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Fire Drill Procedure

UTK Environmental Health & Safety Procedure FS-002

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for fire drills

Effective Date: 01/01/2009
Revision Date: 03/30/2016

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Purpose, Applicability, and Scope

Purpose – The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for fire drills.

Applicability – This guide shall apply to campus buildings where fire drills are conducted.

Definitions and Abbreviations

EHS – Environmental Health and Safety

NFPA – National Fire Protection Association

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Roles and Responsibilities

Environmental Health and Safety will:

  1. Maintain this written plan and place in the online safety manual
  2. Assist with the implementation and interpretation of the plan
  3. Conduct fire drills
  4. Maintain records as required

Department heads (Responsible Units) in buildings where fire drills are conducted shall:

  1. Ensure staff are trained in fire drill response
  2. Report any problems or concerns related to fire drills
  3. Employees shall:
  4. Participate in required training
  5. Respond as required to fire alarm activation
  6. Report any problems associated with the fire drill performance


Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) is available to assist departments with fire drills. Fire drills should be realistic and held at different times.

The general procedure for responding to a fire evacuation can be remembered by using the RACE mnemonic:

R- Rescue anyone in danger if it is safe to do so.

A – Sound the Alarm by activating the building’s fire alarm system or use another method to alert occupants.  Have someone call 911

CClose all doors

EExtinguish the fire if safe to do so or evacuate the structure.

*note that designated individuals should check the area to ensure everyone hears the alarm and evacuates.

  • EHS shall coordinate with the Electric Shop from Facilities Services to schedule drills.
  • The performance of the fire alarm system shall be evaluated during the drill and noted on the evaluation form. Feedback shall be given to occupants on drill performance if possible
  • The date and time of a drill are generally not announced to building occupants. However, there are times when prior notice will be provided (e.g. first drill in a new building).
  • All occupants are expected to participate in fire drills in their building. Failure to evacuate the building may result in disciplinary action.
  • False alarms may be counted as drills provided information and general performance can be documented.
  • Required (by code) drill frequency is found in Appendix C.


EHS will maintain a record of fire drill performance for at least three years.  Departments that conduct their own fire drills should likewise maintain records for at least three years.

Training and Information

Fire drill training is available from EHS in the form of online training or in-person instructor to conduct site-specific training. Note that departments are also encouraged to develop their own fire plans. EHS is available to assist develop these plans as well. Records of fire drills shall be kept at least three years by EHS or by the department that conduct their own. A single page guide for fire drill performance is available as Appendix C

Regulatory Drivers and References

NFPA 101 standard adopted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction

OSHA CFR 1910.35



The information provided in this program is designed for educational use only and is not a substitute for specific training or experience.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville and the authors of this program assume no liability for any individual’s use of or reliance upon any material contained or referenced herein. The material contained in this program may not be the most current.

This material may be freely distributed for nonprofit educational use. However, if included in publications, written or electronic, attributions must be made to the author. Commercial use of this material is prohibited without express written permission from the author.

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