Fire Drills at Footsteps
We recently had a fire drill at Footsteps Maple Cross. We were so impressed with the children’s behaviour we thought we would explain a little more about our Fire Drill and safety practices.
Explaining in a Simple Way
The loud noise and hurried activity of a fire drill can upset a child, particularly one that is unaware of what is happening. That’s why, where possible in regards to age and understanding, it is important to inform children (and staff) as to what to expect during a fire drill without panicking them or undermining the importance.
We find that turning an explanation into a kind of game can help, detailing the “actions” and “rules” used when a fire alarm goes off (e.g. staying calm, following a staff member through the nearest fire exit, walking to the assembly point, lining up in a specific place etc).
How do we do a Fire Drill?
We prefer to inform children that a drill will be taking place and when, so as to avoid panic (as opposed to catching them unaware in order to practice a real life scenario). We make this clear to all children before sounding the alarm.
Upon sounding the alarm, we ensure that all children are gathered and do a quick visual inspection of the area.
Walk out through the closest fire exit, ensuring that all children follow. If possible, we have an adult at both the front and back of the line of children.
At the assembly point, we take a register to ensure that all children are present. We always record and review the success of our drill after each one. This includes all aspects, from ensuring that evacuation routes are appropriate for young children, to avoiding designating assembly points that require the crossing of roads or navigation of car parks.
We make all fire drill information, including the location of fire exits and assembly points, accessible to parents, too. If any are onsite during a drill, they will need to take part.