Fire Prevention 52: Fire Evacuation Drills in the Workplace

People with various abilities head toward a fire exit where a firefighter is holding the door open.
Fire drills help reveal any problems to fix to have safer and faster evacuations when a real emergency happens.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that an average of more than 3,340 fires take place in the office workplace each year. Most of us reflect to our school days when fire drills were a common occurrence. We all quickly formed a single file line behind our teacher and followed them outside to an assembly point on the school grounds where the head count was reported to the coordinator. Fire evacuation drills in the workplace are similar, minus the teacher. Every employee should be empowered with the correct information and training to protect themselves, fellow employees, and visitors to our parks and offices.

Five steps to ensure that your office conducts a safe and successful workplace fire drill:
  1. Develop an evacuation plan
  2. Educate all employees
  3. Conduct a fire drill to validate the plan
  4. Motivate to improve
  5. Conduct regular fire drills
The Assembly Point
Workplace fire drills are not successful unless every employee is safe and accounted for. This crucial step in the drill occurs at a pre-designated assembly point outside the facility with a roll/accountability call for all on-duty employees. If someone is missing, this imperative information should be relayed via 911 and to the first arriving emergency responders as this will affect strategies and tactics by on-scene firefighters to respond to the emergency and save lives.

If you need assistance exiting the building during an emergency, please let the fire evacuation coordinator know what assistance you need. Review tips for Fire Safety for People with Disabilities. These tips are good for everyone to read, you may be in a situation to help someone or a temporary injury could cause you to need assistance during an emergency.

Keep your office and workplace safe with successful fire drills. More information on workplace fire safety can be found at: Fire Safety - Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( and OSHA/29 CFR 1910.39

Last updated: September 29, 2022