The dangers which may threaten persons if a fire breaks out
depends on many different factors, consequently, it is not possible
to construct a model procedure for action in the event of fire
which would be suitable for use in all premises.
Each fire routine must be based upon a simple, efficient
procedure which is specifically designed for the premises in which
it has to operate.
It is therefore important that the following points must be
given prime consideration:
The Purpose of the Fire Drill
Fire drills are intended to ensure, by means of Training and
Rehearsal that in the event of fire:
- The people who may be in danger act in a calm
and orderly manner.
- Those people who may have designated
responsibilities carry out their tasks to ensure the safety of all
- The escape routes are used in accordance with
a Predetermined and Practised Plan.
- Evacuation of the building is achieved in a
speedily and orderly manner.
- To promote an attitude of mind where-by
persons will react rationally when confronted with a fire or other
emergency at school or elsewhere.
The Occupancy of the Premises
Consideration must be given to the age of the pupils attending
the school and as to whether there are any children with special
Fire Drill Routine
A fire routine it based on a critical sequence of events, these
- Anyone discovering an outbreak of fire must,
without hesitation, sound the alarm by operating the nearest fire
alarm call point.
Calling the Fire and
- All outbreaks of fire or any suspected fire,
however small, should be reported immediately to the Fire Service
by the quickest means available. This task could well be designated
as the responsibility of the school secretary as a telephone will
be readily available at that location.
- On hearing the fire alarm, pupils must be
instructed to leave the building in single file and in a calm,
- The person in charge of each class must
indicate the exit route to be used and everyone must be directed to
a Predetermined Assembly Point.
- Specific arrangements must be made for pupils
with physical or mental disabilities to ensure that they are
assisted during evacuation.
- No running is to be permitted to avoid
- On staircases everyone must descend in single
file. Overtaking of classes or individuals must not be
- Lifts must not be used.
- Anyone who is not in class when the fire
alarm sounds must go immediately to the assembly point.
- No one must be allowed to re-enter the
building until told to do so by the Fire Service in attendance,
or, in the case of a fire evacuation drill the
senior person in charge.
- An area outside the school premises must be
designated as an assembly point.
- It must be clearly marked and easily
identified by any person who must be expected to be in the school
- The assembly point must be far enough away
from the school premises to afford protection from the heat and
smoke in a fire situation.
- The assembly point must be in a position that
does not put pupils and staff at risk by emergency vehicles
responding to the incident.
- One person should be nominated to have
overall responsibility to ensure that a roll call is conducted in
the event of evacuation of the premises.
- Immediately as classes have assembled at the
assembly point, a roll or count must be made to ascertain that no
one remains in the premises.
- Any visitors or contractors in the premises
at that time must be included.
- The count at the assembly point must be
checked with the attendance registers and visitors book to verify
that everyone is out of the building.
- Attendance registers and visitors book should
be held at a central point and must be brought to the assembly
point when the alarm sounds.
- Each teacher must report to the nominated
person in charge of the evacuation procedure to verify that
everyone in their charge is accounted for or to inform him/her of
the number of persons missing.
Meeting the Service
- During Industrial Action, Fire Service or
Fire Officer will mean the Fire Service in attendance.
- The person in charge of the roll call must
identify him/herself to the Fire Service on their arrival. In doing
so vital information can be relayed to the Fire Officer which will
dictate the necessary actions to be carried out by the Fire
- Typical information the Fire Service will want to know:
- Is everyone accounted for?
- If anyone is missing: How many? What is their
usual location? Where were they last seen?
- Where is the fire? What is on fire? (It may
not be apparent).
- Are there any hazardous substances involved in the fire or
stored in the building? (i.e. Chemicals, Solvents, Liquified
Petroleum Gas or Acetylene Cylinders etc).
Instruction, Training and Recording
During the first week of term or as soon as practically possible
thereafter, all new entrants being pupils, staff or support staff,
should be conducted around the primary escape routes of the school.
They should also receive instruction on the school fire evacuation
All members of the staff shall receive instruction and training
appropriate to their responsibilities in the event of any
All members of staff shall each receive a personal copy of
prepared written instructions. They shall receive two periods of
verbal instructions given by a competent person in each 12 month
period. Such instruction shall include details of how to call the
Fire Service. In the case of newly engaged staff, instruction shall
be given as soon as possible after appointment.
A record of the training and instructions given and fire drills
held, shall be entered in the log book and will include the
- Date of the instruction or fire drill;
- Name of person giving the instruction;
- Names of persons receiving instruction;
- Nature of instruction or fire drill.
Fire drills, which may be combined with the instruction given
above, shall be carried out at least once per term. The fire drill
should simulate that one escape route is not available. Each fire
drill should be started by a pre-determined signal and the whole
premises checked as if any evacuation was in progress.
In large premises a specific person shall be made responsible
for organising staff training and the name of one other nominated
person to co-ordinate the actions of the staff in the event of
fire. Effective arrangements shall be made for a deputy or deputies
to carry out the above duties in the absence of the nominated
In smaller premises one specific person shall be made
responsible for organising staff training and for co-ordinating the
actions of the staff in the event of fire. Effective arrangements
shall be made for a nominated deputy to be available to carry out
the above duties.
Frequency of Fire Evacuation Drills
Fire evacuation drills should be held at least once per term,
preferably at the commencement of each term.
Each fire alarm point shall, where necessary, be clearly
indicated "Fire Alarm" in accordance with the
Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations followed
by the appropriate operating instructions. (See
A notice should be displayed adjacent to the telephone or
switchboard giving clear instructions for calling the Fire Service
in case of fire. (See Notice 2).
Notices should be displayed for staff detailing their actions in
an emergency in conspicuous positions i.e. staff room. (See
Any attempt to fight the fire must always be secondary to life
Circumstances will clearly dictate whether fire fighting should
Any attempt to fight the fire must be based upon the type and
degree of training received in the use of fire fighting equipment
employed in the premises.
Regular fire drills will ensure that the evacuation procedure
applying to premises fulfils its aim satisfactorily and will
highlight any area of the procedure which may need to be
Many schools have more than one building on site. It is not
necessary for the fire alarm systems within these buildings to be
In the event of an alarm actuation, a procedure should be
established whereby contact is made to the other buildings on site
either by telephone or designated person.
Once contact has been made, it will be usual procedure to
evacuate all buildings (by operating the fire alarm, tannoy message
or personally with each class).
The aim of evacuating all buildings is to attempt to carry out a
roll call. Operating procedures within some schools (mainly middle
and high schools) may make it virtually impossible to say with any
degree of certainty that "all persons are accounted for". In these
cases, management may decide to operate a "Floor Warden" scheme.
This delegate’s responsibility to members of staff to quickly
search each floor (all rooms including toilets) and report to the
designated responsible persons that their floor is "clear". Where
this procedure is in operation it is not necessary to evacuate all
Fire Instruction for Day Schools
Any Person Discovering A Fire Must:
- Operate The Nearest Fire Alarm.
- (The Fire Service Will Be Called Immediately
By Dialling "999" Using The Nearest Telephone).
On Hearing the Fire Signal:
- When In Class The Order To Evacuate Will Be
Given By Your Teacher, Who Will Indicate The Route To Be
- When Not In Class Form Single File And More
By The Most Direct Route To The Place Of Assembly.
- At All Times Act Quietly And Calmly.
- Do Not Stop To Collect Your Personal
- Do Not Attempt To Pass Others On Your Way To
The Place Of Assembly
The Place of Assembly Is:
Complete As To the Place of Assembly)
Specimen Instructions for Person Responsible For Calling the
(Also To Be Posted Adjacent To the
Telephone or Switchboard)
On Hearing the Fire Alarm
Call the Fire Service by Exchange Telephone
Give the Operator Your Telephone Number and Ask For
"Fire Service", When the Fire Service
Give The Call Distinctly:
(Give Exact Address)
Do Not Assume That the Call Has Been Received Until
It Has Been Acknowledged By the Fire Service
Note: If Informed Of Any Outbreak of Fire by
Word Of Mouth, First Operate the Fire Alarm
And Then Call The Fire Service As Above.
Specimen Instructions to Staff In Case Of Fire
(General Instructions to Be Observed
In The Event Of Fire It Is The First Duty Of All Concerned To
Prevent Injury Or Loss Of Life. For This Purpose You Should Make
Certain That You Are Familiar With All Means Of Escape In Case Of
Since There May Be An Opportunity In The Event Of Fire, For You
To Attack It With The Nearest Fire Extinguisher Or Hose Reel, You
Should Also Be Familiar With How To Use Them.
Immediately You Discover A Fire Or One Is Reported To You, You
Sound the Alarm
Is Responsible For Ensuring That The Fire Service Is Called
Immediately On The Sounding Of The Fire Alarm. Immediately The Fire
Alarm Sounds You Should Assist All Pupils To Leave The
On Arrival At The Assembly Point Which
A Roll Call Should Be Taken
Who Will Be Responsible For Informing The Fire Service Of Persons
Not Accounted For.
On October 1st 2006 this legislation was amended and replaced
by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. This legislation will
amongst other issues, require the occupier of a premises to carry
out or have carried out a suitable fire risk assessment. Further
details relating to the change in legislation can be found on the
Communities and Local Government (CLG) website using the Fire
Safety Law link. http://www.communities.gov.uk/fire/firesafety/firesafetylaw/