Fire Safety – Are You Up To Date For The New School Year?

2 September 2013

With the new school year right around the corner, one thing that you must make sure you’re doing is taking the time to ensure that you are up to date with the latest in fire safety standards before the next major intake of pupils and even staff.

It’s always a good idea to take a look at the safety precautions that are in place and whether there are any updates that may need to be made. Remember that fire assessment and risk management is an ongoing responsibility of any school, home, or business, so something that you must continually monitor. With the kids out of school for the summer, this monitoring may have lapsed, so doing a quick check before the school year stars up can be a great way to keep everyone safe.

Some of the primary things that you must be considering:

Get A Fire Risk Assessment Completed

The very first thing that you should do is make sure a comprehensive and up to date risk assessment has been completed. This will give you a very clear idea of anything that may need to change in order to remain compliant and keep everyone safe. Having a certified fire risk assessment specialist come in will give you the peace of mind in knowing you’re doing everything possible to manage and prevent fire breakout. To your update your assessment at the beginning of each school year is a good guide to follow.

Have Alarms Installed/Checked

Next, it is crucial that a sufficient amount of fire alarms are installed in the school building. Once installed, regular tests are recommended to ensure they are trusted to do their job. Make sure all pupils and staff know exactly what to do and where to go should the alarm sound by carrying our fire drills every few months.

You may also want to consider sprinklers – on of the best ways to manage fires should they break out. Again if this is the option you choose, regular tests are vital. Having all the correct equipment in place is one thing, but of course no use if they are not checked and maintained.

Ensure Adequate Fire Extinguishers are Available

Again, fire extinguishers must be in place all throughout the school and maintained when necessary. If you’re unsure how to check extinguishers, get the professionals in to help you out and give you peace of mind. If at any point an extinguisher is used – these must be either replaced or refilled immediately.

You may also want to have sand bags in areas where extinguishers cannot be placed in the case fire breaks out in that area.

Come Up With An Evacuation Plan

Finally, you’ll also want to come up with an evacuation plan should a fire occur and make sure all the necessary equipment needed to evacuate the building is in place. For elementary schools who have younger children, evacuation equipment can make getting everyone out of the school far faster and safer than without, so a definite consideration for these school buildings.

Once this plan has been laid out, be sure that it’s fully gone over with everyone in the school when the new term begins and as previously mentioned, carry out regular fire drills to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of a real fire.

So there you have the primary things that need to be done in order to prepare your school building for the new year. If the building in question is a college or university, additional measures will need to be taken as these buildings house far more people, so speaking with a fire risk assessment consultant is a must.

All places of education will also want to make sure that they have a plan in place for anyone with disabilities so they can get of the building safely, quickly and easily.

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