According to statistics and the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, it is found that the number of fire cases involving schools has greatly increased. Among the many causes of school fires include short circuits and acts of vandalism by students. Therefore, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has advised all schools to be proactive and take precautionary steps to prevent fires from occurring. Among the preventive measures stipulated by the MoE include:
- carry out regular and intensive checkups on all electrical wirings in the school building;
- ensure all fire protection systems and devices such as fire hydrants, fire extinguishers and firefighting tools are always in good and usable condition;
- organize firefighting exhibition and talks;
- carry out school fire drills that involve all students, teachers and staff;
- conduct firefighting demonstrations using proper firefighting tools;
- organize a ‘Fire Prevention Day’ (or Week) in school;
- prepare a fire evacuation plan;
- appoint a Fire Drill Committee; and
- taking other appropriate measures such as organising educational trips to a fire station, etc.
Earlier this year, R.E.A.L Schools National, Cheras Campus held a fire drill in collaboration with the Kajang Fire and Rescue Department. The purpose of the drill was to create awareness and inculcate knowledge on what to do in the event of a fire. Although some might regard fire drills as a waste of time, the importance of knowing proper emergency steps cannot be underestimated or taken lightly. Panic and chaos during a school fire can be catastrophic, especially if one lacks the necessary knowledge on how to react in such emergencies.
At the start of the fire drill, the alarm bell went off which signaled to all students and staff to evacuate the school building in an orderly fashion and gather at a designated assembly point for teachers to do a quick headcount. Once the firefighters arrived, they gave a thorough demonstration on how to rescue a trapped ‘victim’. They then briefed everyone on the different types of fire extinguishers. This was followed by another demonstration on how to put out a fire in which students and teachers were invited to participate.
R.E.A.L Schools conducts fire drills at least once a year, with each time offering an authentic learning experience to students, teachers and staff alike. Such hands-on activities are synonymous with R.E.A.L Schools’ continuous effort in equipping students with lifelong skills and practical knowledge.