Policies, Regulations Forms and Bylaws

4110-12 | Emergency Preparedness - Fire Prevention

Date Approved: March 13 2012
Date Reviewed/Amended: November 16 2015

A.   Good Housekeeping

  1. Good housekeeping must be practised at all times.
  2. No accumulation of refuse will be allowed in the hallways or stairwells.
  3. Covered metal refuse cans will be used to hold cleaning rags and waxing rags.


B.  Routes of Egress

  1. All exit doors will work freely and no exits will be blocked.
  2. Miscellaneous materials, supplies or equipment must not be stored in corridors, electrical rooms or boiler rooms.
  3. Subject to subsection 2.4 below, no decorations will be placed in corridors, stairways or routes of egress unless they are flame proof.
  4. Student work displays will not be considered as decorations; however, because of their flammability, they will only be displayed on tackboards which will meet the required flame spread rating for wall finishing materials in corridors in compliance with the National Building Code of Canada.
  5. Combustible materials such as instructional aids, notices and pupil work may be attached to walls or ceilings in classrooms subject to the following limits:
    • Combustible materials will not cover more than 20% of the area of such walls or ceilings;
    • Combustible materials will not be placed closer than 1000 MM to a doorway; and 
    • The intent of the regulation is to limit exposed combustible material to 20% of each individual surface.


C.  Assembly Areas (e.g. halls, gyms, theatres, multi-purpose rooms)

  1. All decorations, hangings, and curtains used in any assembly area will either be of a non-inflammable material or will be flame-proofed. 
  2. No decorations, hangings, or curtains will be installed in such a manner that a space for litter may be formed. 
  3. All decorative materials will be kept not less than six (6) feet above the floor.
  4. All stages and stage settings in halls (gymnasiums/activity rooms) will be of a kind and type CSA approved and no material will be used in any stage setting unless it is non-combustible or unless it has been treated to render it flame proof.


D.  Christmas Decorations

  1. The use of real Christmas trees in schools will be kept to a minimum. 
    • Principals and teachers are earnestly requested to consider whether the risks involved in bringing such finely divided, highly combustible material into the schools is worthwhile.
    • Real Christmas trees will be brought into the school as short a time before the last day of school as possible.  They will be removed on the last day of school and stored in the school yard at a safe distance from the school. 
    • If trees are used, they must not be stored in stairwells or on stages or in similar hazardous positions, but must be set up in their final position immediately.
    • The base of the trees will be in a container of water.  Trees will be well supported, away from sources of heat and so placed that, standing or fallen, they cannot block exits.
    • Only LED lights will be placed on the trees.
    • Classroom trees must not exceed four feet in height.


     2.  Paper decorations will be kept to a minimum.  They must not be permitted in hallways and, where hung in classrooms, must be kept at least six feet from the floor.  Decorations must be either of a non-inflammable material or suitably flame proofed.


E.  Building Plans

  1. A site and floor plan will be prepared for each building.  These plans will be posted throughout the building, and a copy will be provided to each employee and the Fire Chief.  Updated plans, including any structural changes or additions, will be posted and distributed.  The site and floor plans will show:
  • all fire emergency pull stations
  • all firefighting equipment
  • the fire alarm panel
  • mechanical, electrical and furnace/boiler room(s)
  • locations where hazardous materials are stored
  • fire evacuation routes to outside and assembly area
  • fire department connection to building sprinkler system
  • fire hydrant(s) located on or near school
  • location of gas and power shut offs.


F.  Classroom Considerations for Evacuation

  1. A teacher may appoint one or more pupils from the class to act as monitors in the event of a fire.  These monitors will check to ensure that no children remain in the classroom or cloakroom or any part thereof.  Upon completion of this check, the monitors will report to the teacher and then take their places with the rest of the class.
  2. If time permits, it is permissible to allow students to take weather-appropriate clothing immediately accessible to them when evacuating;
  3. A student with special needs, who cannot move along the halls at the same pace as their classmates, will be allowed to follow their class at their own, best rate of speed with the assistance of a teacher or education assistant.
  4. If it is determined the safest place for a student with special needs is in the classroom or at a refuge area, the Principal (or person in charge) will be immediately notified of the student’s identity and location so emergency rescue personnel can remove the student safely.


G.  Other

  1. No smoking will be allowed in or on school district property at any time.
  2. All drapes and curtains in a school building will be flame proofed.
  3. Boilers and furnaces will be serviced at least twice a year and the venting system will be kept in good order at all times.
  4. Electrical wiring will be regularly maintained and only a qualified electrician will be allowed to extend circuits.
  5. Storage of gasoline
    • In areas specifically provided for mechanical training not more than 5 gallons of gasoline will be stored and all gasoline must be contained in a clearly labelled and approved safety can in accordance with WHMIS regulations.
    • No gasoline-powered machinery having gasoline in its fuel tank will be stored in the building over night when the area is not supervised.


H.  Fire Equipment

  1. Fire Alarms
    • All schools will be protected by alarm systems as specified by the Secretary-Treasurer and approved by the insurance company and the Fire Chief.
    • If the trouble light indicates a defect the Principal will immediately notify the Director of Operations.
  2. Fire Extinguishers
    • Extinguishers of a suitable type will be located in positions as approved by the Fire Chief on shelves or hooks with a red background.
    • These extinguishers will be kept in their proper places and will not be used for any purpose other than firefighting.
    • If a fire extinguisher is used, the Principal will inform the Director of Operations.  The Director of Operations will ensure that the fire extinguisher is recharged or replaced, as necessary.
    • Staff members, including all custodians, will be trained in the use of fire extinguishing equipment.
  3. Sprinklers
    ​The Director of Operations is responsible to ensure that:
    • The alarm system is checked regularly by the Maintenance Department after school hours by arrangement with the Fire Department and a written record of these tests will be kept on a card at the panel.
    • Fire alarm systems will be serviced annually.
    • Fire sprinkler systems will be serviced annually.
    • All fire extinguishers will be checked annually and serviced as necessary.

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