EBCB-AR - Emergency Drills

Adopted: Unknown
Re-adopted: 4/27/95, 8/13/97
Original Codes: 7310, 8942, Bulletin No. 6

Fire Drills

Fire drills, related procedures and building evacuation plans are the responsibility of principals.  The following are minimum guidelines for fire drills and building evacuation:

  1.  Each principal must call one fire drill each month;
  2.  Two drills are considered essential during the first two weeks of fall term to attain the desired evacuation proficiency;
  3.  At least one drill during the first semester shall be called:
    1.  When students are in the auditorium;
    2.  When students are in the lunch room;
    3.  When students are engaged in informal activities during intermission.
  4.  After the first three fire-exit drills of the first semester, all other drills shall be planned with one or more blocked exits;
  5.  Drills shall be called at various periods of the day upon different days of the week;
  6.  Drills shall be conducted during periods of good weather.  Inside drills will not fulfill the fire drill regulations;
  7.  Maps shall be drawn of each building showing the primary and alternate exit routes for each room.  Exit routes will be posted in all rooms.  Directions shall indicate the assembly area(s) outside the building;
  8.  All students must receive formal instruction in procedures to be followed in case of fire or other needs to evacuate buildings;
  9.  A system of room inspections will be developed to see that all rooms are free of occupants.  Recognizing that the evacuation of students and staff is one of utmost concern, windows and doors should be closed upon evacuation when it is reasonable to do so.  Also when reasonably possible teachers should take the class attendance and grade book with them when evacuating the building;
  10.  Directions, record keeping and other details relating to fire drills are part of each school’s handbook of information and procedures.

Applicable Statutes

The following are pertinent excerpts from the Oregon Revised Statutes pertaining to fire and earthquake drills in schools, fire escapes, doors and exits and instruction in fire and earthquake dangers.  There are provisions with which all school administrators should be fully informed:

479.050  When fire escapes must extend to the ground.  The fire escape shall extend clear to the ground or have an approved counterbalanced stairway, when the State Fire Marshal deems such to be necessary, as in the case of schools, factories, hotels, hospitals, detention homes and buildings of public assembly.”

479.140  School fire regulations.  (2) After July 1, 1965, all painting or finish applied to interior combustible surfaces, except floors and trim, of public and private school buildings and educational institutions shall be of a fire-retardant material meeting flame spread regulations for interior finish established by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to ORS 476.030.”

479.150 Outward-swinging doors required; revolving doors.  (1) The outside doors, doors serving as exits from hazardous areas and all doors located in the path of exit leading thereto, in every theater, church, school building, public hall and every other building used for public purposes where people congregate, shall be so swung and hinged that they will open outward as determined in accordance with rules adopted by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to ORS 476.030.  Revolving, sliding and overhead doors shall not constitute any part of the door width required for exit facilities.

(2) No owner, lessee, tenant or person having control of any building enumerated in subsection (1) of this section shall fail to provide doors opening outward as required therein.”

336.071 Emergency drills and instruction; maintenance of exit doors.  (1) All schools are required to instruct and drill students on emergency procedures so that the students may respond to an emergency without confusion or panic.  The emergency procedures shall include drills and instruction on fires and earthquakes.  In addition, schools that are in a coastal zone shall include tsunami drills and instruction as part of the earthquake drills and instruction.

(2)(a) Drills and instruction on fire emergencies shall include routes and methods of exiting school building.

(b) Drills and instruction on earthquake emergencies shall include methods of “duck, cover and hold” during the earthquake.  Drills and instruction on tsunami emergencies shall include immediate evacuation after an earthquake when appropriate or after a tsunami warning to protect students against inundation by tsunamis.

(3) At least 30 minutes in each school month shall be used to instruct students on fire, earthquake, and where appropriate, tsunami dangers and drills.  At least two drills on earthquakes shall be conducted each year.  In schools in a coastal zone, at least three drills on earthquakes and tsunamis shall be conducted each year.

(4) All schools shall maintain all exit doors so that the doors can be opened from the inside without a key during school hours.

(5) Units of local government and state agencies associated with emergency procedures training and planning shall assist schools in the instruction and drilling of students in emergency procedures.

(6) As used in this section, “school” means any kindergarten through grade eight public or private school or educational institution having an average daily attendance of 50 or more students.”

Earthquake Drills

The law requires at least two earthquake drills to be conducted each year from kindergarten through eighth grade.  The recommendation for earthquake drills is as follows:

  1.  After returning to classroom following the fire drill, the teacher should tell the students to “duck, cover and hold”.  The students need to be taught that these three words mean to drop to their knees, bow down and cover their heads with their hands, turn their backs to room windows and when possible get under furniture;
  2.  Students should begin to become familiar with these words and what they mean.  “duck, cover and hold” as explained above.  If outside, stay outside, means that they would be less likely to be injured outside than in a building.  After quake evacuate, means that when the quake stops they should go outside where they will be less likely to be injured from after quake falling debris or following tremor disturbances.

Fire and Earthquake Drill Reports

Each principal’s office will maintain a report file of all fire and earthquake drills.  The report for each drill should contain, as a minimum, the date, the time of day the drill occurred, the actual length of time for the drill, special conditions such as blocked exits, recess time, lunch time, etc., and a notation concerning any unusual problems encountered.