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Emergency Drills and Fire Marshal Inspections

Notice: This policy was reviewed, revised, and/or renamed. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please see our current policies and procedural directives.

This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in July 2019. We provide this revision for historic purposes only.

Frequency of Drills

  1. There will be one (1) fire drill per week during the first four weeks of school and one (1) per month for the following months. For year-round schools, the weekly fire drills should be conducted when a track begins so that new students are orientated.
  2. An obstructed fire drill should be conducted every six (6) months. One or more exits are blocked prior to the drill. Students should not know in advance that an obstructed drill will occur.
  3. There should be at least one (1) fire drill during each year when students are in the cafeterias or in the hallways during changes of classes. If the school contains an auditorium, there should be a fire drill during the use of that facility.
  4. For multi-track year-round schools, this means one (1) fire drill per week for the first six (6) weeks. D track should have three (3) drills in the first three (3) weeks; E track should have three (3) drills during weeks 4-6. In the following months there should be one drill for each track change.
  5. Schools must also conduct two (2) Homeland Security drills during the course of the year in addition to fire drills – these maybe lockdowns, reverse evacuations, shelter-in-place, room clear, relocation or duck and cover drills. Consult the APS Safe School Response Plan for additional information.

Fire Drill Records

  1. Complete the Fire Drill Form, INS 24. A supply of these forms can be obtained from the Risk Management Office.
  2. Send the original and the yellow copy to the Risk Management Office. Risk Management will be responsible for forwarding the yellow copy to the Fire Marshal's office. 
  3. Submit work orders for equipment repairs.

Guidelines for School Sites

  1. Drawing(s) clearly showing escape routes must be posted near the exit(s) of each room.
  2. Doors that are not exits, but may be mistaken for exits, must have a sign saying "Not a Fire Exit."
  3. The principal or his/her designee is responsible for sounding the fire alarm. This procedure tests the alarm system also.
  4. Teachers, custodians and all other employees should have definite assigned responsibilities during a fire drill. 
  5. Restrooms must be checked for stragglers.
  6. The last person to leave the room should close the door to the hall, if time allows. 
  7. Custodians should turn off all fans, eliminate drafts and stand by to assist the Fire Department should there be a fire. 
  8. The fire lanes must be clear and there must be access to the school. 
  9. Students should exit in an orderly manner with the teacher following the class. Teachers should carry class attendance records or enrollment cards outside. Attendance should be checked to be sure no one is missing. Missing students should be reported to the principal immediately.
  10. Students should not carry clothing or books.
  11. Teachers should carry class attendance records or enrollment cards outside. Attendance should be checked to be sure no one is missing.
  12. Students in swimming pools and gyms who are scantily dressed should form a double line at the exit door and wait to determine if there is an actual fire.
  13. Students should assemble at a safe distance from the building and wait for the "return to the building" signal. Classes should evacuate at least 50 feet from the building. 
  14. The fire alarm must be unique in sound and audible in all parts of the buildings.
  15. Exit signs must be illuminated constantly.
  16. Exit doors must open out and be equipped with panic hardware.
  17. Doors should never be locked or blocked during school hours or during an assembly after school hours.
  18. Schools with disabled students should prepare an individualized evacuation plan. The Students with Disabilities Evacuation Plan should include the individualized plan for hearing impaired, wheelchair confined, or otherwise disabled students.
  19. No students should be left in a building during a drill or actual emergency. Students should not be allowed to return to a building to retrieve possessions.
  20. It is the principal’s duty to inspect all exit facilities in order to insure that all stairways, doors and other exits are in proper condition. 
  21. Missing students should be immediately reported to the principal.
  22. Substitute teachers should be informed of fire drill methods at the time of work assignment.
  23. Conduct occasional fire drills with the lights out (Black-Out-Drills) in schools without exterior windows. 
  24. Principals, by law, notify the appropriate emergency responder if an emergency requires evacuation. All fires should be reported to the Fire Department. If dismissal is necessary, refer to the directive Emergency Dismissal.
  25. The APS Safe Schools Response Plan  discusses various types of emergencies and response procedures. The plan includes required procedures and must be implemented at all schools.

Fire Marshal Inspection

APS schools are subject to inspections by the Albuquerque City Fire Marshals, Bernalillo County Fire Marshals, Kirtland Air Force Base Fire Marshals, State of New Mexico and APS Risk Management, depending on their location. The laws governing each jurisdiction apply to the specific location. The 1991 Life Safety Code and the Uniform Fire codes are the current reference for all jurisdictions. The inspectors will report to the principal’s office, and the principal or the designee will conduct the inspection around the campus.

If violations are found at the school, a violation form will be signed by the principal. A copy of the report should also be sent to the APS Risk Management and to Maintenance & Operations. After the time allowed by the inspector, the campus is subject to a reinspection to determine if the situation has been corrected.

Work orders will be entered by Maintenance & Operations to correct building violations. It is the principal’s responsibility to correct administrative violations.

Cross Ref.:

  • Board Policy E.01
  • Emergency Dismissal directive
  • APS Safe Schools Response Plan
  • Fire Drill form

NSBA/NEPN Classification: EBCB

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Reviewed: May 1997
Reviewed: January 1, 2001
Revised: September 2005

This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in July 2019. We provide this revision for historic purposes only.
This page was last updated on: December 9, 2009.