New Safety Drill Requirements

 Governor Snyder recently signed Public Act 12 of 2014, which modifies the frequency and recording requirements for school safety drills. The Act amends Section 19 of the Fire Prevention Code and is effective July 1, 2014. Under the new requirements, any school that operates “any of grades” kindergarten to 12 must conduct at least:

  • Five fire drills per school year. Three of those drills must take place by December 1. There must be a reasonable interval between each drill;
  • Two tornado safety drills per school year. At least one of those drills must take place in March; and
  • Three “lockdown” drills per school year, including security measures appropriate to an emergency “such as the release of hazardous material or the presence of a potentially dangerous individual on or near the premises.” At least one of those drills must take place by December 1 and at least one after January 1. There must be a rea­sonable interval between each drill.

Additionally, one of the above-listed drills must occur during lunch, recess, or at another time when a significant number of students are gathered but not in a classroom.

Section 19 of the Fire Prevention Code requires that school officials document completed school safety drills on the school’s website within five days of completing the drill and maintain this information on the website for at least three years. This information must include the:

  • school name;
  • school year of the drill;
  • date and time of the drill;
  • type of drill;
  • number and type of drills completed during the school year;
  • signature of the school principal or designee acknowl­edging the completion of the drill; and
  • name of the individual in charge of conducting the drill, if it is not the school principal.

Section 19 also states that the chief administrator of a school that operates any of grades kindergarten to 12 or his/her designee must provide the county emergency management coordinator with a list of scheduled drill days by September 15. The county emergency management coordinator must then give this information to the appropriate local emergency coordinator, if any.

Finally, Section 19 requires a school that operates any of grades kindergarten to 12 to adopt and imple­ment a cardiac emergency response plan which must address all of the following:

  • use and maintenance of automated exter­nal defibrillators, if available;
  • activation of a cardiac emergency response team during an identified cardiac emer­gency;
  • a plan for effective and efficient communi­cation throughout the school campus;
  • a training plan for the use of an automated external defibrillator and CPR tech­niques (if the school includes grades 9–12);
  • incorporation and integration of the local emergency response system and emergency response agencies with the school’s plan; and
  • an annual review and evaluation of the car­diac emergency response plan.

School officials should review these new re­quirements, which are found at Section 19 of the Fire Prevention Code, to ensure that their school district’s safety drill policies and response to cardiac emergen­cies are in compliance for the 2014-15 school year.