Labor Day is right around the corner and that means the school year is just about to begin. Now is definitely the time to go over some fire safety tips for educational institutions. Did you know that from 2007 until 2011, an estimated 5,690 structure fires in educational properties were responded to annually by United States fire departments? The results of these fires were an annual average of 85 injuries and $92 million in property damage. Nearly three quarters of these fires occurred in schools between preschool and high school. HALF of the fires in buildings for preschool through twelfth grade were intentionally set. Nearly one quarter of fires in buildings for preschool through twelfth grade were trash fires. What can be done to be more fire safety conscious while in school? The main way to keep everyone in school fire safety conscious is hold frequent fire drills.

The following are some fire safety tips for educational institutions:

  • Make sure to hold fire drills at least once a month.

  • All exits, including stairways and doors must be checked daily by principals, teachers, and other staff to make sure they are unblocked and in proper working condition.

  • All staff should be familiar with the fire protection system in the educational institution that they work at.

  • Before any drills are performed, make sure everyone recognizes the sound of the alarm and knows what to do when it is sounded.

  • Everyone should participate in the fire drill, including staff.

  • A map should be posted in each room, identifying at least two ways out.

  • Any student that has specific needs should have someone assigned to assist them.

  • When it comes to a safe fire drill, organization is more important than speed.

  • Once everyone has made their way outside at a predetermined location, they should wait until an “all clear” has been given.

  • Not only should there be planned fire drills that the students know about, there should also be unplanned, surprise drills, to test the students’ preparedness for an actual emergency.

  • Students should be encouraged to practice their escape plans at home (see our post for more information on action emergency plans).

As a teacher, do you make sure your students are well prepared for fire drills? As a student, are you fully knowledgeable of your school’s fire safety plan and drill? As a parent, do you make sure your children practice fire safety at home? Sound off in the comment section down below and let us know your thoughts.