A fire drill is a method of practicing the evacuation of a building for a fire or other emergency. Usually, the emergency system (usually the fire alarm/smoke detector) sounds and the building is evacuated as though a real fire had occurred. Usually, the time it takes to evacuate is measured to ensure that it occurs within a reasonable length of time, and problems with the emergency system or evacuation procedures are identified to be remedied.
Fire drill regulations
Many jurisdictions require that fire drills be conducted at certain intervals. This is most often the case in elementary, middle, and high schools as well as most colleges and universities, but sometimes other places as well. Often the frequency of such drills and any special actions that must be taken during such drills are listed in the statute.
In the United States, school fire drill regulations are set by individual states.
Some states require that schools conduct a fire drill once per month:
- California (elementary schools)
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- Utah (elementary schools)
- West Virginia
Some states require that schools conduct a specific number of drills over the course of the entire school year, or that a certain number of drills must be conducted within a certain period of time:
Some states specify a greater frequency of fire drills at the beginning of the school year:
Until regulations changed on November 1, 2010, New Jersey was unique in its requirement that schools conduct two fire drills per month. Under more recent requirements, one of the two fire drills was replaced by a monthly security drill.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families requires that all schools, colleges and universities and any other education establishment perform a fire drill at least once per academic year and recommends that one should occur termly. In addition, regularly health and safety checks such as testing the fire alarms and fire extinguishers should be performed weekly. According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all workplaces must have an emergency plan consisting of staff actions, evacuation plans and arrangements for contacting the fire brigade.
"Fire Drill" is also a sports term; in the Canadian Football League, fire drill refers to a situation in which the snap during a field goal is fumbled and a pre-arranged series of running routes are then run by eligible receivers in an attempt by the holder to advance the football by passing it instead of kicking it.
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- Chinese fire drill, a form of prank.
- False alarm
- Fire alarm
- Tornado drill
- Muster drill
- Earthquake drill
- Exit sign
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