Fire Drills, Earthquake Preparedness and Occupant Safety
Fire Safety Inspection
Inspection should be carried out once a week, if possible by a group including members from the School Fire Protection Organization and outside specialists when necessary. Inspectors should watch for material objects or conditions which could fire, aid its spread, increase its severity, or impede the escape of occupants.
Emergency Fire Drill
Fire and earthquake drills ensure that the students and staff are trained to leave the building in an orderly fashion through the most convenient staff exit, when an alarm sounds. Federal Government regulations require a minimum of 6 drills per year. Students and staff should know the purpose of drills and what is expected of them. There should be several drills the first few weeks of the school year, then one drill every two months.
• Evacuation drill routes should be printed and posted for all staff. There should be plans to ensure that classrooms, cloakrooms, washrooms, halls, locker rooms, gyms, libraries, and all other spaces are cleared.
• Only the Principal or the Fire Chief should schedule drills. This ensures that staff will respond properly to emergencies.
• Where installed, fire system should always be used to originate fire and earthquake drills. Hand signals should be developed to indicate such as "march, " "stop," "reverse," "go left," "go right," etc. Verbal instructions may not be heard over the sound of the alarms.
• The children should be given the opportunity to practice orderly evacuation. While they usually should exit by the nearest or most route, they should also learn one or more alternate routes. This practice should include "Obstructed exit:" drills in which the students have to quickly reverse direction and exit by an alternate route. A sign can indicate the obstructed route. Those responsible for planning these drills must minimize the risk of injuries and consider such factors as roofs to be crossed and the availability of outside ladders or stairs. Staff and students occasionally should practice using fire escapes.
• Evacuation during drills should be en masse, with due regard for congestion and bottlenecks. If necessary, students can be re-assigned to other exits to reduce congestions.
• Children should hold hands throughout fire drills. Fire leaders should be appointed.
• Senior students, chosen as special monitors, can help clear all areas. Monitors can be assigned duties, which will take them away from their classrooms. These students should be given personal evacuation procedures and assembly points for check off. Especially, classroom monitors should:
• hold doors open
• bring up the rear of the exiting file; and if possible, conduct infirm or very young students from the building
• In general, no time should be allowed for obtaining personal effects or outer clothing. Special procedures should be set for students caught in swimsuits or gym shorts when a fire drill occurs, e.g. wait at exit, control recovery of essential clothing, evacuate to suitable shelter. There should be refuge for students in inclement weather.
• As they exit, staff should make sure that all doors are closed behind them. This can reduce the spread of fire.
• The daily attendance book should be taken outside. On assembly, the children in each class should be checked off.
• Students should be led at least 30 meters from the building and away from hydrants and roadways, which should be left clear. The location should be the same spot for all drills and students instructed to go to that location only.
• For all drills, a record should be kept of the time lapse from alarm to completion of the exercise. The initial drills may be rehearsed in slow motion. When all drills have been rehearsed unannounced drills should occur until all operations are smooth and quick.
The school assembles between the swings and the road in spring/summer, and on the hockey rink in winter, by class:
ALL OTHER STAFF
(TEACHING ASSISTANTS, CUSTODIANS,
LIBRARIAN AND ADMINISTRATORS)
Teachers (=T) take attendance and report names of missing students to the secretary.