Back to school: Is your evacuation training up to date?


As the start of the new school year draws closer, it’s time to consider how you’ll be keeping your students safe in the year ahead. When was the last time you carried out an evacuation training session with your staff members?

Every educational building must have a specific evacuation plan. It is important that your staff have been informed of this and have been provided with any necessary training or inductions that may be required to effectively follow your plans.

In some cases, just having an evacuation plan for your whole building is not enough. If you work with children with learning disabilities or learning impairments, you also need PEEPs (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans). These are specific to each end user who may require additional assistance in an evacuation.

Evacuation equipment training can ensure your staff can meet their above requirements in a safe and controlled way. Training certificates are valid for two years and will need to be refreshed after this point. Are your training certificates still valid? Have your manual evacuation chairs been serviced in the past 12 months to comply with PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998)? Maybe the staff who undertook the training previously are no longer located on the premises. Have you set a plan for internal practices?

Why is evacuation training important?

Evacuation training can help improve communication and best practice in several ways:

Standardised procedures: During evacuation training, standardised protocols and procedures are established and taught to all participants. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands the specific actions to take during an emergency.

Role clarity: Evacuation training assigns specific roles and responsibilities to individuals involved in the evacuation process. By clearly defining these roles, everyone knows who they are working with and where to seek guidance, reducing confusion and ensuring efficient communication flow.

Establishing communication channels: Evacuation training emphasises the importance of establishing and maintaining open communication channels. This includes designating primary and alternative methods of communication, such as public address systems, two-way radios, or designated meeting points. Participants are taught how to combine these practices with the use of their evacuation equipment.

Practise and coordination: Through regular evacuation drills and exercises, participants can practise their communication skills in simulated emergency scenarios. This practice helps individuals become familiar with the procedures, enhances coordination between different parties involved, and identifies any potential communication gaps or issues that need to be addressed.

Information dissemination: Evacuation training teaches timely and accurate dissemination of information during an emergency. Participants learn how to effectively share critical information, such as evacuation routes, assembly points, or any hazards to be aware of, with the relevant individuals or groups. This ensures that everyone receives important updates promptly, enabling a coordinated response.

By carrying out regular evacuation training, overall communication effectiveness is enhanced – leading to a smoother and safer evacuation process if it is required.

Our top picks: Evacuation equipment for schools

The equipment we recommend for schools tends to vary, as the ages and requirements of students are so diverse. However, these are a few of our favourite evacuation products for schools:

S-CAPEPLUS Youth Mat – built with children in mind. This versatile evacuation mattress has a lower safe working limit, but still provides the same support as the standard model.

Ego Evacuation Chair – a simple but effective option, with a fully supported seat to suit children of all shapes and sizes.

Stryker Evacuation Chair – this premium evacuation chair features an ergonomic square seat, making transfers from wheelchairs very easy. The full body harness provides additional support.

How can Evacu8 help with your evacuation training?

We specialise in hands-on, practical evacuation training that is specific to your site and the needs of your end users. With a range of training sessions to choose from, we can help you and your staff feel confident in your knowledge of procedures if an emergency does occur. You will be provided with a certificate that lasts for two years. See details of our training sessions here.