The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149313   Message #3474435
Posted By: Megan L
01-Feb-13 - 11:43 AM
Thread Name: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
Subject: RE: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
Any building be it a school, factory, doctors surgery or council office, indeed any building at all has safety/security issues.

The trouble for architects, project managers and clients is balancing all the issues involved in the construction and use of the building. I am sure there are folk around here who have a greater technical input than I can, but here are some I can think of.

1. Cost anyone commissioning a building will have spending restrictions whether commercial, municipal or a private householder.
2. Fire safety where do you call a halt? Every room with access to a safe external area, what about rooms on floors above ground level? Fire alarm systems, co2 alarm system just in case people die of carbon monoxide. Or do you add sprinklers and or smoke corridors (Last system I saw used sprinkler curtain system to create a smoke free corridor to allow quick safe egress from a shopping centre). Perhaps adding fire safe lift shafts with pressurised air systems to stop smoke and flames funnelling up the shaft like a giant chimney increasing the speed of spread throughout the building. Or fire safe rooms where people can wait in a smoke free environment for rescue. And we have not even started on monitoring and direction systems.
3. Security, there are so many variables my mind is whirling like a kite in a tornado. Do you have one entry/exit point that can be manned continuously? Of course no matter how continuously manned it is there will always be a chance that someone needs to go to the toilet or is distracted for a second. Or have many points of entry/exit so people can escape any possible threat of course with more doors to the outside comes greater possibility of one bein breached (Just ask Springburn bairns who used to gather their half pennies to pay for one child to go into the cinema that child then went up the back and opened a fire door and several dozen weans swarmed in.   Again you could go down the electronic systems route with all the fancy machines you see at airports the trouble with most systems are that they are designed for a single threat (metal detector) and in the end the machines are operated by people and even the most dedicated people can be fallible.

Having re read this, my conclusion is if I was commissioning a building I could try and prepare for every possible threat and either bankrupt my self and probably end up in the local psychiatric ward with a nervous breakdown. I can worry myself into an early grave or commit suicide when I become overwhelmed with all the possible things that could happen, heck we would even have to get rid of stairs in case someone fell down and broke their neck. Or I can do the best I can for people within budgetary and statistical probability restraints placed on me by whoever asked me to get the building built.

Sorry that got a bit longer than my normal posts I was the risk assessment officer among other duties at my old workplace.