The following is a list of fire
drill regulations for schools in the United States
According to section 36-19-10 of the Code of Alabama, the Fire
Marshal or his deputies are to require schools to conduct one fire
drill per month. Additionally, the statute requires that doors open
outward, and be unlocked during school hours.
In Arizona, the Arizona School Emergency Response Plan Minimum
Requirements Checklist states that schools must conduct two each of
evacuation, reverse evacuation, and lockdown drills each year, and
that one fire drill per year may count towards this
12-13-109 of the Arkansas Code
stipulates that the State Police
require schools to conduct one fire drill per month, and to keep
all exits unlocked during school hours.
California, elementary and middle schools must conduct monthly
High schools must have two fire drills per
Connecticut schools, one fire drill must be conducted each
month school is in session.
Chapter 170 Section 10-231
(2000) allows crisis response drills to be substituted for the
mandated monthly fire drill once every three months.
District of Columbia
D.C. schools are required to conduct two fire drills
during the first two weeks of school, and one per month thereafter,
for a total of ten drills for the year.
For the first drill
of the year, it must be preannounced, with emphasis placed on
procedure rather than evacuation speed. Drills should be conducted
at different times during the day, and under different conditions,
with the intention of avoiding making a distinction between a drill
and an actual emergency.
In addition, the District requires that one fire drill be conducted
in the spring and fall for adult education programs, and one drill
during the first week of summer school or special programmed
According to Florida's State Requirements for Educational
Facilities, a minimum of ten fire drills must be conducted per
academic year, with two occurring during the first two weeks of the
Georgia schools, one fire drill must be conducted each
month that school is in session.
Two drills are required in
some counties during the month of August. The Georgia State Fire
Code also permits schools to substitute a severe weather drill for
its required monthly fire drill during the months of February and
Fire drills in middle, intermediate, and high schools must be
conducted at least quarterly when schools are in session.
At least three fire drills must be conducted per year. One of these
drills requires fire department supervision. In addition there also
must be one bus evacuation and one tornado
conducted as well.
Louisiana schools, at least two fire drills must be conducted
within the first two weeks of an academic year.
eight drills must be conducted by the end of the academic year, one
of which must be supervised by a member of the fire
primary, elementary, and secondary schools in Maine are required
to conduct two fire drills during the first two weeks of an
Schools that contain grades K-4 are required
to hold an additional eight fire drills during the year. Schools
housing grades 5-8 are required to conduct an additional six fire
drills, and schools housing grades 9-12 are required to hold an
additional four fire drills. Schools containing any combinations of
these grade levels must hold the additional number of fire drills
required of the lowest grade level within the school.
Maryland state law mandates that the state superintendent of
schools require county school superintendents to hold ten fire
drills per year in public schools, and at least one fire drill
every sixty days.
County, Maryland requires that ten drills be held during the school
year, with two during the first thirty days of school, and one per
If schools are occupied during the summer,
three fire drills are required. In order to avoid making the
distinction between a fire drill and an actual fire, drills should
be conducted at random intervals, including during class changes,
Massachusetts schools, all students must be advised of fire
evacuation procedures or participate in a fire drill within the
first three days of school.
Additionally, the head of the
fire department or their designee is required to visit schools four
times per year to conduct fire drills and ensure that building
personnel are knowledgeable in their responsibilities in the event
of a fire. Fire drills conducted by the fire department are
conducted without advance warning.
29.19 of Act 207 of 1941 of the Michigan Compiled Laws mandates that the state fire marshal
or the chief of the fire department or a fire fighter in uniform
acting under orders and directions of the fire chief may cause fire
drills to be held in school houses, school dormitories, and other
public buildings as the state fire marshal considers
All schools serving kindergarten through 12th
grade must conduct six fire drills throughout the school year (four
in the autumn season; two in the remainder of the year).
to Minnesota States 299F.30, all public and private schools and
other educational institutions in Minnesota must have at least five fire drills per
The school must keep records of the date of each drill
and the time required to evacuate the building, and these records
must be available for inspection by the state fire marshal
. All doors and exits in the
building must be kept unlocked from the inside of the building
during school hours.
Montana Code Annotated calls for eight "disaster drills" to be
conducted each school year. At least four of these drills must be
"fire exit drills."
private, denominational, and parochial schools in Nebraska must conduct monthly fire drills in accordance with
Stat. § 79-706, while keeping all doors and exits
unlocked during school hours in compliance with Neb. Rev. Stat. §
81-527. The second Friday of May is designated as State Fire Day to
be observed by private and parochial schools to create awareness of
accordance with Nevada Revised
Statute 392.450, all public schools are required to provide drills
to instruct students as to the appropriate procedures to follow in
the event of a fire or other emergency.
These drills are to
be held at least once per month for every month school is in
session (up to three of these drills may be used as chemical
explosion or natural disaster drills), and are to be supervised by
representatives of the school board and local fire chief.
Additionally, each classroom is required to have an evacuation map
and a copy of all emergency procedures posted.
Nevada private schools follow most of the fire drill regulations of
public schools. In 2007 this law was amended—private schools are
now required to drill once a month rather than twice a month as
previously required. Drill procedures and evacuation maps are not
required to be posted in every classroom; however, a copy of NRS
394.170 (the law pertaining to private school drills) must be
requires all New
Hampshire schools to
conduct a fire drill for every month school is in session with one
drill done within the first 30 days of school.
The NH State
Fire Code also allows for these drills to be suspended during the
winter months provided that at least four (4) drills were
previously conducted. All present occupants must participate in the
drill. This includes: students, teachers, staff, administration,
and kitchen personal as well as janitors and yard teachers.
Jersey, according to section 18A:41-1 in the New Jersey
Permanent Statutes, fire drills are required two times per month in
schools of two or more rooms, or one room when located above the
first floor level.
Each public and private school must have twelve emergency drills
per year, of which nine are to be fire drills, two
shelter-in-place, and one evacuation drill.
Each school must have 12 fire drills per year. Eight fire drills in
the fall must be conducted before December 1. Four must be
conducted in the spring before the end of the year. Residential
schools must have 4 after dark, and schools that hold summer
sessions must hold at least 2 drills, with one of the drills being
held during the first week of the summer session.
According to North Carolina General Statute 115C‑288 (d), the
Principal of a school is responsible to conduct a fire drill during
the first week after the opening of school and thereafter at least
one fire drill each school month, in each building in his charge,
where children are assembled. Fire drills shall include all pupils
and school employees, and the use of various ways of egress to
simulate evacuation of said buildings under various conditions, and
such other regulations as shall be prescribed for fire safety by
the Commissioner of Insurance, the Superintendent of Public
Instruction and the State Board of Education. A copy of such
regulations shall be kept posted on the bulletin board in each
Ohio schools are
required to conduct at least nine fire drills per year, and at
least once a month, two the first month, and not including partial
School officials must notify the local fire
department 72 hours in advance to schedule a fire drill. Tornado
drills are to be held each month during the tornado season (April 1
- July 31). Lockdown drills must be performed at least five times
per year. Failure to perform a drill will result in a $1,000 fine
Oregon schools are
required to devote a minimum of 30 minutes each month during the
school year to fire and earthquake preparedness.
drill should be scheduled for every month that school is in
session, and these drills should be conducted at different times
during the school day.
public and private elementary, middle, and senior high schools in
Pennsylvania are required to conduct fire drills no less than
once a month pursuant to the General Education laws of the
Island schools must be conducted according to section
16-21-4 of the Rhode Island General Laws.
Fifteen drills or
rapid dismissals per year are required to be conducted in schools
with more than twenty-five students. Eight drills must be conducted
by the end of November, while the remaining seven are conducted at
the principal's discretion, usually during the spring. Of those
fifteen aforementioned drills, eleven are designated as fire
drills, two as evacuation drills, and two more as lock-down drills.
In addition, four of the required fire/evacuation drills must be
conducted with a major egress point obstructed, requiring use of an
alternate exit. Two obstructed drills out of the eight
evacuation/fire drills required by the end of November must be
conducted before the end of October.
In Utah, fire drill requirements differ for elementary and
secondary schools. Elementary schools are required to hold fire
drills monthly, while secondary schools are required to conduct
drills bimonthly, with four drills for a nine-month school year. In
both cases, the first drill must be conducted during the first two
weeks of the school year, a complete evacuation of the entire
building or evacuation of the portion of the building used for
educational purposes, and all fire drills must be conducted using
the facility's fire alarm system when one is provided.
drills in Virginia schools must be conducted pursuant to § 22.1-137 in
the Code of Virginia.
schools must conduct at least one fire drill every week for the
first twenty days of school, and at least one fire drill per month
through the rest of the year. Assuming a typical school year, this
means that Virginia schools conduct about twelve drills per
Washington, schools must conduct 1 fire drill per month in
accordance with the Emergency Evacuations and Operations Plan
In West Virginia, two fire drills are required to be conducted
during the first thirty days of the school year. Following this, a
fire drill is required once per month. Drills during the winter
months may be deferred as long as at least six drills have already
been conducted. Use of the building fire alarm system is required,
and drills must be unannounced and conducted at different times
during the day.
Fire drills must be held once a month for every month the school is
in session, with a local fire department strongly encouraged to
oversee one. Fire drills can be postponed due to bad weather.
However, these drills then must take place at a later date. In
addition, four more fire drills must take place before any such
drills may be postponed. All exits must be in working condition and
- Code of
Alabama, § 36-19-10, Regulation of fire drills and doors and
exits in schools, factories, hospitals, etc.
Code, § 12-13-109. Fire drills.
- Governor Blagojevich signs new law to make schools
safer, Office of the Governor, State of Illinois, August 16,
- Maryland An. Code 1957, art. 77, § 91; 1978, ch. 22, § 2; 1996,
ch. 10, § 16.
- School Fire Drills, Stephen D. Coan,
Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, June 27, 2001
- Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 29,
Act 207 of 1941, Section 29.19
- New Jersey Permanent Statutes, § 18A:41-1
- Subsection M of 126.96.36.199 of the New Mexico Administrative
- [North Carolina General Assembly]
- 24J Risk Management Operations Manual
- Rhode Island General Laws, Title
16, § 16-21-4
of Virginia, § 22.1-137
- Fire Drills in Wisconsin Schools: an Opportunity
for Excellence, John Andersen, Wisconsin Department of
Commerce Newsletter, November 2003