Fire protection and prevention in sports facilities, both public and private or indoor gyms is really important to keep the people who use those facilities safe. What are the top areas that need to be covered, how should you manage your fire safety and what protection systems must you have in place? Everything is covered in the blow below.
Everyone is aware that fire safety in sports facilities like football stadiums, cricket clubs, and gyms is paramount. These venues are designed to accommodate a large number of spectators and athletes, making it crucial to have safe fire protection systems in place. And there’s lots of equipment in some of these facilities and also highly flammable materials. Proper fire safety measures are necessary to prevent and mitigate the impact of fires, should they occur.
Let’s look at the legislation:
The primary legislation governing fire safety in the UK is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (commonly referred to as the Fire Safety Order). This legislation applies to all non-domestic premises, including sports facilities, and places the responsibility for fire safety on the “responsible person,” which can be the owner, occupier, or employer of the premises.
The Fire Safety Order outlines the following key responsibilities:
- Conducting a Fire Risk Assessment: The responsible person must carry out a thorough fire risk assessment of the premises to identify potential fire hazards, assess the risk to people, and implement appropriate measures to minimise those risks.
- Fire Prevention Measures: The responsible person must take steps to prevent fires from occurring, including maintaining equipment and systems, controlling ignition sources, and ensuring proper storage of flammable materials.
- Evacuation Plans and Procedures: Adequate means of escape must be provided, and evacuation plans and procedures should be established and communicated to occupants, employees and visitors. This is especially crucial in sports facilities where large crowds are present.
- Fire Safety Training: Staff and relevant individuals must receive appropriate fire safety training so they understand their roles in the event of a fire and are aware of evacuation procedures.
- Fire Safety Measures: The Fire Safety Order specifies various measures that might need to be implemented, such as fire detection and warning systems, firefighting equipment, emergency lighting, and more.
It’s important to note that while the Fire Safety Order is the primary legislation, other regulations and standards might apply depending on the specifics of the sports facility, such as the Building Regulations and any specific industry regulations. Find detailed information about fire safety legislation, guidance documents, and resources on the government’s website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/fire-safety
Selecting the right fire protection equipment:
- Advanced fire alarm systems: Installing advanced fire alarm systems with smoke and heat detectors can quickly detect fires as they start giving you the heads up in order to evacuate the building and alert authorities to the presence of a fire. Fire alarms are essential for any building, within sports facilities it’s essential that they are installed in such a way as to alert everyone no matter where they might be from the swimming pool to the changing rooms or the pitch to the stands. The alarm must be audible for everyone within the facility. The options for alarms mean you can have wireless or wired systems installed depending on the size of your setting and the advanced alarms JKE install enable settings for no false alarms which is super important in any venue; if someone in the kitchen burns some toast you don’t want a game to stop!
- Fire detection systems: Smoke detectors for detecting the presence of smoke and to trigger the alarm system. Heat detectors which can activate when a certain temperature is reached, indicating a fire.
- Manual call points: These allow individuals to manually trigger the fire alarm should they detect a fire before the systems have.
- Sprinkler systems: Having sprinkler systems in place is essential for suppressing fires and controlling their spread. These systems can automatically release water when the heat from a fire is detected, effectively extinguishing or containing the fire until help arrives.
- Emergency Lighting: Emergency lighting systems provide illumination in case of power failure during a fire, aiding safe evacuation.
- Effective notification systems: Implementing effective notification systems, including audible alarms, visual alerts, and clear evacuation routes, is vital for ensuring that everyone within the facility is promptly informed of a fire. This allows for organised evacuation.
- Fire Extinguishers: Depending on the specific hazards present, a variety of fire extinguishers might be needed, such as water, foam, CO2, dry powder, or wet chemical extinguishers.
- Fire Hose Reels and Hydrants: Large sports facilities might require fire hose reels or hydrants to provide firefighting capabilities to trained staff or firefighters.
- Fire doors: Fire-resistant doors help contain fire and smoke, allowing occupants more time to evacuate.
- Fire Evacuation Plans and Signage: Clear evacuation plans and properly placed signs indicating escape routes are essential for guiding people to safety.
Regular testing and maintenance of fire safety systems are essential to ensure their effectiveness. Conducting routine inspections, testing alarms, and maintaining equipment helps identify and address any issues or malfunctions, ensuring that the systems are always ready to respond in case of a fire. Training materials, such as safety videos, presentations, and simulations, can help educate staff and occupants about fire safety procedures. Having fire marshals who understand how to operate in the event of a fire alarm sounding is important, as is continual training for them.
And don’t forget your fire log and fire risk assessments! We have blogs on those too!
Fire protection systems are a fundamental aspect of sports facilities, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone. Remember, prevention is key, and investing in robust fire protection systems is a small price to pay for the peace of mind and the safety of everyone involved in the sporting events.
Need a helping hand with your fire protection systems? Get in touch with JKE today and we’ll send our team out to provide you the full service from fire risk assessment, alarm installation, training and fire door maintenance.
📞 0800 2545645