Safety is the best policy and when it comes to your child’s school, you want to feel secure in knowing that they are in a safe environment. It is absolutely essential that all schools have fire alarm monitoring systems to help protect children, adults, and the property itself, in order to ensure that the fire department is called quickly every time the alarm sounds in the building.
Here are 5 safety tips to keep in mind:
You should have fire drills at least once a month at expected and unexpected times. Make sure to schedule them while school is in session and keep in mind the weather conditions. Also, make sure you notify your ULC-listed monitoring company so that you don’t have a false dispatch.
Living in Canada, we all know that a fire alarm practice drill on the coldest day in January is probably not the best option but in reality, we know that fires can happen at anytime, so having drills during unexpected times can be beneficial. Everyone who is in the school should participate in the drill including administration staff and visitors.
Make sure that teachers, principals and other staff know what the procedures are when the fire alarm goes off in your building With CAN/ULC-S561 fire alarm monitoring in place in your school, you can rest easy knowing that the first department will be notified in the event of an alarm, and teachers and staff can focus on ensuring the safety of the students in the building.
The staff at the school need to be familiar with the fire system. They need to know where the sprinklers and alarm pull stations are located. Have maps posted around the school and in classrooms that show the paths out of the school to be used in cases of emergency.
Ensure that you have the most up-to-date monitoring communications in your buildings, and ensure that it meets ULC-S561. A simple phone line won’t do under ULC-S561, so some combination of a phone line, internet and cellular communications is usually used (though cellular and IP can be used as stand alone methods, provided they are configured as ‘active’ communicators). This ensures quick signal transmission and dispatching of the fire department. ‘Newer’ forms of communication are often less costly than older methods, such as DVACS. Talk to your ULC fire alarm monitoring provider to determine what the best method for fire alarm monitoring in your school is.
Students with special needs should have a student assistance or adult assigned to help them. As it is important for students to leave the building quickly, order is an extremely important aspect but this can be difficult for those in wheelchairs or those with other special needs. This is why improved fire department notification through OPEN ACCESS(™) is so important. OPEN ACCESS(™) has been independently proven to reduce fire department response times by up to 2 minutes, and this can be significant when you consider this special population in schools.
Once the building is clear of students and staff, everyone should wait outside until school officials receive the green light from the fire department to go back into the school. The ULC fire alarm monitoring equipment should reset on it own when the main fire alarm resets, so teachers and staff should concentrate on completing head counts after the alarm and then once again when students return to class when everything is clear. There is no need to be concerned with ULC-listed and properly installed fire alarm monitoring equipment.
Speak with your local fire department to have firefighters and Fire Prevention Officers talk to students about fire safety tips, and fire safety in the school. They can also provide direction on ULC-level fire alarm monitoring If you’re looking to increase the safety of your students and staff, talking to a fire safety professional to discuss the current fire alarm systems in your school will help you see the areas in which you can improve. Contact Fire Monitoring of Canada to discuss your needs!