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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 requirement.


Section 12-13-109 of the Arkansasmarker Code stipulates that the State Police require schools to conduct one fire drill per month, and to keep all exits unlocked during school hours.


In Californiamarker, elementary and middle schools must conduct monthly fire drills. High schools must have two fire drills per school year.



In Connecticutmarker 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

Washington, D.C.marker 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 activities.



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 year.


In Georgiamarker 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 November.


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 drill conducted as well.






In all Louisianamarker schools, at least two fire drills must be conducted within the first two weeks of an academic year. Thereafter, eight drills must be conducted by the end of the academic year, one of which must be supervised by a member of the fire department.


All primary, elementary, and secondary schools in Mainemarker are required to conduct two fire drills during the first two weeks of an academic year. 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.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Marylandmarker requires that ten drills be held during the school year, with two during the first thirty days of school, and one per month thereafter. 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, assemblies, etc.


In Massachusettsmarker 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.


Section 29.19 of Act 207 of 1941 of the Michiganmarker 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 advisable. 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).


According to Minnesota States 299F.30, all public and private schools and other educational institutions in Minnesotamarker must have at least five fire drills per year. 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."


All private, denominational, and parochial schools in Nebraskamarker must conduct monthly fire drills in accordance with Neb. Rev. 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 fire damage.


In accordance with Nevadamarker 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 posted.

New Hampshire

NPPA 101 requires all New Hampshiremarker 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.

New Jersey

In New Jerseymarker, 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.

New Mexico

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.

New York

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.

North Carolina

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 building.

North Dakota


Ohiomarker 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 months. 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 per incident.



Oregonmarker schools are required to devote a minimum of 30 minutes each month during the school year to fire and earthquake preparedness. One fire 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.


All public and private elementary, middle, and senior high schools in Pennsylvaniamarker are required to conduct fire drills no less than once a month pursuant to the General Education laws of the state.

Rhode Island

Drills in Rhode Islandmarker 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.

South Carolina

South Dakota




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.



Fire drills in Virginiamarker schools must be conducted pursuant to § 22.1-137 in the Code of Virginia. Public 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 year.


In Washingtonmarker, schools must conduct 1 fire drill per month in accordance with the Emergency Evacuations and Operations Plan (EEOP).

West Virginia

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 unobstructed.



  1. Code of Alabama, § 36-19-10, Regulation of fire drills and doors and exits in schools, factories, hospitals, etc.
  2. Arkansas Code, § 12-13-109. Fire drills.
  3. Governor Blagojevich signs new law to make schools safer, Office of the Governor, State of Illinois, August 16, 2005
  4. Maryland An. Code 1957, art. 77, § 91; 1978, ch. 22, § 2; 1996, ch. 10, § 16.
  5. School Fire Drills, Stephen D. Coan, Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, June 27, 2001
  6. Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 29, Act 207 of 1941, Section 29.19
  7. New Jersey Permanent Statutes, § 18A:41-1
  8. Subsection M of of the New Mexico Administrative Code
  9. [North Carolina General Assembly]
  10. 24J Risk Management Operations Manual
  11. Rhode Island General Laws, Title 16, § 16-21-4
  12. Code of Virginia, § 22.1-137
  13. Fire Drills in Wisconsin Schools: an Opportunity for Excellence, John Andersen, Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter, November 2003

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