Focus: Fire-Life Safety / Column

Regulations, Codes & Standards Q&A: Fire drills

By Brad Keyes / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
November 6, 2019

Q: Is there a requirement to activate the fire alarm system in a patient/non-patient care business occupancy building during a scheduled fire drill?

A: I would say so… Section 38/39.7.2 of the 2012 LSC requires fire drills to be conducted in accordance with section 4.7 in business occupancies. Section 4.7 discusses the many needs of a fire drill, not the least of which is relocation and orderly evacuation. How would staff know to evacuate or relocate if the fire alarm system is not activated? Section 4.7.2 also discusses the need to conduct drills under varying conditions to simulate unusual conditions that can occur in an actual emergency. This would require the activation of the fire alarm system to help staff to become acclimated to the occupant notification devices.

Brad Keyes, CHSP, is the owner of KEYES Life Safety Compliance, and his expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs.


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