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Fire Dills


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I am sure we all have arrangements in place for what to do in the event of a fire. We have a procedure, including how to evacuate the building, where to go etc etc etc

 

We have had many 'practices' but staff always knew when they were to take place. I found that on 'fire drill day' we were waiting for the alarm to go off and also found that when the time was iminent we tended to have the children together for a story or large group, non messy activity.

To me it defeated the whole object of the fire drill. Of course I hope that it never happens for real but the reality is that in the event of fire the alarm will sound regardless of whether the children are in split into groups, up to their armpits in glue and glitter or whatever. I asked my employer not to tell us when a fire drill was going to be planned, for her to just set the alarm off as and when she felt like it. It was much better!

 

We have an assembly point and ensure that the register and a phone are taken out with us.

 

The first job of course is to ensure that all children and staff are accounted for. Well this is fine if the register has been done and our fire drills were always after registration so it was no problem.

 

The question then arose, what if the alarm went off at that busy, hustle and bustle arrival time?? The register would be no good as it would not show children present!

 

We do not have self registration but as a result of the above query we have a small book which lists the children due in each day (we only have 14 per sesssion)

 

All children are greeted individually on arrival and their name ticked in the book. Should the alarm go off during arrival time we have up to the minute details of children on the premises.

 

I would be interested to know how others deal with this- how would you know which children were present if the alarm went off during that busy arrival time??

 

I have a friend who works in a pre school where children are given name cards to put on a tree as they arrive. Recently the smoke alarms went off and they followed their fire drill. Everyone got out safely, complete with tree. They found they had nine names on the tree and 10 children. It transpired that one name card had never reached the tree.Thankfully it was a false alarm but it made her think - had it been for real, it could have been child 10 was inside but their system indicated everyone was out - hope this makes sense!!!

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hard one that one if it happens at arrival time...............we also have name cards put into a box on arrival with me ticking the register as they come in..so all we can do is take all that info with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I have designated people to chk building so no one SHOULD be left behind!!!!!!! :o

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ALL good points Geraldine and in the school situation is particularly relevant for lunchtimes. How do you know that home dinner children have not already returned, we had a big problem with this at my last school as parents brought children back too early!

The only time we ever had to evacuate the building for real was at lunchtime and it was actually quite heartbreaking to see how readily the children left their dinners and the building. Very marie celeste on our return too as we could not get back into school for the afternoon session!

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More complicated than I thought! Home time would be another difficult one! We don't 'mark children off' when they go so it would be dependant on staff memory that so and so and so and so have gone etc - must be something better than that!

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After thought here!

 

How about evacuating outside area? Sounds cock-eyed, but I used to work in a pre-school at the bottom of a sloping field, separated from our outside play area by a fence. One evening a tractor rolled out of control down the hill, crashing through the fence and finishing up in the car park :oxD . Forced us to think about less obvious scenarios!

 

Sue :D

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We're fairly lucky to have only one room but we did a fire alarm once just as children were arriving, parents stopped to put their child's coat back on before they would take them outside! One further point, our fire drill policy states that staff know how to use the fire extinguishers. I actually dont know, not without stopping to read the instructions. I mentioned this to a firemen friend who said it's his job to put fires out and when he gets to a fire all he wants to know is whether anyone is still inside, if staff are trying to put out the fire he has to send men in to save them and that puts his men at risk. :o

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In the pre-school parents sign a book when they arrive and when they leave - they also put a contact telephone number for that day and who is due to collect their child. We take this with us for fire drills etc. Also member of staff counts children as they arrive and confirms this with book just in case somone is not signed in. This acts as a double check record for the register,particularly as they sign out if they collect early.

we also have a firedrill on the notice board for parents to follow and they are asked to make sure they know what to do if they are present during a drill.

 

We are essentially in one room and easy to see everyone, so it is a bit easier than being spread over several rooms. we do have an outside procedure which we do at regular intervals too, as this is different because of the location of out garden we end up in the local school playground.

 

Inge

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We have a self registration system and I take the register as the children arrive, rather than waiting until a mat time later. I found this better as the children arrive at such differing times some as late as 9.30 even though we start at 9 o'clock. There is always a member of staff in the cloakroom area who ensures that each child moves their name card. So we have two methods of seeing who is in when it comes to the start of the session. The cards are then used to work out drinks for snack. The register is closed at about 9.20 when I count how many children are in and total it at the bottom of the column. We use a green dot for those who have arrived, a / for those who are not in that session and a red dot for those who have gone home. It is easy then to see that we had 25 children arrive, there is one red dot so we have 24 left in the building. I found this so much easier than recording the time of arrival and departure. OFSTED were more than happy with this.

Do you have somewhere for the children to go to in the event of an actual fire? We were advised by somebody, can't remember who now, that where possible you should have a building somewhere nearby to take the children to if you can't access the premises after an evacuation. We have another nursery close by so we have made arrangements with them that we would go there and they would come to us in an emergency. That way you are keeping the children safe until parents, carers arrive.

Linda

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we take our children to the local church... everytime we do fire drill they tell their parents they have been to church... sometimes they ask when are we going to church if we have not been for a while!!!

 

we also have an alternative... the local school if needed.

 

Inge

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My setting doesn't have a designated safe place - hmmm.

 

As we have a sister nursery just down the road, we could perhaps sort a reciprocal arrangement.....

 

 

Sue xD (that's my 'thinking' look :o )

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re fire extinguishers mentioned earlier. We have in our policy and fire drill that staff DO NOT attempt to put our the fire no matter how small it is, the health and safety officer told us we should in no circumstance attempt to put it out.

 

We recently had an emergency evacuation, there was a very strong smell of gass in the hall. The children were evacuated to the local pub garden (that is our safe place) the gass board called and parents contaced by mobile phone. It all went well mind you some parents did not have their phones switched on!!! no matter how often we remind them to keep them on.

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yes parents know where we will be, plus it is part of the parents fire drill!!! they have their own for if they are present !! writen and detailed on the noticeboard ( had to do all this for NVQ and other staff training always raises something we lack- so we sort it promptly)

 

And no we do not even think about using the fire extingushers - safety of children first then staff - bulding and equipmeny the job of the firebrigade!! ( they all want to see the firemen!!)

 

Inge

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We always take the children to a lane near by but after reading all these answers ,think its time to see if we can go to the nearby school in a emergency. :o

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