Fire and lockdown drills save lives

Whether encouraged or forced by law, it is crucial for schools to perform more drills in the interest of preventing deaths and injuries. 

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Flickr CC: Michael Lukas

Even if fire drills aren’t necessary, more practice makes perfect.

Fire and lockdown drills prepare individuals for an emergency so that their safety is assured. They do more than educate people for fire-related emergencies; knowing the exits and evacuation routes of a building is crucial for all types of emergencies like power outages, floods, toxic gas releases, and chemical spills. With more school-related emergencies happening, however, it is necessary for more drills to be performed so that everyone is better prepared for emergencies.

The School Fire Drill Instructions and Record – Minnesota and MPRNEWS require every school in Minnesota to perform at least five fire drills and five lockdown drills every year. But, schools should do more than the bare minimum because when emergencies occur today, there are still often casualties. 

If schools increase the number of fire drills, more people will get to safety quicker, saving lives and preventing harm.”

A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which at least 4 people are shot, without counting the shooter. According to CBS News, in the US, the number of days in 2019 was outnumbered by the number of mass shootings that year, 417 to 365. More lockdown drills could prevent the deaths of many people and decrease the number of mass school shootings by preparing people to take quick action in the case of a crisis.

Fires in schools also happen frequently across the US. The National Fire Protection Association says that over the course of 4 years, the yearly average of school fires was 3,320, resulting in $42 million in property damage, 42 civilian injuries, and one civilian death per year. If schools continue to practice fire drills as minimally as they currently are, these numbers will likely not change. However, if schools increase the number of fire drills, more people will get to safety quicker, saving lives and preventing harm.

One way to ensure that schools perform more drills is to increase the number of required drills per year in Minnesota. In Kansas, the required number of drills has increased to 16 each year according to The Joplin Globe. According to KSHB, Kansas has had an average of less than 13 school shootings and only 50 school fires per year. It’s no coincidence that schools in Kansas have more drills than any state and also fewer casualties and emergencies in their schools than any state. If the requirements for drills for schools in Minnesota go above 5 times a year, the emergencies and casualties will go down, just as they have in Kansas. 

If the requirements for drills for schools in Minnesota go above 5 times a year, the emergencies and casualties will go down.”

Even if schools are getting enough practice, and their number of casualties and emergencies is low, they should still be performing these drills more often, because then everyone will be even safer. Even if they aren’t necessary, more practice makes perfect. The more that people practice, the easier and more efficient the process will be in the event of an emergency. 

More performance of drills in schools save lives and familiarize people with evacuation routes so that there are minimal casualties. Whether encouraged or forced by law, it is crucial for schools to perform more drills in the interest of preventing deaths and injuries. 

Flickr Creative Commons image can be viewed at Michael Lukas.