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Fire Drill policy


flowlow
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Hi all

I wonder if any of you can help?

We are now a free flow setting indoors and out. We have children constantly moving between the two. Basically the person outside knows how many children they have so as extra come out they know if they need more staff to make sure enough staff are split between the indoor and outdoor area. We head count every ten mins or so to keep track and it works brilliant in practice.

However we now have a problem with the fire drill. Essentially the outdoor area is at the front of the building, the kitchen (which would probably be the most likely place for fire) is between the outdoor area and the main body of the building, the assembly point is at the back of the building. In theory in practice we could just walk the outdoor children down the side of the building (which in effect would mean they would be walking along the corridor side so some separation from the kitchen) which would mean if we exited by any of the fire doors we could all meet virtually at the same time at the assembly point. Then do the register and we would know if anyone missing etc...

However one of the staff pointed out that it may not be safe to go down the side of the building (even though you are separated by the corridor as you would in a sense be walking passed the fire if it was in the kitchen) so you would have to walk around the estate and come to the assembly point via alternative route. This would mean that there would be some time before you 'knew' if anyone was missing or not safe as it would take time to get the children to were they needed to be.

As a free flow environment there isn't any real workable way to track who is in and who is out, essentially you could do arm bands or pictures but knowing the group we have now there would be some children who would not follow this kind of setup 100% of the time.

How do others cover the fire drill in free flow environments?

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Without really seeing your building it's hard to tell, but as long as your outdoor children don't go back into the building, I can't see it being a problem walking down the side of the building. I would have thought it was safer to do this and assemble quickly, than have to go on a trek to get to your assembly point. With children "free flowing" I think its important that you can check your total number of children ASAP so it would be my choice to take the quickest route to the assembly point.

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Agree with star grower , as long as you know how many out and how in then in case of fire drill it should be priority to leave building or outside area from the quickest , easiest and safest route. Practise your fire drill and then log how it went , how long it took etc, hence why we do fire drills and then evaluate from that .

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thank you both

I thought going down the side would be the best solution again my thoughts were get getting together quickly was more of a priority. Now all I have to do is convince my H&S who does the drill that its not a 'test' and that children do need shoes and socks on for walking on concrete and my problems will be sorted lol

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If it a fire drill then treat it as a real situation , which means you stop and drop what your doing , children too , no time for coats , changing etc just straight into evacuation and to assembly point . Imagine if you were in a house fir would you stop to find your shoes or get out ASAP ?

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When our fire alarm went off last year, we didn't know why so assumed it was a fire. We got the children out in 2mins, some had no shoes on, but we felt it was most important to get them out than find shoes!

Thankfully, I was a malfunction with the alarm but we did have fire brigade with blue lights and sirens! The children thought it was brilliant- they all got to sit in the fire engine after we realised there was no fire :1b

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Johanna, you probably need to have another assembly point to cope with the senario you have described. In school, we had evacuation routes clearly demarcated but also had drills where some exits were blocked (ie by fire) so that children and staff (!! )knew how else to evacuate the premises.

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thanks for all your comments. I think the problem with the shoes comes from the ground they have to walk on they could cut their feet in a real fire it wouldn't matter as we would be saving lives but for a practice this seems extreme. What I have suggested in a practice is to give us ten minutes before the alarm to get shoes on and then when the alarm goes we are not stopping then to do anything except get out of the building. Or we carry the children either way I don't want them injured just for a practice, can you imagine parents would be livid.

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  • 1 year later...

Does anyone have fire drill procedures written regarding footwear during practice or in a real event, this situation arose recently when 2 staff were carrying children to assembly point from garden (no other reason than between footwear change, so footwear close at hand) leaving one person trying to Shepherd the rest ...I decided I needed to set out clearer procedures due to free flow.

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Walkie talkies - we use them all the time so staff can communicate with those inside , therefore in a fire drill , you can communicate clearly as to how many children if you are exiting the building via different exits

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have always asked parents to provide shoes for the children to wear inside, especially when they arrive in wellies but the message was not getting through. So we did a Fire Drill which meant some of them had to walk to our meeting area in their socks. We did this every day for a week as some children don't come everyday. By the end of the week all of the children had indoor shoes :P

 

We are getting to the stage again where they are taking their indoor shoes off so I think another week of fire drills is called for.

 

We have a similar problem in that we have three fire exits - two to the front of the building and one to the rear. A fire is more likely to break out in the kitchen so could possibly put both front exits out of action leaving us the rear one. I have never done a fire drill out the back as it leads into a neighbours garden which has a bolted gate to the road :blink: Looks like I will have to do it and see how it goes.

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