Our fire alarm kept going off. Each time it happened, we followed our emergency procedure, got out safely and Caitriona and Seamus Conboy, principal of Scoil Niamh CNS, inspected the building and could find no fire. Each time, we reset the alarm and called the company that takes care of our fire system, asking them to come and check it.
After the third alarm, we thought we smelled smoke and so we evacuated again and called 112, requesting the fire service.
Three fire brigades came to the school. The children were very safe, sitting in their designated collection points and waiting. The fire fighters assessed our building and decided that the alarm had indeed been going off because of a faulty sensor and that the smell of smoke had been caused by the use of a specialised, heavy-machinery saw being used in the building work. They declared the building safe and left the premises. Our fire system maintenance company came to the school within hours and fixed the fault.
We are satisfied that we did the right thing. What is most important to us is keeping every child and staff member safe at our school.
Thankfully, we had been practicing our fire drills and everyone knew exactly what to do.
Caitriona and the teachers noticed that we were a bit noisy, however, and think we could get out quicker if we were more focussed and so we are putting a lot of work this week into getting it just right.
It would be a tremendous help if parents and guardians could chat with their children about why its important to leave everything behind, to listen to the teacher extra carefully during an evacuation and to be quiet until the teachers have checked that everyone is safely out of the building!
We also recommend that you prepare an evacuation plan for your home and that your children are clear on what they should do in the event of a fire in the home.
Finally, this experience brought home to us how important the car park rules are. It is vitally important that our children can quickly and easily get to and stay in their allocated emergency collection points and it is vitally important that emergency services can access the site and get to the building as soon as possible. Please DO NOT drive into the staff car park, without gaining prior permission and instruction from Caitriona. And if you know anyone who uses our gate as a drop-off point for the LUAS, tell them to stop. There should be NO cars stopped at either Entrance gate or Exit gate.