Keeping students safe while they are at school is an important priority. Each school district must take the time to develop a thorough plan for fire safety and educate both students and staff on what to do in the event of a fire. Taking measures to prevent the outbreak of a fire are crucial as well.
The surest way to prevent fire-related injuries in schools is to prevent fires from starting in the first place. Making sure that students and staff are aware of potential fire hazards is key. These potential hazards can include overburdened electrical outlets, flammable liquids that are stored improperly, large accumulations of trash and improper wiring. Rooms that are used for large assemblies such as cafeterias and auditoriums must be inspected by local authorities, who will determine maximum occupancy and make sure that all exits are free of blockages and that the room is free of fire hazards. Draperies, window treatments and upholstered furniture should be flame-resistant.
Installing a sprinkler system can be a very effective safety measure. The safety requirements for school buildings will differ depending upon whether or not a building has a functioning sprinkler system. While regular inspections and the help of local authorities is important, a continued vigilance on the part of school staff is needed ensure the safety of all who use the building.
Schools are required to conduct a minimum number of fire drills each year and will generally conduct a drill near the beginning of the school year. The purpose of these drills is to make sure that the school building can be completely and quickly evacuated in an orderly manner. A little practice can help to eliminate panic in the event of a real fire. A plan for evacuation can be drafted with the help of the local fire department. School staff must receive training on these procedures prior to any drills.
In Case of Fire
In the event of an actual fire, it is very important that members of the school staff do not panic and work to keep all students calm. A quick and orderly evacuation of students and personnel should be the top priority. Other important steps are to sound the fire alarm and to close classroom and office doors after exiting. Closing the door behind you can help to minimize the spread of smoke and fire. Do not try to fight the fire yourself, just get out as quickly and calmly as possible.