Just as important as fire alarms and fire extinguishers, carrying out regular fire drills are an important part of fire safety. The problem is that even amongst preppers, many seem to view a fire drill as nothing but an inconvenience.
They are important as they simulate the emergency procedure and ensure that everyone within the home or workplace fully understands what they are to do in the event of a fire.
During this guide we are going to be looking at some simple tips for an effective fire drill whether at home or in the workplace.
Why Should We Have Fire Drills?
There are several reasons why fire drills are important. These include:
- They allow everyone to practice evacuation procedures and see where changes need to be made
- They get everyone used to exiting a building quickly and safely
- Reduce panic should the threat of fire become a real danger
- Above all, they improve safety and better prepare everyone involved
When carrying out fire drills, you should also take the time to check all fire alarms and extinguishers to ensure that they are fully working as they should, as well as making sure that all escape routes are free of any hazards.
How Often Should You Have a Fire Drill?
Ask ten different people and you may get ten different answers. It is more about what works best for you and your family. This being said, you should try to have no less than two fire drills a year to make sure that everything stays fresh in the minds of all involved.
Everyone within the home must be present and taking part. Don’t decide to skip a fire drill just because your child is having a sleep over at a friend’s house. Either do it before they go or as soon as they get back.
Should You Explain That It’s a Drill?
There are benefits and drawbacks to both telling family members that you will be having a drill and choosing not to tell them.
- If you let them know – they will not panic during a real fire and will know exactly what they are to do in a real fire but may get lazy in their training.
- If you choose not to let them know – this has the element of surprise and will allow you to see exactly how everyone will react. A real fire is no game so don’t let anyone act any different. The downside is that they may not take a real fire seriously.
How to Prepare for a Fire Drill
When preparing for a fire drill you need to make some decisions as you can’t watch everyone and what they do at the same time. With each drill you need to focus on specific things that you are going to monitor. These could be:
- Looking at areas of improvement
- Looking at ways in which you can reduce the amount of time it takes for everyone to exit the building.
At our home, we have a system in place that automatically alerts the fire service any time that the alarm is triggered. If you have the same kind of system, make sure that you contact the fire service beforehand so you don’t find them outside your home every time that you have a drill.
You should also alert your neighbors that you will be having a fire drill so as not to cause unnecessary panic.
During the Fire Drill
In order to effectively monitor the fire drills, you need to position yourself in strategic areas around the building where you can keep an eye out for good and bad practices. At the end of the drill, gather all family members together and discuss any areas for improvement.
Try blocking off the front and back doors of the property so that everyone has to use alternative escape routes instead of always going for the easy option which won’t always be possible during a real fire.
Remember to time how long it takes everyone to safely evacuate the building and get to the safe meeting area away from the building.
Read more: How to Conduct a Fire Drill at Work