To cut the risk of fire hazards there are sets of preventive measures. Still, fire accidents can take place for diverse reasons. The method of practicing how a school building would be evacuated in the event of a fire or other emergencies is called a school fire drill. Fire drills in a school can teach the school officials as well as students about what to do and how to handle situations if a fire hazard occurs in the school. Let’s find out the importance of fire drills in school and how to carry school fire drills safely.
Why is it essential to carry out fire drills in Schools
A fire drill is very significant in a school because everyone in a school needs to take part in regular fire drills if they want to fully grasp the building’s escape routes and the instructions. Besides, fire drills help young students and others to become accustomed to the process and recognise that they need to take fire safety seriously.
Most importantly, this can help to reduce confusion, panic, and any disorderly behavior and it helps teachers and other responsible people to understand their role during an emergency. All school staff have a duty to help students move out of the school during a fire. The practice of remaining calm and organized during a fire can ensure everyone’s safety.
The specific advantages of a fire safety drill at school are as follows:
-Remind staff and students of the location of emergency routes, the assembly point, and any specific fire safety procedures.
-Test that fire safety measures properly.
-Estimate how quickly people can shift from the school.
-Let fire wardens have a chance to practice their duties.
-Test personal emergency evacuation plans.
-Ensure that emergency routes and exits are free from obstructions.
-Test your school’s roll calling procedure.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 must provide everyone with information, instruction, and training relating to fire safety. Fire drills are an important part of fulfilling this requirement.
How to carry out fire drills in school safely
Ensure everyone’s presence
Make sure everyone is on board when you conduct a fire drill at work. First, ensure you train the entire fire team on the evacuation procedures and are ready to make the drill a success. Then, execute the drill to take people away from the factory line, their desks, and the warehouse.
Your good communication can make the fire drill successful. Make sure that you announce the drill in every place employees will see it like the employee portal, intranet, website, Slack channel, newsletter, and text message.
Ensuring employee communication software covers the most common communication channels will make this a lot easier. Schedule the drill on Google calendar including the information about the fire team and their roles, orderly evacuation routes, and expectations for procedure and behavior.
You need to set goals for the drill. Setting goals helps you to improve them in subsequent drills. For example, if your first drill takes 15 minutes to get everyone safely outside, trying the next one needs just 5 to 10 minutes.
You can follow:
-Time from drill activation to evacuation
-Time to report completion of the drill
-A successful shutdown of equipment
Practice the procedure
First, let your fire safety leaders practice “on paper” with an exercise where they describe the evacuation plan to the fire warden. The team must describe their actions during a fire drill and analyze any perceived weaknesses or confusion. As soon as the fire safety leaders understand their roles, they must walk physically through the fire drill.
Then conduct a full rehearsal with other staff. When the staff masters a basic fire drill, the fire safety leaders design more complex scenarios.
Observe and reflect
Conduct a fire drill with a few people who are not on the fire evacuation team. Task them with looking for the following:
-Large groups who are moving slowly or talking with each other
-People who use cell phones or other devices
-Unhelpful behavior like grabbing coats, purses, and bags
Disciplinary Requirements for safe fire drills in schools
It is not complicated to carry out fire drills in your school. Just you need to be regular and consistent. Check out here all the requirements and ways to carry out fire drills in school safely.
-Carry out a fire drill at least once a term.
-Run each drill at different times.
-Ask specific members of staff to observe and make notes.
-Test people’s knowledge of alarm locations to alternate fire escape routes.
-Ensure staff knows how to help students evacuate.
-Ensure you check the effectiveness of PEEPs.
-Make sure fire wardens practice their duties.
-Teach people how to report blocked routes or unclear alarms
-Test your roll calling procedure.
-Correct any issues you identified during the drill.
When to carry out school fire drills safely
Any time during school hours can be perfect to carry out a fire drill. However, it would be better to run each drill at a different time of day so that you can cover unexpected and difficult situations. Picking an assembly or lunchtime may be good rather than during class.
Some Important things to consider
If you want to get the most out of a fire drill, it is important for your school to assess the evacuation process from start to end. The following are important things during a fire drill in your school.
-Let certain members of staff not take part in the drill but observe.
-Ask a member of staff to set off the nearest alarm to test their knowledge of alarm locations and how to activate them.
-Make sure to carry out specific drills under the assumption that one of the escape routes is blocked.
Fire drill procedures generally depend on the building type like hospitals, school buildings, or high-rise buildings. However, the motto of a fire drill in school is to assure efficient evacuation process, and to identify the problems with the emergency system or evacuation procedures. Besides, fire alarm systems of the buildings need to be checked on a regular basis to ensure that the system is working. Generally, all staff in schools have specific fire safety responsibilities so that they can help students and others in an emergency. Safe conductions of School fire drills can save lives and minimise destructions.