Fire drill
A fire drill is a method of practicing the evacuation of a building for a fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

 or other emergency
An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property or environment. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation, although in some situations, mitigation may not be possible and agencies may only be able to offer palliative...

. Generally, the emergency system (usually an alarm) is activated 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.

Fire drill regulations

Many jurisdictions require that fire drills be conducted at certain intervals. This is most often the case in elementary
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

, middle
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

, and high
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 schools, 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.

United States

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:
Some states require that schools conduct a specific number of drills be conducted either 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.

United Kingdom

The Department for Children, Schools and Families
Department for Children, Schools and Families
The Department for Children, Schools and Families was a department of the UK government, between 2007 and 2010, responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including child protection and education...

 requires that schools perform a fire drill at least once per academic year and recommends that one should occur termly. According to the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, all workplaces must have an emergency plan consisting of staff actions, evacuation plans and arrangements for contacting the fire brigade.

See also

  • False alarm
    False alarm
    A false alarm, also called a nuisance alarm, is the fake report of an emergency, causing unnecessary panic and/or bringing resources to a place where they are not needed. Over time, repeated false alarms in a certain area may cause occupants to start to ignore all alarms, knowing that each time it...

  • Fire alarm
  • Firefighter
    Firefighters are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property, to rescue people from car incidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations...

  • Tornado drill
    Tornado drill
    A tornado drill is a method of practicing to take cover in a specified location in the event that a tornado strikes an area. Generally, a signal is given, such as a series of tones , or a voice announcement...

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