School administrators are responsible for creating an environment which fosters not only learning and creativity but also security.
When safety is not treated as a priority, accidents are prone to happen. Fire is especially threatening because it can spread within a few short moments and cause extensive damage. For that reason, it is imperative to have an effective evacuation routine in place. There are also other steps you can take to make sure you are prepared in the event of an emergency situation. Some of these steps include:
- Becoming familiar with local ordinances relating to fire and other emergency situations
- Having tools in place to protect important documents
- Conducting frequent checks of the fire detection systems
Establish an Emergency Plan with Procedures
If you consult any safety manual or handbook, you’ll certainly find a section emphasising the importance of an emergency plan. You’ll first, however, need a blueprint or diagram of your facility’s entryways and exits. Following a careful evaluation of the building’s layout, decide which pathways are the safest for all individuals including those who may have disabilities. After creating this plan, designate specific school days to practice it. It may be beneficial to have each instructor separate students into groups and then exit the building in an orderly fashion. By travelling in groups, you’ll reduce the chances of leaving someone behind. Once established, evacuation routes should also be prominently displayed around the facility and parents should be made aware of the details.
Safeguard Important Paperwork and Documents
When a fire strikes, your first priority should be to assemble students and then make a speedy exit. You should not have to spend any time worrying about paperwork. A fire document cabinet or safe is designed to protect your documents against high heat and smoke caused by fire. Consider something like the Securikey Fire Security Cabinet. As a free standing cabinet, it is ideal for exam papers, box file and binders for up to 30 minutes. Plus, it’s been tested and certified to meet EN 14450 compliance, so you can rest assured that your contents are safe.
Frequently Check Smoke Detectors, Alarms, and Extinguishers
Smoke detectors, alarms, and even extinguishers should be intermittently tested to ensure they work properly. It’s advised to keep a running log of the dates in which each system is tested in order to stay up-to-date and on track with checks. If something doesn’t work it’s crucial to immediately replace or have the device repaired for the safety of adults as well as students.
Fire safety is not a topic to be taken lightly. Remember to enact a specific evacuation plan and have students and staff practice it monthly. Post important reminders around the facility including the safest routes and exits to take. Also, safeguard important documents in fire resistant cabinets or safes. Lastly, make it a habit to test alarms and detectors to ensure they work when an emergency actually takes place.