Critical Issues In School Emergency Preparedness As Highlighted From Buruburu Girls Fire Incident.
The fire incident that occurred on Sunday evening in Buruburu Girls has highlighted some critical gaps in school emergency preparedness. Several issues have been disclosed on school preparedness to deal with emergencies.
After serious scrutiny on the safety standards of the students in government schools, it was discovered that the school dormitories have exit doors in case there’s an emergency. However, these doors are often locked and the keys are kept far away.
In the Buruburu Girls Fire Incident, the emergency exit doors were not used because they were locked and the keys were kept by one of the administrators who were not in school at that time. Lucky for them the windows did not have grills hence the girls escaped through the windows.
For any school, the keys to the emergency exit doors should be kept next to the exit door so that anyone can reach the keys and open the door in case there is an emergency.
In the year 2008, the Safety Standard Manual for schools was published by Claire Omolo task force. The Safety Standard Manual demands that the keys for emergency exit be kept by dormitory patrons or dormitory secretaries.
The manual also stated that the beds should be arranged properly in the dormitories to allow enough space for easy manoeuvre and escape in case there is an emergency.
The task force found that some institutions had narrow doors and windows which does not allow easy movement in and out of the dormitories thus compromising the learner’s safety in case of an emergency.
The task force team also discovered that in some schools the dormitories are locked from outside to prevent the learners from sneaking out of school at night. This is a critical gap that may prove fatal in case of an emergency.
Congestion in the dormitories is another factor that is critical in emergency cases. In some schools, learners share beds or are sleeping on triple-decker beds to accommodate a large number within a small space. For safety reasons, this should be discouraged.
Students target the dormitories when protesting because they are the most valuable assets in schools.