Image Map

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fire Drills - Safety is Free!

Discovery Education's Clip Art Gallery created
by Mark A. Hicks, illustrator.
Went shopping today at a local mall with my daughter and her friend.  We were in the mall for about two hours when all of a sudden a loud, blaring alarm was ringing out!  I looked around and the shoppers and store workers were nonplussed.  Clearly, it was a fire alarm and no one seemed the least bit bothered by it as they continued to go about their business.        

Since my daughter and her friend were in another part of the mall I texted them and told them to leave the mall immediately.  "Already leaving" was what I got in return. (Most likely because they had practiced what to do at school.) Outside the mall, as I waited for the girls, I noticed there were only a handful of shoppers who also left the building.

In the distance sirens blared as fire engines were making their way into the parking lot.  Still hardly anyone had exited the mall.   I wondered WHY.  Did they think it was just a 'false alarm'? Was it inconvenient? Why would they put their family and themselves at risk?

(Although the video below happened at a Walmart in Maryland it depicts a similar reaction to the event that happened today in our mall. Please note that people react is if nothing out of the ordinary is happening.)

Keeping our students safe is of an utmost priority. At school we practice Fire Drills, Bus Evacuations and Lockdown drills several times throughout the year.  Children learn how to proceed calmly and act appropriately in these emergency situations.  The practices are taken very seriously by administration, students and staff.  We know that students feel safer when they are prepared.

It is also a good idea for children and their families to practice fire drills at home.  Having an escape plan and meeting place are important and reassuring for children.  Below are some resources that may help.
Created using DoodleBuddy

RESOURCES:   How to Be Prepared (for teachers)  What to Do in a Fire (for kids & parents)  Fire Safety for Kids (for kids with coloring pages; activities)
Scholastic: Sparky the Fire Dog Comic Book (children can make comic strip to help practice fire safety skills) Family Stuff (for kids & families - create a home fire escape plan; coloring pages) Fire Safety Resources (a list of sites for teachers, families & kids)

Please take fire alarms seriously.  Although they may be a nuisance,  leaving the building may just save your life....After all....SAFETY IS FREE! 


  1. My daughter and I were at the Mall on Sunday, and the same thing happened - store employees said 'it happens all the time', employees and shoppers completely ignored it, except to complain about the noise, saying 'when are they going to shut it off'. Very strange reaction, particularly for us, since we are very accustomed to practicing drills as well.

  2. Hi Ann,
    I told my daughter your story and she said "well that's wrong, what happens when it's the real thing; they won't believe it". I found the reactions most interesting too. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Practice makes perfect, and it also saves lives! I guess, learning really starts at home, and it’s still the parent’s obligation to instill awareness in their children about fire prevention and safety tips.

  5. I remember when I was a young child in school we would have fire or earthquake drills to ensure that when an accident happened we would know what we need to do to protect ourselves. I overlooked their importance at the time, but now I realize how important educating children on safety is. When that situation happens, children will act accordingly if they have been prepared in advance.


I welcome your comments and ideas!!

Directions for posting:

1) Choose "Choose an Identity " first. If you don't have a Google/Blogger account, you can choose Name/URL and type in your name, then place the web site that best describes you in the URL (i.e. If you do not have a URL you can leave that blank. You can also choose "Anonymous" which will leave the comment but not your name.

2) Feel free to "Preview" your comment to see what it will look like when posted.

3) Select "Post Comment" when you're ready. (Sometimes this might need to be done more than once.)

4) NOTE: Before posting a comment I will copy it, in the event there is a problem, that way I haven't lost my comment and can try to post it again.

5) Thank you Tracy Watanabe for these directions to post!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.