Policy Details Page

Regulation 6972.2R
Fire Drills/Evacuations

All students and staff shall receive fire drill and emergency response instructions so in an emergency they will react quickly and safely to the emergency, have the ability to leave their building in the shortest time possible or seek protection in designated shelter areas. All school staff shall have periodic training in emergency response procedures and responsibilities, and an opportunity for an objective evaluation of such procedures following each emergency response drill.

For immediate instructions in properly responding to an emergency, building staff may refer to the emergency procedures flip chart to be located in plain view in every district classroom and office. Reliance on the reference guide is not an approved substitution for conducting emergency drills. The emergency procedure flip chart may be obtained from Risk Management.

Building principals and administrators are responsible for acquainting themselves with their building site emergency response and evacuation plan.

Annually, building site administrators shall update their building site emergency response plans, based on the incident command system, assigning staff to fill incident command system positions.

Risk Management shall facilitate emergency response training for administrators and staff based on the incident command system.

Fire Drills

Two fire drills are required the first month of school, and one fire drill each month thereafter in each school in the district as required by Tacoma City ordinance.

Instructions for testing school fire alarms directly connected to the Tacoma Fire Alarm Communication Center are as follows:

  1. Call the fire alarm dispatcher at 591.5733 to obtain clearance for the test. The caller is to identify him or herself and give the fire alarm box number and name of the school.
  2. When permission is granted, the test shall be completed within three minutes or less. After five minutes, a fire response will be dispatched.
  3. The return to the school building will be at the discretion of the principal or designee. The return signal will be one steady, long bell of 30 seconds in duration.
  4. It is not necessary to call the fire alarm communications center after a drill.
  5. The chief custodian shall reset the alarm. If unable to reset the alarm, maintenance shall be notified. If a building alarm is inoperable, a fire watch with 24-hour, 30-minute checks shall be performed until the alarm is operating.
  6. The fire alarm communication center of the Tacoma Fire Department shall send a monthly report of all school fire alarm tests to Risk Management.

Earthquake Drills

Each school site shall conduct at least one annual earthquake drill within the first two months of school. Staff and students may be evacuated to the exterior of the building according to each school building site’s emergency response plan, or to redetermined, designated interior location(s) identified as areas not likely to sustain life-threatening damage in an earthquake.

Each school shall provide Risk Management with written confirmation that the earthquake drill was conducted and the effectiveness of the school site emergency response plan.

Emergency Response Drills

Risk Management shall make recommendations to the superintendent or designee for annual emergency response drill(s). Drills may be conducted on a district-wide basis or at particular sites. Drills shall be conducted based on simulated disaster events (earthquake, windstorm, violence incident, etc.), and shall implement the district and building site emergency response plans based on the incident command system. Depending on the type of drill, Tacoma emergency response agencies may participate.

Risk Management shall, from time to time, arrange for the availability of district school and office sites for emergency response agency training.

Approved 12/10/02