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Fire Safety: Establishing an Evacuation Process in Schools

Having an adequate fire risk assessment is essential by law in all commercial establishments, with some arguing that their importance is even more important in a school setting. Part of this risk assessment should include a comprehensive evacuation plan.


With the number of children and staff present in various buildings within a school, having an efficient evacuation plan in place ensures that everyone is able to exit the buildings quickly and safely, away from the fire. This also then identifies if there are any personnel that could perhaps still be in danger that the fire brigade should be aware about.


Read on below as we share a few of our top tips for establishing an effective evacuation plan in schools.


Emergency Exit Signs


Each individual building in your school should have its own fire exit and have emergency exit signs and lighting clearly showing where this is. Unless the fire is blocking this exit and there are no alternative emergency exits in the building, this will be the place that everyone should exit from.


Students should be directed out of these exits by the teacher in charge of their class in a calm, orderly manner for maximum efficiency and to avoid injury or panic. Specific arrangements should also be made for any students with a physical or mental disability to ensure they are assisted during an evacuation.


Assembly Points


You should establish an assembly point outside of the school buildings at a safe distance from any potential fires for all individuals to meet at. Depending on the size of your establishment and the number of students and staff at your school, this may include having multiple assembly points.


For example, you could use your school field for all students to gather and line up in their tutor groups and year groups, or you could alternatively have separate assembly points for separate year groups depending on the space available. Similarly, you may have a separate assembly point for staff and visitors.


Practice Drills


Upon establishing an evacuation plan, it’s time to put it into action. By law, all establishments must carry out a fire drill at least annually, however the National Union of Teachers (NUT) recommends that schools carry out fire drills at least once a term, as well as at the start of every new school year for the benefit of new staff and pupils.


Carrying out practice fire drills teaches students (staff should be briefed prior to the evacuation plan) how to exit buildings in a safe manner, the assembly points they are to meet at and how to stand and behave in order for registers to be taken and announcements to be made. In the event a real fire does occur, then all personnel will now be aware on how to evacuate safely.


Does your school have sufficient emergency lighting in place? If not, reach out to EK Fire Protection - your trusted fire safety company. Alongside emergency lighting and signage, we also supply the efficient fire alarm systems and fire extinguishers that you need in your establishment.

Get in touch today for more information.


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