School fire alarm/evacuation plan checklist

Safety issues are a constant concern for school officials. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has provided guidelines for school administrators to assist in evaluating compliance with federal requirements, such as those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This checklist provides school officials a means of identifying potential problem areas that may occur with the fire alarm system and evacuation plans. Any question answered “No” should be thoroughly investigated and corrective actions taken.





Is the school equipped with a manual fire alarm system?      
Are manual fire alarm boxes provided in the natural exit access paths?      
Is the distance to any manual fire alarm box not more than 200 feet of unobstructed horizontal travel on the same floor?      
Is the school equipped with a fire alarm system that is activated by fire or smoke detectors?      
Is a smoke or heat detector located in each classroom?      
Are smoke/heat detectors paint free, visible, and unobstructed?      
Are signs posted warning against disabling, tampering, or interfering with fire detectors and the fire alarm system?      
Is the servicing, maintenance, and testing of fire-detection systems (including cleaning and necessary sensitivity adjustments) performed only by people trained in the operation and function of the system?      
Are fire detectors cleaned of dirt, dust, or other particulates at regular intervals?      
Is outdoor fire protection equipment protected from corrosion?      
Is fire-detection equipment protected from mechanical or physical impact?      
Has an approved fire safety plan been distributed to all school staff?      
Does the approved fire safety plan include:
  • Location of the nearest exits and fire alarms?
  • Procedures to be followed when a smoke or fire alarm sounds?
  • Procedures to be followed in the event of fire or smoke?
Are all employees familiar with the locations of the manual fire alarm boxes?      
Can the alarm be perceived above ambient noise or light levels by everyone in the area?      
Are alarms distinctive and recognizable as a signal to evacuate the building or to perform actions designated under the emergency action plan?      
Is a written fire prevention plan available that includes the following items?
  • A list of major hazardous materials and their proper handling and storage procedures
  • Potential ignition sources and their control procedures
  • The type of fire protection equipment or systems that can control a fire
  • The names and titles of personnel responsible for maintaining fire protection equipment and systems
  • The names and titles of personnel responsible for control of hazardous fuel sources
  • Housekeeping procedures to prevent the accumulation of flammable and combustible waste materials
Is the evacuation plan conspicuously posted on every floor?      
Is the evacuation plan updated to reflect changes in building use and arrangement?      
Are all teachers trained in the duties they are to perform under the evacuation plan?      
Is a written emergency action plan available that includes the following items?
  • Emergency evacuation procedures, signals, and routes
  • Procedures for employees who remain in the facility to shut down equipment before they evacuate
  • Procedures to account for all building occupants
  • Rescue and medical duties
  • Preferred methods for building occupants to report emergencies
  • Names and job titles of people who can be contacted for more information regarding evacuation plans
Are written emergency and fire prevention plans available to building occupants for review?      
Has training been provided to designated teachers/personnel to help with the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of all building occupants?      
Has the emergency and fire prevention plan been reviewed with all new staff and students?      







The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("The Hanover") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC FEB 2019 14-71
171-0951 (01/14)