Posted on May 12, 2016
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Fire Protection Tips for Schools in Houston
If you’re a principal, manager or administrator in one of Houston’s 18 school districts, you have a responsibility to safeguard the lives of the children, teachers and staff in each school building. By understanding common fire hazards and how to protect your building against them, you can decrease the chance of lost life or costly property damage.
Fire Risks in Houston Schools
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that an average of 5,690 school fires break out across the country each year. About 85 civilians are injured in these fires annually, and property damage averages $92 million.
Nearly three-quarters of educational property fires (4,060 per year) occur in preschool through high school buildings. Within this category of school building fires, 50 percent are started intentionally. Two other leading causes of fire include malfunctioning cooking equipment and accidents stemming from playing with fire.
Create a Fire Safety Plan for Your Houston School
Here’s what your fires safety plan should entail:
Install Fire Protection Equipment
- Fire suppression systems save lives and limit property damage. The NFPA states that only 36 percent of schools that suffered fire damage between 2007 and 2011 had automatic suppression systems, 87 percent of which operated normally to extinguish the fire with limited loss of life and property.
- Fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers can often put out a blaze before the fire department arrives.
- Fire alarm systems featuring smoke detectors, pull stations, strobe lights, sirens and other elements alert building occupants of danger so they can evacuate to safety.
Maintain Your Fire Protection Equipment
Regularly inspecting and testing fire protection equipment ensures each component works when you need it to. Most likely, the 13 percent of suppression systems that failed to operate in school building fires between 2007 and 2011 were not maintained properly.
Establish an Evacuation Plan
Make sure all teachers and staff are aware of the building’s evacuation plan, which should include the following steps in case of fire:
- Activate the nearest pull station to sound the alarm.
- Call the fire department and detail the fire’s exact location. (If your system is monitored, the fire department will dispatch automatically and you can skip this step.)
- If the fire is small, attempt to douse it with the nearest extinguisher.
- If the blaze is already spreading rapidly, don’t attempt to extinguish it. Instead, leave the room and close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Evacuate the building and let the sprinklers, suppression system and fire department do their job.
Follow Other Important Fire Safety Tips
When it comes to protecting the lives of your teachers and students, you can never be too careful. Follow these additional tips to improve fire safety:
- Make sure all teachers and staff are familiar with where fire extinguishers and alarms are located. If a newly hired teacher or staff member doesn’t know how to use a fire extinguisher or trigger an alarm, seek training from Kauffman Co.
- Ask your teachers to regularly assess exit routes, doorways and stairwells to ensure none are obstructed.
- Hang a clearly labeled evacuation route map in each classroom and stairwell.
- Have each teacher account for his or her students during fire drills and real fires with an attendance sheet.
Take a proactive approach and prevent Houston school fires by working with a fire protection company like Kauffman Co. We offer everything you need to safeguard your students and teachers, from fire protection equipment installation and inspections to fire extinguisher training. For more fire safety tips, or to schedule fire protection services, please contact Kauffman Co. online or call us at 713-893-1090.
We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:
- Deer Park
- Galena Park
- Jacinto City
- La Marque
- La Porte
- Lake Charles, LA
- Lake Jackson
- League City
- Missouri City
- Port Arthur
- San Antonio
- South Houston
- Sugar Land
- Texas City
- The Woodlands
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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