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School Safety Drill Reminders
The Fire Prevention Code requires that local school districts, ISDs, and PSAs that operate any grades from kindergarten to grade 12 conduct various school safety drills throughout the school year. These drills include:
- A minimum of five fire drills, with three being conducted by December 1, and two being conducted in the remainder of the school year.
- A minimum of two tornado drills, with one of the drills being conducted in March.
- A minimum of three lockdown drills (e.g., hazardous material, presence of a potentially dangerous person on or near the premises) in which the occupants of the building are restricted to the interior of the building, with at least one of the drills being conducted by December 1, and one being conducted after January 1.
At least one of the ten required drills must be conducted during a lunch or recess period or at another time when a significant number of students are gathered outside of their classrooms (e.g., during an assembly). Drills must not be conducted at a time that would interfere with a state-mandated assessment.
The school’s chief administrator must provide the county emergency management coordinator with a list of the scheduled school safety drill days for each school building by September 15 of each school year. If a scheduled drill is not held as scheduled due to conditions outside of school officials’ control (e.g., severe weather, power outage), the school must reschedule the drill to occur within 10 school days after the canceled drill and notify the county emergency management coordinator of the rescheduled date.
The school’s board must ensure that documentation of a completed safety drill is posted on its website within 30 days after the drill is completed and maintained on the website for at least three years. The documentation must include all of the following information:
- Name of the school;
- School year of the drill;
- Date and time of the drill;
- Type of drill completed;
- Number of completed drills for that school year for each type of drill;
- Signature of the school principal (or designee acknowledging completion of the drill; and
- Name of the individual in charge of conducting the drill, if other than the school principal.
Violations of the Fire Prevention Code are a misdemeanor, so school officials should take care to comply with these requirements.