It is crucial that all organisations know what to do if there is a fire on the premises. However, for schools, in particular, there is an added level of risk with potentially hundreds of students who may be vulnerable or confused about what they should be doing in the evacuation process. This can be a headache for staff when it comes to evacuating the building.
It is therefore essential that schools establish a clear and detailed evacuation plan that breaks down exactly what everyone should do in the event of a fire.
The best form of practice for this situation is for schools to carry out regular fire drills during school hours. This enables schools to check that their plans actually work, but just as importantly familiarises students and staff alike in the school's evacuation process.
Why are fire drills are important?
Everyone on school premises must regularly take part in fire drills as it helps them to better remember the building’s escape routes and the instructions they need to follow. Additionally, students who may not understand the seriousness of fire safety must be made to understand that fire drills are serious protocol.
The regular practice of fire drills should, in turn, mean that when it comes to an actual evacuation, everyone will be less confused about what to do and will know to behave sensibly.
What do fire drills require?
For a school to reap all the benefits of a fire drill, it is imperative that the school evaluates the entire evacuation process. This is so that they can identify issues with the procedure and take action where necessary - helping to keep the fire drill effective at all times.
Another thing schools have to take into consideration is designating specific fire safety responsibilities to certain staff. These include:
- Designated Fire Wardens
- Somebody to call the fire services
And other responsibilities belong to ALL school staff, such as:
- Keeping fire doors clear at all times
- Informing students of protocol in the event of a fire
How often should fire drills be carried out?
Organisations must carry out fire drills at least once a year. But due to the increased risk, schools should carry them out once a term and at the start of each school year, as there will be new staff and pupils who will need to be familiarised with fire routes.
Both the headteacher and governing body of the premises have the responsibility to ensure that fire drills are carried out regularly and effectively.
Fire Awareness for Schools
Here at iHASCO, we offer an Online Fire Awareness Training for Schools course that aims to educate staff on fire safety information that is particularly relevant to schools, colleges, and universities.
In any organisation, all staff are legally required to undertake fire awareness training, and schools are not exempt from that. With that said, fire awareness training should not just be a tick box exercise - it should instead be seen as a way to offer staff crucial information on how to keep themselves and others safe during the event of a fire.
That’s why we are more than happy to offer anybody a no-obligation free trial to any of our courses so that you can assess the quality of our training before you buy!