Recent studies have shown a lack of awareness in schools has led to the use of cheap and dangerous notice boards.

Fire safety regulations are a vital consideration when specifying products and nowhere more so than in schools. Statistics show that in England there were more than 3000 primary fires in the healthcare and education sectors in 2016 alone. Some 682 of these were on educational premises. 

Classed as internal wall linings, notice boards typically cover large surface areas in classrooms, corridors, circulation spaces and more. Thus, it should stand to reason that safety regulations are diligently applied – after all, why would you clad walls in a combustible material?

Recently, a survey of 43 schools highlighted a lack of knowledge. It showed that 74% of the schools were unaware of the material inside their notice boards and 86% did not know what the UK building standards are for wall linings. Perhaps most worryingly, 65% considered cost more important than the fire rating of their notice boards. Given this, it is unsurprising that the safety of notice boards may often be compromised by cost-cutting measures by contractors and cost-consultants. 

The issue was debated in Parliament last year, with MP David Drew highlighting the alarming fact that many cheap notice boards are in fact made from wood fibre. David Drew said “Something that we would want to be safe and secure is also available to people to set fire to, in a completely normal way, as a (commercially available) firelighter.” A worrying thought, certainly, but what can architects and specifiers do?

One company has the answer. Gloucestershire-based company Sundeala produces the only UK manufactured pin board to not only meet but out-perform public building regulations. 

By specifying Sundeala FR board in their master specs, architects and specifiers can ensure the message is conveyed down the chain. To make this easier, Sundeala provides downloadable BIM objects and 2D and 3D CAD drawings. 

Sundeala’s 100% recycled and recyclable FR boards boast a 25 year warranty and a Class B fire-rating, exceeding regulations for classrooms, circulations spaces and fire escape routes. A sustainable and environmentally-friendly product, the board contains no VOCs or chemical binding agents. 

Available in seven vibrant colourways, Sundeala can be purchased through premium distributor, Lawcris, with some products in stock for next day delivery.