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Preventing Tragedy

The Success of Stop, Drop, and Roll in Saving Lives in School Fires


Stop Drop and Roll is a simple phrase that has been drilled into the minds of children for over 68 years. It is a lifesaving technique that has been taught to generations of students and has played a crucial role in eliminating deaths in school fires.

The story of how Stop Drop and Roll came to be is rooted in the tragic events of the past. In the early 1950s, school fires were all too common and resulted in the deaths of many innocent children. The devastation caused by these fires prompted officials to take action and create a comprehensive strategy to prevent such tragedies from happening again.


The strategy put forth was a national policy aimed at making schools safer by enforcing a defined “fire code.” Buildings were inspected against this code before the fire department even got involved. Alarms were installed, water systems were upgraded, signs were posted, fire drills were conducted, and training was provided to students and staff. The program also included the appointment of fire marshals, the hiring of more inspectors, visits from on-duty firefighters, and hydrant checks.

The community was also involved in the effort, with local fire departments educating parents and community members on fire safety. This comprehensive approach helped to create a culture of fire safety and preparedness in schools.


The results of this strategy were astounding. School fires were reduced, and the number of deaths caused by them dropped dramatically. The success of Stop Drop and Roll and the comprehensive fire prevention strategy in America is a testament to the power of prevention.

But, as we have seen in recent years, school shootings have become a growing concern. It’s time to take the same strategy that has been successful in preventing deaths by fire and apply it to preventing deaths by violence. By leveraging the power of prevention, we can save more children from harm and ensure that our schools are safe for all students.

Stop Drop and Roll is a reminder of the importance of prevention and the power of a simple phrase to save lives. It’s time to take this strategy and use it to protect our children from the growing threat of violence in schools.

Discover the New National Standard adopted by the US Government- ASPP’s P.R.O. Model. Proactive measures you can take to prevent a tragedy before it happens.