It’s crucial for schools to have flawless evacuation procedures based on their unique needs.
Schools come in all different shapes and sizes, which means careful planning should go into the evacuation procedure development process employed by every school. These also need to be regularly updated over time, ensuring the school keeps its procedures up to date over the months and years. Here’s some advice to help keep your school and its staff, community and students safe and out of harm’s way using effective emergency evacuation processes:
Develop clear procedures
To keep the community safe, it’s essential for schools to adopt and enforce very detailed policies. Your school’s emergency plan should be a clearly structured document, which you consistently review and monitor based on the needs of the school over time. Employees should be given definitive roles, and have these roles communicated to them in detail using documentation that outlines their responsibilities across each sort of emergency. This emergency plan should also detail where the fire equipment, evacuation and meeting points are located, in proximity to each part of in the school. In addition, it’s your responsibility to ensure evacuation diagrams are made accessible and displayed in clear and visible positions.
Train employees and pupils
Schools need to be cautious about how they teach evacuation procedures, ensuring that both teachers and pupils are trained effectively in the evacuation processes and emergency operations. When teachers have a strong understanding of how evacuation procedures work, they will then impart this wisdom onto the students, helping the children develop a deeper understanding of best-practice emergency response operations. This should include the basics of first aid and how to operate fire equipment, which are equally valuable skills that they can keep for life. Training must also be refreshed from time to time for both staff and students. This is because people tend to forget what they’ve learned if they’ve not needed to apply it.
Practice makes perfect
Students would have heard the adage that ‘practice makes perfect’ a million times throughout their schooling careers. This phrase is equally true of safe evacuation practices as it is of maths or sport. One effective way to keep evacuation procedures at students’ front of mind is through emergency drills. These are a very effective safety training measure that help students and teachers familiarise themselves with the emergency procedures. Research has also proven that they enhance people’s ability to carry out the evacuation plan, reduce their panic and increase their efficiency in a stressful situation. They can also be useful for the school, revealing any weaknesses in the plan, so you can make the necessary adjustments and strengthen the plan further.
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