why do we have to do fire drills once a month

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simplexspectralert
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maybe we should do lockdown drills once a month, how about that?
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Simplex 4051
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Lockdown drills are a lot more disruptive and take longer than fire drills which is why they aren't done with a lot of frequency. Plus if there was one done once a month, eventually students would stop taking it seriously like how they do with fire drills and THAT would be a tragedy.
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There was one state that used to require fire drills be done TWICE a month in schools.
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cerbpyro
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NC requires (or at least used to require) two fire drills within the first full week of school for K-5 elementary schools. The first of the two would be usually the first or second school day and would be announced and prepared for well in advance. The second drill would usually be on Friday and would not be announced, save maybe a review of the evacuation plan right before.
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DownsLife+Safety
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Simplex 4051 wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:18 am Lockdown drills are a lot more disruptive and take longer than fire drills which is why they aren't done with a lot of frequency. Plus if there was one done once a month, eventually students would stop taking it seriously like how they do with fire drills and THAT would be a tragedy.
Do you think that with the recent stuff that's been going on that they would take it seriously, though?
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Simplex 4051
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I'm not sure. Lots of people have the mentality that stuff like that can't happen to them so they might just think it is a big joke.
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NFPA 101 stipulates once a month for educational facilities, which is what most states end up going with. But, some states adopt that standard with changes, making required drills more frequent depending on the AHJ.

That's the brass tacks of it all, but if you want to know why the standard stipulates that, it's because of tragedies like the Our Lady of the Angels School fire. Unfortunately, changes to the code are often reactive rather than proactive.
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Because most states do.
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In Canada, we do monthly tests (not really called drills), and the purpose is to test your battery life of the system, and to make sure each NAC is working on battery power.
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idontwannaknow
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I think the more drills schools do the more distrust of the fire alarm teenagers have, they'll end up ignoring the signals.
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DownsLife+Safety
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idontwannaknow wrote: Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:38 pm I think the more drills schools do the more distrust of the fire alarm teenagers have, they'll end up ignoring the signals.
I've heard that the point: they'll treat every alarm as a drill, then only find out later it's an actual fire. Not sure if that's true though since that's pretty risky and (like you said) will have a great chance of backfiring.
I'm seeing adults do this which is a sign that we might need to change up how things are done. I might consider pushing for some type of way to make fire drills more meaningful rather than the "evac and come back" approach.
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DownsLife+Safety wrote: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:17 pm I might consider pushing for some type of way to make fire drills more meaningful rather than the "evac and come back" approach.
I think I know of a few ways....
  • Doing Unannounced Fire Drills (Only the first two drills should be announced in advance)
  • Conducting them at varying times of the day (including lunch, assemblies, and class change periods)
  • Blocking exits for practice during some drills, forcing students to take alternative routes
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Gentex SPK4 wrote: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:08 am
DownsLife+Safety wrote: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:17 pm I might consider pushing for some type of way to make fire drills more meaningful rather than the "evac and come back" approach.
I think I know of a few ways....
  • Conducting them at varying times of the day (including lunch...)
IIRC this may be difficult in some states due to laws requiring a specific amount of lunch time.
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Simplex 4051
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That is why they never happen at lunch or during passing periods at least for me over here. If it takes too long to evacuate everybody you would have kids scarfing down their lunch. Its very critical especially at the elementary school level to eat a good lunch. Also if they gave the students that were in lunch during the drill more time it would push everything back and result in less instructional time for teachers.

While it is a good idea in theory, it messes the whole school schedule up. In elementary and middle school for me, the only time there was an alarm during lunch was when someone pulled it. In high school, we joked that the culinary program burned something. :lol:
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idontwannaknow
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Simplex 4051 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:48 pm That is why they never happen at lunch or during passing periods at least for me over here. If it takes too long to evacuate everybody you would have kids scarfing down their lunch. Its very critical especially at the elementary school level to eat a good lunch. Also if they gave the students that were in lunch during the drill more time it would push everything back and result in less instructional time for teachers.

While it is a good idea in theory, it messes the whole school schedule up. In elementary and middle school for me, the only time there was an alarm during lunch was when someone pulled it. In high school, we joked that the culinary program burned something. :lol:
fire alarms do occur during my high school lunch hours (4th through 6th period) but similarly not in the form of drills
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