Firedrill with SIMS
We have just started using SIMS for registration in the classrooms, and one of the issues is how we now do the firedrills.
How do other people get around this?? Do you print off paper registers? Capita have suggested that we buy a laptop and copy the server stuff onto it - what is the practicality of this???
Any other ideas, or anyone with experience of these solutions?
Paper Register are printed off here.
the way we do this is stupid and involves access and a lot of faff! our prob is we need to know what teachers are here and not the VI, reception do the fire lists in the morning. if you want i can find out how they do it for you?
Always a massive massive issue, search for other threads regarding the subject.
Everyone always has their own way of doing it.
Many people rely on technology and taking out laptops, PDAs, etc. however i don't think you should rely on that even if it stores an offline copy of data.
We print out a register list each morning, that can be taken out and also along with it the signing in book for kids that are late. Somehow that is workable, though in practise the time the list is printed is critical and often the secretary waits until all registers are in before doing it.
Next year, i am going to force the printing to be early, as we start using lesson monitor and will crack down more on registers being late.
At another school, we printed register lists out and laminated them before hand, a couple of weeks in to term once groups aren't changing much. also had backup paper copies as and when changes were made. The student receptionist / took these out with felt pens so they could be reused.
There are a few things to think about:
At the end of the day we go on the assumption that when there is a real fire, the response team, be they Senior leaders, maintenance team and finally the fire brigade go to the area and evacuate, and make it safe or make sure it's clear, this is the best check to ensure no-one is left in a burning/dangerous area (it doesn't just have to be fires).
- if you do the drill register in reg groups, then there's a lot of kids moving around if you are a secondary school, which i don't like. but the teacher should spot missing kids more easily.
- kids that arrive late and mull around the corridors or don't sign in can be missed.
- kids dossing in the loos or who haven't made it to lessons can be missed.
- at lunch times, you need to be sure anyone that is allowed offsite is noted, but also that they make come back at any time!
We assume that all students are in, and chase anyone that is missing, quite often a student may not be registered, but turns up late, dallies in the corridor or whatever. Also, we know that many teachers don't mark registers properly! So have to assume anyone not present could potentially be or have come on site, so the safest thing is to make sure the place is evacuated and secure.
If you have a policy that takes this into account and senior managers know, that's the best you can do. I don't think it really matters which system you are using, whether it's SIMS, Bromcom, PARS etc. They all have their own way of dealing with fire drills, but data accuracy and age is always the critical factor.
With the above in mind, i've always thought, that it would be better for the the students to register with the class they are supposed to be with, and only go to registration groups if the alarms go off at lunch or break times. The most recent teacher should be the person best placed to know who is in or not, and a quick head count on arrival to the class should be sufficient for them to let someone know they had someone missing. Again, they should do the register quickly at the start of every lesson, and they don't always. You still get the issue of students that haven't made it to class or were held up by the last teacher.
Bottom Line: Get everyone out, stay out. Don't rely on technology.
I agree with vikpaw. Do not rely on technology. It might be that technology which is causing the fire!
The way I see it, there are two main issues. You have to check that the building is empty, and you have to check that everyone is safe. These are not the same thing.
The only reliable way to check the building is empty is to sweep the building and report in. The only way to check everyone is safe is to take registers.
A child could be out of the building (confirmed by sweeping) but might be down the road in the newsagent buying sweets (or cigarettes?) and might not be safe.
We use lesson monitor and print the registers at the earliest possible moment, and rely on the signing in book. However I don't think that quite covers it to be honest.
 Just checked with one of our site guys. We do sweep as well as register. As I'm not involved I didn't know anything about it. I have been refered to our 32 page fire plan.
Check out the threads on SupportNet. This is a very popular subject and keeps cropping up at regular intervals.
Sorry this isn't the SIMS answer, but in Serco we hit the Fire Drill button every morning and it prints off and its kept in a file on Reception so when the receptionist leaves she picks that folder up, along with the visitors book and the student signing in / out book and walks to the assembly point and then the Manglement take over from that point :)
A school down the road has a pretty good system.
Everyday the entire contents of Sims automatically get dumped onto a laptop. In the event of the fire alarm sounding they take it with them. That way should the school burn down they have an entire copy of all the records and the information they should need stored locally on the laptop.That way they can access all the information they need in an instant.
Its not a backup in anyway just a system where they can access the appropriate information right away in the event of an emergency.
There's a few issues with fire registers.
1. Not all schools do lesson by lesson registering using something like Lesson Monitor. We don't, we do morning and afternoon registering.
2. If you are trying to be an eco-school, setting up a system whereby you have to print off 35 sheets of paper every morning and lunchtime is not going to help.
3. It has been said by some on this site that registering children isn't actually necessary according to their fire departments, as the school has to be checked by the fire brigade anyway.
4. Setting up a reliable 'dump' of the reports on to a laptop or similar device sounds like it would be perfectly acceptable. If the fire was in the room where the laptop is, then it is likely that any paper printed version of the registers would have been also. There is no solution that is 100% fool proof.
Originally Posted by FN-GM
The laptop could be dropped due to panic in a real emergency. At least paper records can be picked up again, and they are still going to work. I can see the environmental advantage to this solution though.
Because of the complicated nature of the organisations we work in. I'm not sure there is one clear answer to this issue.
It could be raining outside too - which wouldn't be good with a laptop. Or paper, as it'd get all soggy. If it were windy, the pages can get blown away...
Originally Posted by terrorvis
So, no solution is 100% perfect.
Use one of these then :D
Originally Posted by terrorvis
Products - Toughbook - Toughbook Experience - UK & Ireland
I bet the first time they got asked that they thought "crap, we didn't think of that!"
Originally Posted by button_ripple
I wish I could decapita our network.
Fire drills are a perpetual issue and something we have thought a lot about.
Any system can fail. A printout may be half complete when the fire alarm sounds. A computer screen is virtually unreadable in the sun and not take kindly to heavy rain. The fire could be in the server room etc. Traditional registers are just as vunerable - they may not have got to the office.
Fortunately, the fire brigade will completely ignore any information that a school provides and sweep the buildings - what ever you say. (Several schools have asked).
Are Capita looking into a 'Fire drill' button - something nice and big and on the home page for certain user groups (apologies if one already exists)? I know our reception have to print out entire sets every day and anything that speeds this along would be great.