fire Risk Assessment for Schools

Schools - a ‘high risk’ fire category

According to research conducted in September 2020 by Zurich, schools in England are nearly twice as likely to suffer from a fire than other commercial buildings.

A study of over 26,000 schools across England* showed that schools are also three times more likely to be a ‘high risk’ fire category when compared to other commercial properties. Despite this, two-thirds of schools inspected by Zurich lack adequate fixed fire-protection measures, while 24% rated 'poor' for fire detection.

Fire risk assessment for schools

With this in mind, as well as now having stricter measurements in place due to keeping your school safe during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to make sure that you were aware of the importance of having an up to date fire risk assessment and protection measures in place. Below are some of the steps that you can take to ensure your school is resilient to the risk of fire. 

Identify fire hazards at your school


  • Sources of ignition
  • Sources of fuel
  • Sources of oxygen

Identify people at risk


  • People in and around the premises
  • People who are especially at risk

Evaluate, remove or reduce, and protect from risk

  • Evaluate the risk of a fire starting
  • Evaluate the risk to people from a fire
  • Remove or reduce fire hazards
  • Remove or reduce the risks to people from a fire
  • Protect people by providing fire precautions

Record, plan, inform, instruct, and train

  • Record any major findings and action you have taken
  • Discuss and work with other responsible people
  • Prepare an emergency plan
  • Inform and instruct relevant people
  • Provide training

Reviewing your school fire risk assessment

It is crucial to review your fire-risk assessment regularly and make changes where necessary.

Make sure that the fire risk assessment has been reviewed, updated and communicated on a signed receipt basis to all relevant people as areas such as building layouts and emergency evacuation procedures may have changed.  Fire risk assessments should be completed by a competent person with sufficient training and experience.

Free health and safety plus fire risk assessment for schools

At Towergate Insurance, we work with our health and safety partner WorkNest who can provide a free consultation to schools to ensure that they are up to date with their health and safety requirements, including conducting a fire risk assessment that will identify and address any areas of concern.  

Covid-19 information hub for schools

Additionally, we have a dedicated Covid-19 information centre that is available for schools to utilise.

This online hub includes a link to a free health and safety and employment law hub provided by WorkNest, as well as there being many business planning articles and risk alerts available for you to download, to advise, guide and support you in this unprecedented situation.

Schools insurance from Towergate

To find out more about how we could assist you in making sure your schools buildings and contents are adequately protected from risks such as fires, floods and more, visit our specialist schools cover webpage, call Jo Taylor on 01438 735287 or email

About the author

Jo Taylor - schools insurance articles author Jo Taylor is an respected insurance industry leader with over 15 years’ experience working with both education and the public sector. She is responsible for supporting her clients on all things insurance and risk related, and is also a mental health first aider qualified through Mental Health First Aid England.