It is the responsibility of the schools to ensure that their school premises are absolutely safe from fire and they follow and take all the necessary steps and precautions required for the same .The schools should also be well equipped to handle any emergency situation that arises in an event of fire in the building.
Mentioned are some critical steps that all schools should follow to ensure the safety of their students and staff from fire.
Duties of the Management
All the important responsibilities for fire safety should be outlined for the management .The management should create a team to handle the fire safety in the school and also layout all the required guidelines and duties in reference to fire safety.
All the appropriate and required safety measures should be adopted by the school to prevent fires. Practices that would keep fire incidents at bay should be followed like checking on all the fire safety equipment, identifying and removing the probable fire hazards inside and outside the school premises, educating the students and the staff members on fire safety and most importantly conducting fire safety audits regularly.
Training the Staff
It is imperative for all schools to train their staff on the fire safety measures and also how handle fire outbreak situations. Because if the teachers are not aware of what needs to be done , they would panic and if they panic the students would panic as well and the situation might just turn worse. Fire safety training should be conducted for the entire staff periodically.
Fire and Evacuation Drills
All the occupants of the school that would include the students, teachers, support staff and the management should undertake the fire safety mock drills to be well equipped to a handle fire situation .Such drills should be conducted by trained fire safety staff on regular intervals.
Fire Safety Communication
It is extremely important that everyone in the school assembly is completely aware of the fire safety precautions and measures in the premises. Banners , posters and notices can be displayed in prominent assembly places across the school to educate all about the same . The school can also talk about fire safety during assemblies and conduct periodic announcements as well.
Escape routes are very critical and should be such that can be used and controlled by all including students. The fire safety team of the school should regularly monitor these routes and also ensure all the necessary checks are in place for the efficacy of the escape routes.
Fire Protection Equipment-Maintenance & Inspection
The school should ensure that all the fire safety equipment is up to date and maintained as per the guidelines. If this is not done then there might be a possibility for the equipment to malfunction in case of a fire outbreak. A school safety audit becomes imperative here as it inspects the fire safety measures as well that would in turn ensure complete safety and security
All the actions and steps undertaken to for fire safety should be recorded. By doing this the school authorities can keep a track of all the activities and it would also assist them in the planning, updating and execution of fire safety measures
For school fire safety, it’s a very good idea to have the following equipment handy:
- Fire extinguishers and fire blankets that conform to the safety standards: Use only branded products and they should be installed on each &every floor
- Dry chemical fire extinguishers: These are suitable for small fires and can be installed in every classroom
- Electrical safety switches on every switchboard
- Smoke Alarms: They give an early warning in the event of fire. They alert you quickly, and give you a chance to get out of the school to a safe location.
Fire Safety Guideline
This guideline can help you get rid of fire hazards around your facility.
- Replace faulty or worn-out electrical appliances, and those with frayed cords.
- If you need extra power outlets, talk to an electrician about having them installed. Avoid using power boards or double adaptors.
Open fires and heaters
- If your school is not centrally heated and you are using heaters during winters then make sure there are proper guards around the heaters to keep students safe.
- Clear space around heaters. Anything flammable – such as curtains and toys should never be near the heater.
- Turn off heaters at the power source
Cooking – inside and out
- Students should never be allowed to enter the school’s kitchen
- Don’t leave cooking unattended on the gas stove or induction plate. If deep-frying, keep a check on the flames and the oil-temperature
- No open flame cooking is advisable, only use Induction Plate.