Evacuation for Schools
When carrying out emergency planning for schools, it is important to remember that young mobile students are not the only individuals that will be on the premises. Pupils and staff occasionally can have mobility affecting injuries, and during open house days and student performances, visitors may include parents and grandparents who have mobility restrictions or are disabled. As the nominated responsible person for safety on the property, you must consider the needs of every person that will be at the school, including students, visitors, teachers and support staff.
Be sure to consider the location of public areas, such as auditoriums, libraries, canteens and learning resource centres. Are they located on the ground floor or higher up? Do students and visitors in wheelchairs sit on the upper or lower levels of the building?
When it comes to the building itself, you should consider the following issues:
- Where is the nearest emergency fire exit located?
- What is the capacity of the lecture theatre?
- Is it a new or old building?
- Does it have wood panel walls?
- What fire protection is in the building?
- Are the areas zoned?
Some students may not be forthcoming when admitting to others that they have a disability, but this is crucial information that must be shared. Any student with a physical or mental disability or students with mobility issues must have a PEEPs policy. This document will identify the correct procedures in the event of an emergency evacuation.
Awareness of emergency evacuation procedures should be part of the every school induction plan. As such, fire drills should be carried out regularly to ensure that all students and staff know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency.
All teachers and support staff (teaching assistants, administrators and security) should be well aware of their roles in the event of an emergency. Several staff members should be identified as those who will help to evacuate mobility-restricted individuals in an emergency.
Evacuating those with mobility issues can mean needing specialist evacuation equipment, such as evacuation chairs or evacuation mattresses, and Escape Mobility can help by providing and installation of these, as well as working with you to train staff in use of the equipment and further down the line, providing regular evacuation product servicing and maintenance for our own products and those provided by other manufacturers.
As the responsible nominated person, you must ensure that correct measures are in place for anyone visiting your school, be it on a daily basis or ad-hoc. Contact Escape Mobility at 0844 800 1775 for more information on how we can help.