School Safety Drills & Procedures

School safety drills and procedures

Creating a secure and nurturing learning environment is a top priority for educators. One crucial aspect of ensuring student safety is preparedness for unexpected situations through well-planned safety drills and procedures. This blog post will discuss the significance of safety drills and provide valuable resources to help you effectively implement these drills in your classroom.

The Importance of Safety Drills

As I considered what to cover during the first few days of school, I realized that I never teach safety drills the same way. I just go over it, we practice it, and BOOM!! Done! 

It’s important to be intentional in teaching safety drills.  Several years ago, my school was hit by a tornado, and I’m so glad to say it was early in the morning before anyone had arrived on campus. I knew then that I wanted a set of plans that I could return to again and again.

Safety drills are routine exercises that prepare students and staff to respond effectively during emergencies. These drills familiarize everyone with the appropriate procedures, enabling a quicker and more organized response. Practicing safety drills regularly instills a sense of preparedness and empowers students to stay calm and make informed decisions during stressful situations.

Fire Drills: Preparing for Emergency Evacuation

Fire drills are crucial for ensuring a swift and orderly evacuation during a fire. Teach your students to exit the classroom calmly, identify emergency exits, and follow designated escape routes. Emphasize the importance of not re-entering the building until permitted by trusted authorities. Use visual aids and interactive activities to engage students and reinforce these life-saving procedures.

Fire Safety Drill

Tornado Drills: Taking Cover and Staying Safe

Tornado drills are essential in regions prone to severe weather. Teach students how to take cover quickly and safely, such as moving to a designated shelter area or an interior room away from windows. Encourage them to cover their heads and necks and remain in their safe locations until the all-clear signal is given. Make the drill interactive by discussing tornado safety tips and demonstrating the appropriate actions.

Tornado drill at school

Lockdown Drills: Securing the Classroom

Lockdown drills prepare students for potential threats within or near the school premises. Teach them to lock doors, turn off lights, and remain quiet and hidden. Emphasize the importance of following instructions from the teacher or other authorized personnel during a lockdown. Create a supportive atmosphere by discussing the purpose of these drills and addressing students’ concerns. Alternate names for this drill may include shelter-in-place, intruder drill, etc. 

Lockdown drill, shelter in place drill, safery drill, intruder drill

Earthquake Drills: Reacting to Ground Shaking

In earthquake-prone areas, earthquake drills are vital for teaching students how to respond during tremors. Teach them to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” finding a safe spot under a desk or table until the shaking stops. Emphasize the importance of staying away from windows, heavy furniture, and objects that could pose a threat. Use visual aids, simulations, or videos to demonstrate proper earthquake safety techniques.

Prioritizing student safety is paramount in our role as educators. We can create a secure learning environment that prepares students for potential emergencies by conducting regular safety drills and establishing clear procedures. 

Earthquake drill

If you are looking for a way to introduce school safety drills intentionally but aren’t sure where to start, I have the resource just for you! 

This pack covers fire drills, tornado drills, lockdown drills and earthquake drills. Each drill has a read aloud that can be printed and bound, and it is also in PowerPoint form, so that it can be projected on an interactive whiteboard. 

Fire Drill social story

The included printables are also a great way for students to continue the conversation at home. I know that each school nationwide uses different terms for a lockdown drill. This resource also contains options for lockdown, safety drill, or shelter-in-place drill.

Fire drill reader


Grab this resource to prepare your students for emergencies that may arise at school.

This valuable resource offers step-by-step instructions, visual aids, and engaging activities to help you deliver effective safety drills and ensure the well-being of your students. Together, let’s create a safe and supportive learning environment for all!

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