When you think "back to school" you may not be thinking about fire safety. But, Mike McLeieer of the fire safety organization ESCAPE says you probably should be.

Here are 11 fire safety tips from ESCAPE for parents, teachers and students:

  • Fire drills should be held at least once a month while school is in session (weather permitting).
  • Principals, teachers or other school staff must inspect all exits daily to ensure that stairways, doors, and other exits are working properly and are unblocked.
  • On the day of the drill, the emergency drill alarm should be sounded on the school fire alarm system. Make sure everyone can recognize the sound of the alarm and knows what to do when it sounds.
  • Teachers, officials, and staff should be familiar with the school’s fire protection system, including the location of fire alarms pull stations and sprinklers.
  • Every room in the school should have a map posted identifying two ways out. In schools with open floor plans, exit paths should be obvious and kept free of obstruction.
  • On the day of the fire drill, everyone in the school should participate.
    Students with specific needs should be assigned an adult or a student buddy to assist them. Fire drills are a good opportunity to identify who among the student population requires extra assistance.
  • While it’s important to make sure that students leave the building as quickly as possible, order is more important than speed when it comes to conducting a safe fire drill.
  • Use the class rosters to ensure every student is accounted for.
  • Fire drills should be held both at expected and at unexpected time, and under varying conditions in order to simulate the conditions that can occur in an actual emergency.
  • School fire drills are a model for students to use in their homes.
  • Encourage students to practice their escape plans at home – just as they do at school.

Hear McLeieer discuss these tips - and what to do if you're a parent who is uncertain about the fire safety procedures at your child's school. Click the player below for more details.

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