OSHA Fire Drill Requirements

Firefighters getting out of fire truck

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) develops standards of safety for businesses to use when developing their emergency drill plans including fire drills. Fire drills are developed to practice evacuation procedures that will be used in the event of an actual fire. Although OSHA does not require emergency fire drills, many businesses practice drills quarterly, if not monthly.

Emergency Plans

Although OSHA does not have a drill requirement, its standards of safety state that businesses must provide all employees with emergency action plans. These plans provide guidelines on how to respond and react to an emergency, such as fire. Included in this plan is a list of designated people who are responsible for making sure all people have exited the building. A list of what first aid will be provided and who will be responsible for providing it is included.

Exit Routes

Detailed maps outlining all emergency exit routes as well as the emergency meeting place must be posted in all offices and in high traffic areas. These maps must also detail a secondary meeting place in case the primary meeting place becomes unsafe. Those persons designated to ensure full evacuation should have portable version of these maps.

What to Do After the Fire Drill

OSHA does not require documentation of fire drills. However, state fire marshals do require documentation of fire drills be kept in order for businesses to retain their operating permit. The person who is designated to carry out the drill will be responsible for completing documentation of the drill. Many fire departments can provide a generic form for businesses to use, or the business may develop its own.