Fire Drill Policy

Authority: President
Date Enacted or Revised: September 22, 2009; Revised March 2016; March 15, 2022

Purpose

To ready building occupants for the exiting of a building during a fire or related building emergency, where evacuation is necessary. To meet the requirement made by the State of Louisiana Office of Risk Management—based upon federal regulations (29 CFR 1910.38) and National Fire Protection Association Standards (NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, Section 4.7)—for an annual fire drill to be conducted in all state-owned or leased buildings, fire drills will be used as an avenue to:

  • Assess the occupants’ knowledge of fire drill procedures, location of fire exits, and the sound of the fire alarm;
  • Identify problems with fire alarm components;
  • Monitor the evacuation of the building; and
  • Provide information on the amount of time it takes to evacuate a building.

Responsibility

Deans, Directors, and Department Heads

  • Shall ensure that pre-planned drills are conducted at least once each fiscal year for each occupied building utilized by McNeese State University and shall ensure that each residence hall has one fire drill during each fall and spring semester and summer session.
  • For all academic and academic support buildings, pre-planning, scheduling, and coordination of all fire drills will be done by the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations; the University’s environmental, health, and safety officer; and University Police so that advance notification can be made to appropriate maintenance and emergency personnel as well as the building coordinator(s).
  • Building coordinators shall appoint floor monitors to assist in an initial sweep of the building to determine all occupants have exited the building. Floor monitors shall also assist the building coordinator in the compiling of fire drill reports to be sent to the environmental, health, and safety officer.

Faculty

  • Shall communicate this policy to enrolled students so they may follow the guidelines associated with fire drills and building evacuations.
  • Shall educate their students on the first day of class each semester (and include in their syllabus) about the following measures to take before a drill or emergency:
    • Identify the quickest escape route from their classroom along with a secondary route in case the primary route is inaccessible;
    • Identify a location outside and away from the building where the class can meet to ensure all students are accounted for; and
    • Identify “Areas of Refuge” for persons with disabilities. Ensure that emergency personnel are aware of persons who need assistance.
  • When the alarm sounds, faculty shall:
    • Assemble the students at the pre-determined accountability site;
    • Report student status (i.e., missing, injured) to the building coordinator or appropriate emergency personnel; and
    • NOT allow students to re-enter the building until verbal clearance has been given by appropriate emergency personnel at the scene.

Building Occupants

  • Building occupants are defined as every person in a University-owned or leased building.
  • Occupants shall evacuate the building in an orderly manner and shall congregate at a pre-determined assembly site.
  • Occupants shall not re-enter the building until a verbal “all clear” is signaled by appropriate emergency personnel.
  • Person with disabilities shall, if unable to evacuate the building, go to the designated Area of Refuge for assistance in exiting the building.

Environmental, Health, and Safety Officer and Director of Facilities and Plant Operations

  • Shall assist in the coordination and conduction of fire drills.
  • Shall maintain records of all drills according to the Office of Risk Management requirements.

Emergency Personnel

  • Emergency personnel are designated to be the environmental, health, and safety officer or their designee(s); director of facilities and plant operations or their designee(s); and University Police.
  • Shall assist in building searches to ascertain that all occupants have vacated the premises.
  • Shall issue an “all clear” when it is appropriate for occupants to re-enter the building. During a drill, the drill coordinator (the environmental, health, and safety officer or their designee) on the scene will give a verbal “all clear” to be passed along by University Police who have secured the site. Other forms of communication may then be utilized to share the “all clear.”
  • In the event of an actual emergency, only the State Fire Marshal’s Office can give an “all clear” so that occupants may re-enter the building. This will be handled in a manner deemed appropriate by the fire marshal and relayed by emergency responders at the scene.
  • Residence halls shall follow procedures outlined and found in Section 1.09 of the Safety Manual.

Documentation

  • A fire drill report (Form 7.17) shall be completed by the environmental, health, and safety officer.
  • The fire drill report shall be placed on file in the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations, as required by the Office of Risk Management.
  • Fire systems found to be non-compliant shall be noted in the fire drill report and reported to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations for repair or corrective action.

Non-Compliance

According to the National Fire Protection Association Standard, NFPA 1, Fire Prevention Code, Section 3.2.2, “Drills shall include suitable procedures to ensure all persons subject to the drill participate.” The fire drill plan covers all persons in the building, and everyone must leave the building during the drill period. Any person failing to comply with fire drill procedures is subject to being escorted out of the building by University Police.

  • The environmental, health, and safety officer shall report incidents of employee non-compliance to the employee’s immediate supervisor for further review and corrective action.
  • The environmental, health, and safety officer shall report incidents of student non-compliance to the dean of student services for consideration of corrective or disciplinary action.

Communication

This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council, the Administrative Advisory Council, the University listserv, the University Policies webpage, the Safety Manual, and all course syllabi per the University Syllabus Policy.