Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
September 2003
Fire Drills Now Required 
for Commercial Buildings

On July 1, 2002, Commerce adopted National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1 as the State of Wisconsin Fire Code. Chapter 8, NFPA 1, became the new standard for fire, emergency egress and relocation drills. Owners and managers of commercial building types must become familiar with and follow the new rules.

Chapter 8 adds new requirements for Emergency Egress and Relocation Drills for the following: Assembly, Day-Care, Health Care, Residential Board and Care, Ambulatory Health Care, Detention and Correction, Dormitories, Mercantile and Business. It also specifies that the type and number of drills varies for each occupancy classification. Contact your local fire department for information and assistance with complying with the requirements.

When the fire department inspects your building, be prepared to give the following information:

  • When the last drill was conducted.
  • The staff person responsible for planning and executing drills.
  • Any written record of the drill.
  • Any problems that the drill uncovered.
  • Any special concerns with your building.

Your fire department can help you address problems revealed by the fire drill. In addition, a fact sheet developed by the NFPA entitled Developing a Preparedness Plan and Conducting Emergency Evacuation Drills is available for viewing on the web at http://www.nfpa.org/Research/NFPAFactSheets/NFPAFactSheets.asp under the headings of Building safety, Emergency preparedness.

--John Anderson

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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