Safety Resources: Fire Prevention- Focus on Evacuation Drills


Senior Risk Consultant
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October 2, 2018

October 8-14 is National Fire Prevention Awareness week.  That makes this a good time for you to prepare your workplace and your employees for the unexpected.  This year’s focus is Evacuation drills with the theme “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out.”

Emergency Evacuation Drills

Many employers in Minnesota are required to conduct emergency evacuation drills.  The required frequency of these drills will vary based on the type of business.  There are some businesses who are not required to conduct evacuation drills. To find out if your business is subject to drill requirements, use MMA’s searchable drill requirement document.

Employees should be trained on emergency evacuation procedures on a regular basis. Try to conduct your drills at unexpected times and under varying conditions to simulate the unusual conditions that occur in case of fire.

Did You Know?...
According to NFPA:

  • The top causes of home fires are cooking, smoking, heating equipment, arson and electrical problems.
  • About 300 people are killed each year
  • Approximately $280 million is lost in in property damage each year
  • Working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a house fire in half. 

Evacuation procedures and drills

Practice helps ensure a successful drill. After all, “Every Second Counts.”

Before a drill occurs:

  • Identify key employees to assume command of the drill and post-drill activities
  • Develop a plan for evacuation and instruct employees on where to go
  • Prepare to document the drill.  Use MMA’s Emergency Evacuation Evaluation Form

During the drill:

  • Identify gaps or weaknesses in emergency procedures
  • Note notification and communication system problems
  • Look for opportunities for response speed and coordination improvements
  • Identify problems with roles and responsibilities

After each drill:

  • Evaluate the results using MMA’s Emergency Evacuation Evaluation Form
  • Ask employees for feedback on opportunities for improvement
  • Develop an improvement plan with detailed goals
  • Assign tasks with clear, specific deadlines

Your records of the emergency evacuation drills should include the following information:

  • Identity of the person conducting the drill
  • Date and time of the drill
  • Notification method used
  • Staff members on duty and participating
  • Number of occupants evacuated
  • Special conditions simulated
  • Problems encountered
  • Weather conditions when occupants were evacuated
  • Time required to accomplish a complete evacuation

For more information on Fire Prevention Awareness, visit the National Fire Protection Association website at

If you have specific questions about your fire safety prevention efforts or evacuations plans, contact your MMA representative.